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Archive for the ‘Jeep’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Holy Toledo! 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL Breaks Cover

Well, it’s finally happened – the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL has been spotted without camouflage. The next-generation Jeep was reportedly spotted inside Jeep’s Toledo assembly plant and sent to our friends at JLWranglerForums. The grainy photo was undoubtedly not supposed to be taken, as evidenced by the limited view it affords of the new Wrangler Unlimited. Still, there are plenty of details to pour over.

First, it’s clear this is a four-door Wrangler Unlimited, otherwise known as the JLU. It’s lack of badging, knobby tires, and rock rails suggests this is a Sport model, though its hood features vents – a previous sign of an upper-class model or special edition. The windshield bump-stops on the hood have been redesigned, too. Also visible is the side vent integrated just behind the front fender. It’s smaller than anticipated, but thankfully doesn’t distract from the Wrangler’s classic lines. And speaking of lines, the cowling panel and doors have strong creases, helping break up the flat, vertical sides seen on the previous Wrangler JK. New side mirrors are present, too, with integrated turn signals. Gone are the push-button door handles, replaced with pull-style handles in black. The front fenders carry a new shape and appear molded from richer, higher-quality plastic. This particular Jeep has the soft top option, which we’re glad still exists. Unfortunately, the photos don’t show much of the interior, beyond the black seats covered in protective plastic. Of course, at this rate, we’ll have a full view of the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL long before its official debut at the 2017 LA Auto Show in November.

Continue reading for more information.

PostHeaderIcon FCA Could Be Bought by a Chinese Automaker

Formed in 2014, the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) alliance has been doing very good these past three years, which is why Sergio Marchionne is on the lookout to either sell the company or make another merger with a big brand. FCA was refused by General Motors back in 2015 and Marchionne’s attempts to find a new collaboration have been unsuccessful so far. However, it seems that FCA is actually on the brink of finding a new owner. According to new reports, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has received at least one offer in August from a “well-known Chinese automaker.”

That’s the word from Automotive News, which claims that the over was slightly higher than FCA’s current market value, but the Italian-American alliance rejected it for not being enough. There’s no detailed information as to what Chinese automaker made the offer, but speculation has it that FCA is negotiating with more than one company. Also, a source close to FCA said that company executives have traveled to China to meet with Great Wall Motor Co., while different sources claim talks with Dongfeng Motor Corp., Zhejiang Geely, and Guangzhou Automobile Group.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

The 840-horspower Dodge Challenger SRT Demon stole the show at the 2017 New York Auto Show, but the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk certainly garnered a ton of attention. The highly anticipated an long-rumored Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is everything we hoped for and more, including that 707-horspower 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V-8, beefed-up TorqFlite eight-speed automatic transmission and reinforced full-time 4WD system. The Jeep even gets the Demon’s Torque Reserve system, helping launch five-passenger SUV to 60 mph in an astonishing 3.5 seconds!

Yeah, the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk isn’t the most practical vehicle debuting at New York this year, but it’s by far the most practical Hellcat ever produced. Sure, the Charger Hellcat is a usable sedan with little draw-backs, but the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk offers 68.3 cubic feet of cargo volume and a respectable 7,200 pounds of towing capacity. Not to mention, this Jeep will likely do well in wintertime conditions with a set of proper tires, especially since its drive modes include a setting for snow.

Jeep engineers didn’t just shoehorn a Hellcat V-8 under the hood of an ordinary Grand Cherokee, however. The Trackhawk is heavily modified, sharing nearly no common powertrain parts with the standard Grand Cherokees. Even the 6.4-liter V-8-powered Grand Cherokee SRT version comes with less whiz-bang engineering.

Update 08/08/2017: Jeep has announced pricing for the 2018 Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. It will start at $86,995, including the destination fee. Read more in the Pricing section below.

Continue reading for more in formation on the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk Starts at $85,900

jeep_grand_cherokee_trackhawk_64

The Hellcat-powered Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk will become available to order in a few days time and its price tag is going to disappoint many. The MSRP for the 2018 Trackhawk is $85,900, excluding $1,095 destination. And since it’s a very special, limited edition car, by the time it reaches the showrooms in the fourth quarter of 2017 you could be looking at a 100 grand car. 

