• Apr 21, 2011
2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 – Click above for high-res image gallery

At the 2011 New York Auto Show, we asked Joseph Grace, vehicle line executive for the SRT line, about the specs on the new 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 – specifically, why didn't they make it... more. The previous Grand Cherokee SRT8 was said to reach 60 miles per hour "in under five seconds" while the new one is pegged at 4.8 seconds. While that's an improvement of, at most, one-nineteenth of a second, it puts it right about square with the Mercedes ML63 AMG and at least three-tenths of a second adrift of the BMW X5 M.

But Grace said that wasn't really the point. "The major issues customers had that we wanted to address," he said, "were the ride, the exhaust, and fuel economy and range." This wasn't about making a faster SUV, it was about filling in the gaps of the previous model.

The center-mounted exhaust was swapped for dual pipes at the corners. The engine technologies - "it's the first time we've coupled all-out performance with cylinder deactivation and active exhaust," Grace said - have yielded better gas mileage and longer range.

The adaptive ride suspension developed in conjunction with Bilstein addresses the handling issues with five settings. On the matter of having a Track setting in such serious tonnage, Grace said "It was an application we had available with the adaptive damping." It shunts a little more torque to the rear wheels, going to a 60/40 front-to-rear split instead of 65/35, but Grace says "The track setting will keep the tires on the ground and makes [the ride] stiff but it can still be used on the road."
As for those German rivals, Grace said "We haven't announced pricing, but in comparison to the others it will be a benchmark in performance-for-value in a super-equipped vehicle."


2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 at the 2011 New York Auto Show 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 at the 2011 New York Auto Show 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 at the 2011 New York Auto Show 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 at the 2011 New York Auto Show 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 at the 2011 New York Auto Show 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 at the 2011 New York Auto Show 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 grille at the 2011 New York Auto Show 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 LED lights at the 2011 New York Auto Show 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 LED lights at the 2011 New York Auto Show 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 wheel at the 2011 New York Auto Show 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 Brembo brakes at the 2011 New York Auto Show 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 Hemi V8 engine at the 2011 New York Auto Show 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 Hemi V8 engine at the 2011 New York Auto Show 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 valve cover at the 2011 New York Auto Show 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 valve cover at the 2011 New York Auto Show 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 interior at the 2011 New York Auto Show 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 steering wheel at the 2011 New York Auto Show 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 seats at the 2011 New York Auto Show 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 steering wheel at the 2011 New York Auto Show 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 infotainment and climate controls at the 2011 New York Auto Show 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 infotainment and climate controls at the 2011 New York Auto Show 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 dashboard at the 2011 New York Auto Show 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 shifter at the 2011 New York Auto Show 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 drive mode select at the 2011 New York Auto Show 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 rear cargo area at the 2011 New York Auto Show

