A Jeep Grand Cherokee that's electronically limited to 155 miles per hour? A Jeep (JEEP!) that runs from 0-60 miles per hour in 4.8 seconds? We must be talking about the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8. No longer stuck drooling on our computers, we have finally had the chance to drool on its deep red paint in the flesh here at the New York Auto Show.
Jeep President and CEO Mike Manley had said he would have a hard time keeping a smile off his face when the SRT8 comes out. His glowing praise of the super-sport utility vehicle is to be expected. However, it's hard to argue with the numbers and the smiles on our own faces after seeing the thing. Under the hood sits a new 6.4-liter Hemi V8, which produces 465-horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque. That's an improvement of 45 units in both categories.
Compared to the standard Grand Cherokee, the SRT8 wears a host of sporty exterior upgrades. Glowing LED lights and chrome accents pop in the front fascia. Under the bulging fenders sit a set of somewhat fussy 20-inch wheels wrapped with sticky Pirelli P Zero run flat tires while, out back, the massive four-inch exhaust tips promise a menacing bark.
Sports-car inspired touches continue inside the 2012 Grand Cherokee SRT8. Paddle-shifters sitting on the steering column help the driver gain an extra ounce of control. That driver will be held in place thanks to the leather and Alcantara-covered seats. Sitting between the speedometer and tach is the Performance Pages display, which is an invitation to constantly try to set new "high scores."
The 2012 Grand Cherokee SRT8 is the fastest Jeep ever produced. Mr. Manley cited that, though the top speed is limited to 155 mph, "you may know somebody...". We hope that we'll get to know this SRT8 real soon. High-res gallery below, press release waiting after the jump.
Live photos copyright ©2011 Drew Phillips / AOL
• Offers unique blend of legendary Jeep® capability and utility, head-turning SRT performance, luxury and refinement, and innovative advanced technologies
• Best performing Jeep® vehicle ever: 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds; quarter mile in
mid-13 second range; top speed of 155 mph; 60-0 mph braking in 116 feet
• Most powerful Jeep vehicle ever with all-new 6.4-liter HEMI® V-8 that delivers an estimated 465 horsepower and 465 lb.-ft. of torque
• Best handling Jeep vehicle ever features advanced new adaptive damping suspension managed by new Selec-Track system, delivering up to .90 g on the skid pad
• New active valve exhaust system allows standard Fuel Saver Technology to engage over a wider rpm range for an estimated 13-percent improvement in highway fuel efficiency and 450-mile range
• Standard steering wheel mounted paddle shifters allow spirited shifting on the road
• Available in Jeep showrooms in third quarter 2011
The most powerful, technologically advanced, high-performance Jeep® vehicle ever – the all-new 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8® – arrives this summer with a combination of Jeep's legendary capability and utility, merged with the renowned advanced performance engineering from Chrysler Group LLC's Street and Racing Technology (SRT) team.
Delivering outstanding driving performance in all conditions, and complemented by key SRT attributes – including functional, performance-oriented styling, world-class ride and handling, benchmark braking and race-inspired interior appointments – the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 broadens the Jeep vehicle lineup and builds upon the successful launch of the award-winning 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
"The all-new 2012 Grand Cherokee SRT8 is the ultimate performance SUV, delivering a combination of Jeep capability and utility, world-class performance, luxury and refinement, and advanced innovative technology," said Mike Manley, President and CEO - Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. "Jeep vehicles have long been known for their off-road capability. In addition to Jeep four-wheel-drive traction and utility, the Grand Cherokee SRT8 takes capability to a new level by giving driving enthusiasts extreme performance for the street and track.
"Our new benchmark performance SUV effectively broadens the Grand Cherokee portfolio, and will continue to draw new customers into Jeep showrooms," Manley added.
Designed and built using the proven SRT formula that raises the performance to astonishing levels, the new 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 runs from 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds, 0-100-0 mph in the mid-16 second range, can cover the quarter mile in the mid-13 second range, has a top speed of 155 mph, and brakes from 60-0 mph in 116 feet.