That is a hefty price to pay for a Cherokee, even one with special talents like this one. The new Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk features the 707 horsepower and 645 lb.-ft. of torque supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 engine of the Challenger Hellcat, and that makes it not just the most powerful production SUV but also the quickest. The Trackhawk sprints form 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, does the quarter mile run in 11.6 seconds, and achieves a top speed of 180 mph.

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Not that anyone buys a  Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk for anything other than outright speed, but some of the other notable highlights of this SUV include Quadra-Trac on-demand four-wheel-drive system, Selec-Track system (Auto, Sport, Track, Snow and Tow), Brembo braking system, 7,200-pound towing capability, 20 x 10-inch Titanium-finish, soft-touch materials, unique Light Black Chrome finishes and carbon fiber spears, and a 7-inch driver information display (DID) instrument cluster, as well as Uconnect 4 system with 8.4-inch display that features Trackhawk-exclusive Performance Pages.

jeep_grand_cherokee_trackhawk_4

Available options include dual-pane panoramic sunroof, three-season tires, lightweight 20 x 10-inch forged aluminum Low Gloss Black wheels, fully wrapped Signature Leather Interior Package in Black or Black/Dark Ruby Red, 19-speaker Harman Kardon high-performance audio system, dual-screen rear-seat entertainment center with Blu-ray, trailer tow package and Dark Ruby Red seatbelts. Available colors include Billet Silver, Granite Crystal, Diamond Black, Ivory Tri-coat, Bright White, Velvet Red, Rhino (exclusive), Redline 2 (exclusive) and True Blue.

The post 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk Starts at $85,900 appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Juicy Jeep Wrangler JL Details Leaked, Including Full-Time 4WD!

Fiat Chrysler can’t keep the cat in the bag with its upcoming 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL. The latest leak is massive in scale, unloading details of trim packages, paint colors, and order codes, complete with all their corresponding options. The info comes straight from FCA’s online dealership ordering system via the fan forum JLWranglerForums. Image screenshots confirm the authenticity while giving an unprecedented glimpse at what Jeep’s internal operations. This leaves only the final design, engine output specs, and MSRP to speculation. But with the Wrangler’s debut scheduled for the LA Auto Show in November, there’s still plenty of time for more leaks.

Leading this batch of leaks is the addition of a power-retractable soft top, the conformation of the 2.0-liter four-cylinder and 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6, the axing of the luxury-minded Sahara trim for the two-door Wrangler, and the debut of a full-time 4WD system reserved exclusively for the four-door Sahara. Jeep purists shouldn’t fret, though – the Sport and Rubicon trims return, along with an optional Heavy Duty Electrical Group (supposedly for running extra lights and a CB radio), and something called the “Trail Rail Management System.” Six tire and four wheel options are present, too, with wheels sized at 17 and 18 inches. Seven color choices will be offered, along with the return of a tan soft top. The AEK Electronic Infotainment System Group includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and Alpine returns as the premium audio system.

Continue reading for a ton more information on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL.

PostHeaderIcon The “Autobiography of a Jeep” Is 10 Minutes Of Glory

In light of the impending debut of the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL and Wrangler-based pickup truck – not to mention my recent time spent with the 2017 Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon Hard Rock – the Jeep brand has consumed much of my recent time and writings. In the course of perusing Jeep history and year-specific factoids, I ran across this lovely documentary. As the name suggests, the film is narrated in first-person, allowing the Willy MB to tell its own story.

It might be a bit cheeky by today’s standards, but the 1943 documentary details how the original Willy MB came to be. As most know, it was the outbreak of World War II that spurred the U.S. Department of War to find a suitable troop transport that could serve a variety of roles. Some roles were quite dare-devilish, too, like floating in water by being wrapped in a canvas tarp and crossing deep valleys via a wire cable. Adaptations of the MB included a more dedicated amphibious model with a boat-like hull surrounding he body. The MB began mass production only eight months after the War Department’s open request for prototypes. To keep up with production requirements, Ford joined in with its near-exact replica of the Willys MB, the Ford GPW. Combined, a new Jeep rolled off the assembly line every two minutes at the height of the war. Of course, the video has plenty more tid-bits of information and shows tons of Jeeps in action.

