Why The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk Is Easily The Best Hellcat

If you haven’t heard, the Hellcat is a 6.2 liter V8, supercharged engine with 707 horsepower that Dodge puts in the Challenger and Charger. That gives them more power than most cars from Ferrari, Lamborghini, or McLaren. And it makes these two big body Dodges some of the fastest cars you can buy for any price.

 2017 Grand Cherokee

Yet, with all that power, the two cars areflawed. The Charger and (non-widebody) Challenger don’t have nearly enough tire out back to put that power down. All you get is wheelspin off the line, even with the traction control set to “very on.” The steering is vague, making handling more Chris Craft than supercar. What we have are two heavy cars with top speeds touching 200 mph.

They’re still fun, but they could be better. And who would have thought that you could make a better Hellcat by just stuffing that engine in something even bigger and heavier, the Jeep Grand Cherokee? Because it totally works.

Like the Charger and Challenger Hellcats, the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is subtle. There aren’t wings or wild body kits. To someone who isn’t in the know, it looks the same as a ‘regular’ SRT Grand Cherokee. The only visible changes to the outside are two ‘supercharged’ badges, one ‘Trackhawk’ badge, and the removal of the fog lights, which are replaced with air intakes. Unlike its brothers, it doesn’t have a Hellcat badge anywhere on the car, which makes it even more subtle.

Then there’s driving it. If the Hellcat Charger and Challenger make you think you can beat most anything on the road, the Trackhawk makes you feel invincible. The seating position is high, since, y’know, it’s an SUV. That lets you survey the road far ahead, picking where you want to deploy power that no other car or truck within miles has. Driving a truck like this, which has a supercharger that won’t stop whining at the mere suggestion of a throttle application, makes you feel invincible.

That makes the Trackhawk’s all-wheel drive launch as ferocious as the launch of a Nissan GT-R, but this is a 5300 pound SUV that you can use to tow a boat. You can’t tow a boat with a GT-R. We’d also recommend not doing launch control while towing a boat.

A Hellcat has always been a ridiculous proposition. You don’t buy one of these cars because you need it. Say what you will, but you don’t need 707 horsepower in your car. But if you want 707 horsepower, you should have it in a ridiculous vehicle that fits the character of the engine. That vehicle is the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

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