The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee – the pride and joy of Chrysler at the moment – is just now hitting dealerships, but the automaker is already hard at work on a high-powered SRT-fettled version of its new sport 'ute. In the past, the Grand Cherokee SRT8 has always been a guilty pleasure of ours, if only for the rocket-like 6.1-liter Hemi V8 underhood.

Good news then that Chrysler is prepping an all new 6.4-liter Hemi for use in its SRT products, and we're anxious to see how this new engine works in the Grand Cherokee application, which seems likely to hit as a 2012 model.

Early reports suggested that it could be good for around 450 horsepower, but spy photographers are saying that we could see over 500 raging stallions coming out of this new monster mill. This means the new Grand Cherokee SRT8 could rip off 0-60 times in under five seconds, and we might have a truly worthy American competitor for the Porsche Cayenne Turbo, AMG-badged Mercedes-Benz ML and BMW X5 M. Here's hoping.

[Source: Left Lane News]