Live photos copyright ©2011 Drew Phillips / AOL


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 74 Comments
      Jerry Barrax
      • 3 Years Ago
      Good for them. Better build quality is what's going to save Chrysler in the long run.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jerry Barrax
        [blocked]
      rodaderozt
      • 3 Years Ago
      Nice looking jeep.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        rmt_1
        • 3 Years Ago
        You're completely right; someone should have proof-read this article a bit more carefully because it just doesn't make sense as it stands now.
      casjane1
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm on my second Jeep G. C. I loved my first one but I wrecked it. It went through a lot in that wreck, totaled it but it kept me safe. It was a tough little thing. Broke my heart when I lost it. After having a jeep I don't want anything else because nothing measures up. I'm old, jobless and broke now but wish I could afford to get a new one. I'm in love with Jeep.
      phouto
      • 3 Years Ago
      The new Grand Cherokee is a great vehicle. It's great to see Fiat let the Jeep engineers and designers have their way with the brand and let them fix all of the problems that Diamler created with it. It will take a few years to fix all of the problems created by Dr. Z, but Fiat is on the Jeep path.
      TruthHertz
      • 3 Years Ago
      Call me slow, but the people that can afford to pay for this car and simultaneously pay for $4+ for a gallon of premium, would probably pay just a little more to own a MB, Porsche, or BMW. Just sayin' At the end of the day you get to say you drive a Jeep...
        Tall Tex
        • 3 Years Ago
        @TruthHertz
        Not sure about that. Assuming this will come in around $50-55k, that would be a stripper base V8 model or modestly optioned V6 of the MB or BMW rivals. Would I love an M63 or X5M, sure they would be a blast, but not sure I could justify the $40k difference in price to get one. For me the badge is not worth that kind of money, but I am sure there are some people that it is.
        kevin
        • 3 Years Ago
        @TruthHertz
        You apparently have never been able to say I own a Jeep have you? You'd prefer a vehicle that costs twice as much to repair and the revenue of which goes to another nation's economy? Why don't you go do yourself a favor and go buy a Jeep, and then try to say I drive a jeep. I can go through the rivers, over the mountains to get to where ever I want to go, and I've pulled out many a foreign vehicles from, well you name it, with my little old jeep. Next time your vehicle's stuck somewhere and a Jeep passes you by mull it over...
      jimbo
      • 3 Years Ago
      So Jeep took there most bad ass truck..... and watered it down? They made the engine more practical....ie fuel efficient. They tweaked the suspension, and i'd guess opting or a softer side. And lastly they messed around with the exhaust......I love hearing my neighbor roar past in his previous gen SRT8 Jeep, its loud and aggressive, and I don't think anyone can wring more hell from those pipes, so I'm guessing they softened that up too. While just an assumption, a truly bad ass truck is suppose to be fast, and nothing more,and this appears to have all the wrong changes for a truck like this!
        yesaninsider
        • 3 Years Ago
        @jimbo
        I think your comment, Jimbo, can be summed up pretty well w/one of your words - ASSUMPTION I'm not sure why you assume SRT softened the suspension (they didn't, it's now adjustable to 5 different settings and with 295 pirelli's on all 4 corners it WILL/DOES outhandle the prev gen SRT GC). On the stiffest/track setting it will about rattle your fillings loose but you can pull .9 - .95g. By being able to adjust the suspension, the SRT team DIDN'T have to make the compromise between handling/comfort because the user can adjust suspension firmness on their own. Also your comment that they 'messed around with the exhaust' as if to make it more lame...yea you're just plain wrong again! Exhaust was re-tuned & has small spring-loaded blades that open & close based on exhaust flow (to prevent drone when in 4-cyl mode and flow openly under load). Recall that the prev-gen SRT did NOT have MDS. More "wrong changes" - electronically controlled rear differential to optimize torque distribution and limit tire spin...as I indicated earlier, also comes w/4 truly performance-oriented Z rated tires (295s all-around make this one intimidating beast in person). Oh not to mention that the fact this version makes more power, gets better fuel economy (well slightly lol) and it goes further between fill-ups...AND TOWS MORE than the outgoing version!! So excuse me but perhaps you can explain how exactly one interprets all of these updates as "all the wrong changes for a truck like this!". Moral of the story Jimbo, when you spout speculative BS, sometimes the people whom actually know the truth might be watching and might just chime in with FACTS ;)
        • 3 Years Ago
        @jimbo
        [blocked]
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        TruthHertz
        • 3 Years Ago
        Yeah considering that the SRT-8 Challenger can barely keep up with a GT Mustang... While this may be exciting, it's a niche product and it's far from saving Chrysler, and it's far from ever making Chrysler outsell Ford. Look at the "By the Numbers" posts and see if this has any affect over the next couple months. My crystal ball says nay.
      leman333
      • 3 Years Ago
      I have a 2008 Commander and I think the new Jeep is "The Bomb!" I may be heading towards the dealership in September!!
        usmc32yr
        • 3 Years Ago
        @leman333
        Don't count on it you are so upside down in that thing it will be worth zero the day it's paid off .....Don't tell me you paid cash because anyone with any money wouldn't buy a Chrysler product .....Lets see, who owns Chrysler this week ? LMAO
          Ron & Dolores
          • 3 Years Ago
          @usmc32yr
          your an idiot, they make the best vehicles on the road now
        • 3 Years Ago
        @leman333
        [blocked]
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      ironmikemiata
      • 3 Years Ago
      My last trip to detroit 50,000 of the unsold Jeep Grand Cherokee SR 8 went into the CRUSHER because no one was willing to pay the rediculous high price or feeding it's high thirst for fuel
        vlady1000
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ironmikemiata
        Your full of it. Do you just say what ever comes in your mind?
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Tall Tex
        • 3 Years Ago
        I understand the supply issue with ZF but on the other hand, does it give Chrysler an opportunity to take the Ford like approach? Intro a new model and mid-cycle give it some new powertrain goodies.
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