Owners of any Chrysler Group SRT vehicle receive one day of professional driving instruction from the Richard Petty Racing School as part of the SRT Track Experience, designed to maximize their driving knowledge and skills on the street or track. Sessions are held throughout the year at selected tracks.
Powering the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 is Chrysler Group's all-new 6.4-liter HEMI® V-8 with Fuel Saver Technology that delivers an estimated 465 horsepower and 465 lb.-ft. of torque – an improvement of 45 horsepower and 45 lb.-ft. torque over the 6.1-liter HEMI V-8 it replaces.
An active intake manifold and high-lift camshaft with cam phasing delivers maximum low-end torque while optimizing high-end power across a wider and improved rpm band. Specifically,
90-percent of peak torque is available between 2,800 and 6,000 rpm, allowing for inspired standing starts and improved straight-line performance.
Standard Fuel Saver Technology and a new-for-2012 active valve exhaust system allows four-cylinder operation to engage over a wider rpm range, to deliver both improved fuel efficiency – an estimated 13-percent increase on the highway – and an extended range of approximately 450 miles on one tank of gas.
Standard steering wheel mounted paddle shifters join the standard AutoStick on the floor. Both are mated to a proven automatic transmission, allowing a choice of spirited shifting on the road and the race track. Both methods give the driver the ability to shift while the transmission controller calibration prevents situations that might over rev the engine. Fully adaptive electronic control of all shifting makes the powertrain more responsive while minimizing harshness.
Outstanding ride, handling and capability
For 2011, all Jeep Grand Cherokee models boast an improved and refined on-road ride thanks in part to the vehicle's body structure. Torsional stiffness was improved 146 percent versus the previous model, for improved ride, durability and reduced noise, vibration and harshness. The improvement is achieved with more than 5,400 welds in the body alone, marking a 53-percent increase in spot welds, a 42-percent increase in arc welds and a 38-percent increase in structural adhesive.
With the new 2012 Grand Cherokee SRT8, engineers have improved handling even further.
The best handling Jeep vehicle ever – capable of .90 g on the skid pad – features a new SRT-tuned, adaptive damping suspension managed by the new Jeep Selec-Track system that interacts with several different systems (stability control, adaptive damping, transmission shift strategy, transfer case torque proportioning, Electronic Limited Slip Differential performance, throttle control and cylinder de-activation) to automatically tune the dynamics of the vehicle. Drivers can manually choose between five dynamic modes for specific driving conditions:
• Auto: provides the most compliant ride and automatically adapts to any road situation using the adaptive suspension tuning
• Sport: provides enhanced body control for a sporty, fun-to-drive ride for the street
• Tow: provides a safe reduction in pitch and bounce for enhanced towing capability
• Track: provides the high-performance, firm, "track-tuned" suspension option to lock down body motion for the ultimate handling experience
• Snow: provides the most conservative dynamic mode, so the vehicle will safely stay
in-line in inclement winter weather conditions
The standard Jeep Quadra-Trac active on-demand four-wheel-drive transfer case uses input from a variety of sensors in order to determine tire slip at the earliest possible moment and take corrective action. The system uses Throttle Anticipate to sense quick movement in the throttle from a stop and maximizes traction before slippage occurs. When tire slippage is detected, the Jeep 4x4 system can transfer up to 100 percent of available torque to one rear wheel.
The transfer case also enhances handling by proportioning torque between the front and rear axles to maintain the driver's intended path. The new Grand Cherokee SRT8 also features an Electronic Limited Slip Differential that eliminates rear wheel slip and improves handling.
The performance-tuned, fully-hydraulic steering system is improved with a new, heavy-duty pump and pump cooler. Revised gearing gives drivers more direct feel and on-center response.
New split 5-spoke, 20-inch forged aluminum wheels ride on P295/45ZR20 Pirelli PZero run-flat tires (standard All-season or available Three-season).