PostHeaderIcon Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon Hard Rock – Driven

Jeep is hardly the oldest automaker, but it’s arguably one of the most iconic. Its premier vehicle, the Wrangler, is slathered in blue-blooded Americana and glorified war history that transcends our continent and into every corner of the globe. Show anybody anywhere that seven-slotted grille and round headlights, and you’ll be rewarded with “Jeep!”

It’s no secret Jeep is completely revamping the Wrangler for 2018, giving it new life with more creature comforts and technology while not diluting any of its rugged off-road capabilities. But before that happens, we’re talking a close look at the current version, the Wrangler JK. It debuted in 2007 and has undergone relatively few changes. Jeep upgraded the interior in 2011 and swapped in the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 in 2012 to replace the lazy 3.8-liter V-6. Beyond that, Jeep has relied on special editions to keep the Wrangler fresh. But despite the on-paper stagnation, the Wrangler has exploded in popularity. Jeep went from selling 80,000 Wrangler TJs in 2006 to 202,702 Wrangler JKs in 2015. Much of that can likely be attributed to the Wrangler Unlimited, the four-door version of the two-door SUV. Families could finally justify a Wrangler for both commuting and weekend getaways. Then came the explosion in aftermarket support from companies solely devoted to selling custom parts for the Wrangler. The Jeep community grew and folks hopped on the bandwagon. And who wouldn’t? Just look at it. Read along as I attempt to objectively revaluate a vehicle I’ve been passionate about since the 4.0-liter inline-six was the engine of choice.

Continue reading for more information.

PostHeaderIcon Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon Hard Rock – Driven

Jeep is hardly the oldest automaker, but it’s arguably one of the most iconic. Its premier vehicle, the Wrangler, is slathered in blue-blooded Americana and glorified war history that transcends our continent and into every corner of the globe. Show anybody anywhere that seven-slotted grille and round headlights, and you’ll be rewarded with “Jeep!”

It’s no secret Jeep is completely revamping the Wrangler for 2018, giving it new life with more creature comforts and technology while not diluting any of its rugged off-road capabilities. But before that happens, we’re talking a close look at the current version, the Wrangler JK. It debuted in 2007 and has undergone relatively few changes. Jeep upgraded the interior in 2011 and swapped in the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 in 2012 to replace the lazy 3.8-liter V-6. Beyond that, Jeep has relied on special editions to keep the Wrangler fresh. But despite the on-paper stagnation, the Wrangler has exploded in popularity. Jeep went from selling 80,000 Wrangler TJs in 2006 to 202,702 Wrangler JKs in 2015. Much of that can likely be attributed to the Wrangler Unlimited, the four-door version of the two-door SUV. Families could finally justify a Wrangler for both commuting and weekend getaways. Then came the explosion in aftermarket support from companies solely devoted to selling custom parts for the Wrangler. The Jeep community grew and folks hopped on the bandwagon. And who wouldn’t? Just look at it. Read along as I attempt to objectively revaluate a vehicle I’ve been passionate about since the 4.0-liter inline-six was the engine of choice.

Continue reading for more information.

PostHeaderIcon 2017 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon: Highs & Lows

If ever there were a vehicle that could be described as “ionic,” the Jeep CJ/Wrangler would be it. It’s overall shape hasn’t changed much since the U.S. entered WWII in 1941, and neither has its off-road capability. The current version, the Wrangler JK, has been around a decade now, having debuted for the 2007 model year. By now you know Jeep is readying its replacement with the 2018 Wrangler JL – an SUV rumored to be far superior to the JK in nearly every way, both in on-road comfort and off-road ability. But before the last new JK rolls off its Ohio assembly line, I spent a week living with one of the most hard-core versions: the Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon Hard Rock.

