2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee – Click above for high-res image gallery

We're expecting awfully big things from the new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, which is rumored to begin initial production early next month. This will be the first totally new design to roll out of Chrysler's design and engineering departments since America's number three automaker was bailed out by the federal government and Italy's Fiat, so it had better be good.

And if a new Pentastar 3.6-liter V6 is good and the expected 5.7-liter Hemi V8 is better... well then, a suitably enlarged 6.4-liter version of the well-liked Hemi would be best of all, right? According to the Car and Driver crew, just such a beastie is currently in development, though Chrysler is reportedly neither confirming nor denying its existence in the product pipeline.

If true, C/D's currently imaginary Grand Cherokee SRT8 would get an unadulterated and naturally aspirated power figure that's well over 500 horsepower and possibly a tad more than the BMW X5 M's towering 555-horse rating. Rumor has it that Jeep wants its SRT8 to be the quickest SUV on the market, which would mean besting the aforementioned German's 4.0-second run to 60.

Also on the menu would likely be fully adjustable air suspension to keep things planted when the going gets twisty and an appropriate steroidal injection to the standard 2011 Grand Cherokee's already attractive sheetmetal. If it's indeed coming to market – and we have reason to believe that it will – we wouldn't expect to see the GC SRT8 before 2012 at the earliest.

[Source: Car and Driver]

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