Now, if you’ve been living under a rock and have to ask yourself what makes a Rubicon Hard Rock, take the time to read my explanation. For the rest of us, we can explore the Wrangler’s highs and low – its loveable characteristics and loathsome traits. The Jeep certainly has both, and you’d better be fully aware of each should you purchase one, much like the 191,774 customers did in the U.S. in 2016 alone. Of course, these are just my opinions, so feel free to tell me yours in the comments below.

Continue reading for more information.

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Jeep Wrangler To Debut At LA Auto Show

The upcoming and highly anticipated 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL will debut at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show in late November. That’s the official word from Jeep CEO Mike Manley, originating from an interview with Auto Express. What’s more, Manley confirmed the Wrangler will have a hybrid powertrain option, the details of which will be announced before the end of 2017. Thankfully, the Wrangler will still have the rugged looks and off-road capability of the current Wrangler JK we’ve come to love, but with healthy updates to both styling details and interior NVH.

“It’s definitely going to move the game along but you will absolutely know it’s a Wrangler – for sure! If we did anything that departed from the Wrangler formula I don’t think I’d be able to get out of the States,” said Manley, a native of Great Britain. It’s clear the next-generation Wrangler will have a familiar shape thanks to numerous spy shots of prototype vehicles seen scurrying around Detroit.
However, improvements to the Wrangler’s everyday livability will be a welcomed addition. “You’ll be really surprised how far we’ve been able to move things in terms of capability, fuel economy, ride comfort, noise and all of those things, said Mike Manley. “I’m very pleased with where it is.”

Continue reading for more information.

PostHeaderIcon Jeep Brand Worth More Than FCA, Report Suggests

There’s no question the Jeep Brand is doing extremely well. But, according to Adam Jonas, a Wall Street analyst with Morgan Stanley, Jeep is more valuable than the rest of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Jonas conducted a sum-of-the-parts analysis that concluded Jeep’s value is 120 percent of FCA’s $23.6-billion market capitalization. That’s a huge deal for a sub-brand of a global automaker. What’s more, Jonas estimates Jeep could account for nearly half of FCA’s total vehicle sales by 2018.

Of course, Jeep’s upcoming 2018 Wrangler JL and the Wrangler Pickup likely contribute to Jonas’ optimistic estimates, but even currently, Jeep has seen tremendous growth since 2009 when Fiat took control of Chrysler. CNBC reports Jeep sold 1.4 million vehicles worldwide in 2016, which is four times its sales volume in 2009. New models like the Renegade and Cherokee are undoubtedly contributing thanks to the boom in popularity for the crossover segment. However, Jeep’s success could mean big bucks for FCA and its shareholders if the brand is sold or spun off. FCA has already done this with Ferrari with great success. FCA’s market cap was listed between $15 and $16 billion before the Ferrari spin-off in late 2015, according to CNBC. Since then, FCA and Ferrari now have a combined market cap over $31 billion. When Jonas asked FCA boss Sergio Marchionne if he would consider spinning of the Jeep brand, Marchionne reportedly said, “yes.” However, no plans have been made public by FCA or its executives. What does this mean for Jeep? Keep reading for more.

Continue reading for more information.

PostHeaderIcon What Makes a Rubicon Hard Rock?

This week has a 2017 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon Hard Rock in my driveway. It’s a mouthful of a name, but its title is nothing compared to the laundry list of upgraded equipment bolted to this hard-core SUV. Things like rock rails, a heat-reduction hood, mud tires, and locking differentials just scratch the surface. As such, I wanted to take a deep dive into what constitutes a Rubicon trim – and the subsequent Hard Rock model – of the venerable Jeep Wrangler JK.

The current Jeep Wrangler, codenamed JK, has been around since 2007. The JK revolutionized the Wrangler with the addition of a four-door model called the Wrangler Unlimited. Since its introduction, the Wrangler JK has undergone minimal changes. An improved interior came for 2011 followed by the then-new 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 in 2012. Beyond that, only special edition models have kept the Wrangler fresh. Of course, Jeep is selling plenty of JKs, so there’s not much need to change. In fact, the Wrangler’s best year was 2015 when 202,702 Wranglers found homes in the U.S. alone. Jeep also sold 20,880 JKs in Canada that year, along with thousands more in markets around the world. But the JK’s days are numbered. Jeep is rolling out an all-new Wrangler for 2018, codenamed the JL. However, that doesn’t discount the awesomeness that is the current Wrangler Rubicon Hard Rock. Keep reading to find out why.

Continue reading for more information.

PostHeaderIcon Jeep Wrangler

The Jeep Wrangler has been an icon of American independence since 1941 when the U.S. Government commissioned a small, go-anywhere vehicle that could support troops heading into battle. It was the Willys Overland company that won the design, and with the help of the Ford Motor Company, built thousands of MB Jeeps. Fast forward to 2016 and the Jeep spirit lives on within the Wrangler. The current Wrangler, known as the JK, got its start in 2007. An interior refresh in 2012 followed by a welcomed powertrain update in 2013 has kept the JK fresh, with sales far exceeding any Jeep vehicle in the past. Much of that success is thanks to the Wrangler Unlimited – the four-door version of the SUV. With room for five, all the capability of the standard Wrangler JK, and an exploding aftermarket support system, the Wrangler took off. Jeep sold more than 202,000 Wranglers in 2015 alone – surpassing 2014’s quota by some 27,000 examples. In fact, Wrangler sales have consistently grown by roughly 20,000 units since 2011. What other vehicle can say the same?!

Nevertheless, the Wrangler JK’s run is coming to a close. Jeep’s parent company, FCA, is now burdened with the daunting task of creating a new Wrangler – something that appeals to the masses yet somehow stays true to its roots. The Jeep loyalists are a tough bunch to please, so the new generation of Wrangler has to excel at everything. It has to handle better, offer more creature comforts, and more in-dash technology, yet still be cleanable with a garden hose, inside and out. Rumors have been slowly surfacing, so we decided to piece together what we had. This original rendering is based on both hearsay and solid information from FCA brass. Take a look below for both front and rear renderings. This is our best estimate of what the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL will look like.

Continue reading to learn more about the Jeep Wrangler.


PostHeaderIcon 2019 Jeep Wrangler JT Pickup Rendered Using Inside Information

Jeep’s upcoming Wrangler-based pickup is attracting plenty of attention. It combines the go-anywhere capability of the Wrangler with the utility of a mid-size pickup truck. It’s shaping up to be a favorite among Jeep’s loyal following. That’s clearly evident by JLWrangler Forum’s latest rendering of the pickup, codenamed JT. And like the renderings of the upcoming Wrangler JL, these latest artist impressions are based on insider information, spy shots, and even a leaked image from Jeep of the final product.

JLWrangler Forum created two versions of the Wrangler pickup – both a four-door JTU and two-door JT. While both versions look amazing, we have not seen a two-door version being tested in the wild or heard news regarding its availability. Modern two-door pickups are generally relegated to fleets, with only a tiny percentage finding homes with typical consumers. As such, it’s hard to imagine Jeep building a two-door JT. Still, anything is possible at this stage. Jeep is expected to launch the next-generation Wrangler JL in the coming months, before it goes on sale for 2018. The JT pickup is expected a year after that, hitting dealerships for 2019.

Continue reading for a closer look at these detailed renderings.


PostHeaderIcon The 10 Most-American cars Built in 2017

Each year, the American University’s Kogod School of Business conducts a survey of the automotive industry. The D.C.-based school maps out the most American-made vehicles, regardless of their brand. Seven key criteria are used in determining the rankings, but it comes down to the percentage of American and Canadian parts used and location of the vehicles’ assembly, research and development, and corporate headquarters.

Though Kogod’s inclusive survey ranks every vehicle sold in the U.S., we’re focusing on the top 10. Much of the list hasn’t changed over 2016, but there are a few additions and missing models. An update in scoring for 2017 allows half-points for automakers (FCA, in particular) that have headquarters in multiple countries. As such, the Jeep Wrangler joins the list, despite the vehicle itself not changing. For a full explanation of the points system, check out Kogod’s website. To skip to the Top 10 most American vehicles, keep reading here on TopSpeed.com

Continue reading for the Top 10 Most American Built Vehicles.

PostHeaderIcon Jeep Wrangler Pickup

Surely you’ve heard the news that Jeep head-honcho Mike Manley confirmed a pickup version of the next-generation Jeep Wrangler during an interview at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show. Since then, we’ve been busy listening to rumors and developing sketches of what we envision the Jeep Pickup will look like. In the meantime, we had already created a rendering for the next-gen Wrangler SUV, so attaching the cargo bed to the Wrangler didn’t involve rocket science. The new Wrangler, presumed to be dubbed the JL, will likely debut for the 2018 model year. It’s highly likely Jeep will release the pickup version alongside the Wrangler SUV, as Manley confirmed the Wrangler pickup would be available before 2019. Both the Wrangler and Wrangler pickup will share the same chassis, drivetrain, interior, and most exterior parts, keeping costs down and maintaining the Wrangler image across both vehicles. The pickup will likely be available only as a crew cab, short bed configuration, built off the Wrangler Unlimited chassis.

Jeep will likely have to extend the Wrangler’s frame to accommodate the extra length needed for the bed. This means a longer, more stable Wrangler for on-road driving and trailer towing, but a slightly less maneuverable and (dare I say) capable Wrangler for off-roading adventures. It’s the break-over angle that will suffer the most, making the Wrangler pickup more vulnerable to high centering. As for the name, Jeep could resurrect the Scrambler name, a moniker that dates back to the CJ-8 of the 1980s. There’s also the Gladiator name, most recently seen on the Wrangler-based pickup [concept->mot169.html from 2005. Regardless of its name, the Wrangler pickup will be an exciting addition to the Jeep lineup. With that in mind, let’s dive into the speculated details.

Updated 5/26/2017: The upcoming Wrangler pickup was caught testing once again, this time with what appears to be an official bed. Check out the spy shots section below to see the latest pictures and to read more about it.


PostHeaderIcon Jeep Joining The Hybrid Bandwagon Is Proof That The Hybrid Revolution Is In Full Swing

Some automakers are synonyms with specific characteristics. Ferrari and Lamborghini are synonymous with Italian power and performance. Rolls-Royce and Bentley are quintessential marquees known for their opulence and luxury. Then there’s Jeep, which is known for its ruggedness and off-road capabilities. It figures then that when news first broke in 2015 that Jeep was going hybrid with some of its models, it was, to say the least, jarring to the senses. Fast forward to the 2017 Shanghai Auto Show and we finally get to see what a Jeep hybrid looks like in the form of the Yuntu, a three-row, seven-seater, full-sized SUV concept that’s laying the groundwork for a new era in the company’s long and illustrious history.

To be clear, there’s no official word yet from Jeep about the production prospects of the Yuntu Concept. There is, however, a strong possibility that we’re headed in that direction anyway. Remember, Jeep CEO Mike Manley has been a strong advocate of dipping the company in the hybrid market, most recently confirming at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show the arrival of a hybrid version of the Wrangler. The Yuntu, of course, is far different from the Wrangler, both in aesthetics and purpose. But the mere sight of the concept in Shanghai is an indication that the brand has a more elaborate hybrid plan that will involve numerous models receiving this specific powertrain. Just goes to show how brand images are now giving way to addressing the future of the auto industry.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.


PostHeaderIcon The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk Is Big And Dumb And Pointless And I Really Want To Drive It

In case you haven’t noticed, let me be the first to tell you – there’s some really weird things going on in the auto industry these days, especially when it comes to performance machines. Some of the fastest cars on the planet are hybrids (Ferrari LaFerrari, Porsche 918 Spyder and McLaren P1), and the all-electrics aren’t that far behind. But probably the weirdest trend of them all is the performance SUV craze. These are two terms that make for strange bedfellows – “performance,” as in going fast, and “SUV,” as in big and tall and heavy and utilitarian. These things shouldn’t go together, but go together they do thanks to cutting-edge engineering magic. Performance SUVs seem to flaunt their resistance to the laws of physics, and the latest entry in this segment (and perhaps one of the most celebrated) is the vaunted Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, a Hellcat-powered off-roader-turned-dragster that promises tire-shredding power and absurd speed potential in a tall-bodied package. It’s big, dumb, and completely pointless. And I really wanna drive it.

I’ll explain. When I first heard the rumors Jeep was fixing to stuff an SUV with Hellcat power, I was perplexed. I found the idea of a 700-horsepower SUV to be absurd and unnatural. If acceleration and speed is what you’re after, why go to the trouble of making it happen in a body style so out of line with that stated goal?

I still feel that way now, and probably always will. For the price of a Trackhawk, you could easily get two vehicles to fill the dual roles of speed-maker and utility hauler, each of which would do their respective duty better than a single Trackhawk ever could.

But that still doesn’t mean I don’t want to drive this thing.

Continue reading to see what I’m talking about.


PostHeaderIcon 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL to get SRT Demon Edition, Inside Source Says!

Jeep will build a 750+ horsepower Wrangler Unlimited with all the racing components found on the upcoming Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, including the supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V-8 and Drag Mode. The information comes directly from TopSpeed’s anonymous inside source that works closely with SRT projects. Best of all, the Jeep will be called the Demon Wrangler.

“Jeep is expanding its boundaries with the Grand Cherokee SRT Trackhawk, but some in the company though more was needed,” said our informant during a chat on the dark web. “The Wrangler is our hottest product, so we figured a track-focused edition would get plenty of traction – pun intended.”

The Demon Wrangler will use super wide, 315-series performance tires from Nitto, while its 4WD system is upgraded to a full-time AWD system with beefy components able to withstand hard launches. The interior is complete with a flat-bottom steering wheel, a five-point racing harness, and the Performance Pages on the new Uconnect system.

Under the hood, the Hemi V-8 will use the A/C to chill the liquid-to-air heat exchanger, just like the Challenger Demon. The transmission brake is also present, allowing the Demon Wrangler’s supercharger to reach full boost before launching.

Our inside source says official speed trials have not been completed, but preliminary runs show the Demon Wrangler hitting 60 mph in just 3.3 seconds and through the quarter-mile in 10.82 seconds at 125 mph – just a hair’s breath slower than the Challenger Demon due to wind resistance.

The insider was adamant these details are mythical, due in large part to a Jeep’s inability to wrangle demons. Happy April 1st, everybody.


PostHeaderIcon Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk with Hellcat Power to Debut at New York Auto Show

When Dodge blew the doors off the performance car market with the Dodge Challenger and Charger SRT Hellcat models, fanboys everywhere started begging for the 707-pony powerplant to be introduced into just about every model under FCA’s American brands that were worthy of such royalty. Seriously, it’s kind of ridiculous how badly the masses want Hellcat-powered machines. There were even rumors circulating at one time that there would be a Hellcat-powered Chrysler Pacifica – we even made a speculative review and a rendering just in case. That model just isn’t going to happen, of course, but a Hellcat-powered Grand Cherokee was confirmed back in 2016, and we’ve all be desperately waiting for it to make its first appearance. Now, if Motor Authority is to be believed, a “reliable source” has claimed that the Hellcat-powered Grand Cherokee Trackhawk will make its official debut at the New York Auto Show alongside the Challenger SRT Demon.

For now, official specs and details have been kept a complete secret. Some rumors indicate that the Trackhawk could be tuned to deliver even more power than the Challenger SRT Hellcat, but more than likely, it will get the same 6.2-liter V-8 with 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. The Trackhawk will have an all-wheel-drive setup which could, in theory, make it even quicker off the line than the other Hellcat models on the market right now. Then again, to ease strain on the AWD system, Jeep could very well slim down at least first and second gear to help balance things out for reliability reasons.

As far as actual performance goes, the Trackhawk should be one hell of a monster. Considering the brand-new Dodge Durango SRT and its 475-horsepower, Hemi, V-8 can hit 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and run the quarter-mile in 12 seconds; the Trackhawk should be able to topple that hands down. Expected 60 mph to come in as quickly as four seconds flat and the potential for a quarter mile run to come in the high-ten-second range. Now, that’s one fast SUV right there, don’t you think?

Continue reading for the full story.


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