Rounding out the capability of the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 is a trailer tow rating of 5,000 lbs.
Chrysler Group's SRT vehicles are well known for their world-class braking. Stopping power for the 2012 Grand Cherokee SRT8 comes courtesy of new SRT high-performance Brembo brakes with four-wheel anti-lock brake system (ABS).
Stopping distance performance of 116 feet from 60-0 mph is made possible by new red-painted, Brembo 6-piston (front) and 4-piston (rear) calipers, and vented rotors at all four corners measuring 15-inches (front) and 13.8-inches (rear).
Aggressive and functional exterior
The functional performance exterior of the 2012 Grand Cherokee SRT8 features the "planted" look of a high-performance sports car by being lowered 1 inch and adding new, SRT-exclusive, body-color wheel flares and side sill cladding.
A one-piece front fascia contains new LED multi-function daytime running lamps that result in an exclusive face for the new Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8, while a body-colored front grille with a unique black screen background and chrome bezel inserts adds to the aggressive look.
The integrated lower front grille is painted in gloss black and a newly designed underbody belly pan features integrated brake ducting to improve cooling and fade performance. Completing the new front end is a newly sculpted hood with functional dual black heat extractors for added engine cooling.
At the rear, the SRT performance influence continues with a new liftgate spoiler that reduces drag and improves downforce. A unique one-piece rear fascia includes a separate air diffuser along with an available trailer receiver and access cover. New for the 2012 version of the Grand Cherokee SRT8 is the dual-sport exhaust system featuring 4-inch exhaust tips.
Race-inspired and functional interior
The 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee's refined, luxurious interior takes on a performance feel in SRT8 form with race-inspired technology and SRT-exclusive appointments.
An all-new, leather-wrapped, heated steering wheel features a unique rim section with a flattened bottom surface – evoking a race-inspired cockpit – that showcases the SRT logo. Standard paddle-shift controls flank both sides of the new contoured palm rests while all audio and Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) controls are accessible from the horizontal spokes on the steering wheel. A power tilt and telescoping steering column also is standard.
SRT-exclusive Performance Pages are new for 2012 and show instant feedback on steering input measurements, horsepower, torque, 0-60 mph time, 60-0 mph braking distance, g-forces, and one-eighth mile and quarter-mile times, along with expanded engine information.
New SRT-styled Nappa leather and suede seats, with sculpted bolsters and adjustable headrests, provide all the comfort for daily drives – and "grip" to keep the driver and passengers in place during spirited driving. The embroidered SRT logos and contrast stitching accent the two front seats. Heated (front and rear) and ventilated (front) seats are standard.
Carbon fiber accents are integrated into the instrument panel and door trim panels and new bright, racing style brake and pedal pads add to the high-performance look inside the cabin.
An available CommandView® dual-pane sun roof provides twice as much glass surface than a standard sun roof and extends from the windshield to the rear of the vehicle.
The available Luxury Group package adds premium leather to the door trim panels, instrument panel and center console along with a power liftgate, adaptive cruise control, Forward Collision Warning and Blind-spot Monitoring.
Safety and security
Already a recipient of the 2011 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) 'Top Safety Pick' for the volume Grand Cherokee models, the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 offers consumers 45 safety and security features including:
• Active head restraints: Deploy in the event of a rear collision. Restraints are designed to reduce injuries by minimizing the gap between the head restraint and the passenger's head
• Active turn signals: Turn signal flashes three times when stalk is depressed for one second to indicate a lane change
• Adaptive cruise control (ACC): The system decreases the vehicle's pre-set cruise-control speed when closing in on another vehicle in the same lane, or when another vehicle pulls into the same lane. The system will accelerate to the pre-set speed when the vehicle in front speeds up or moves into another lane. ACC will maintain a driver adjustable distance between the vehicle and the one in front of it, allowing the use of cruise control in light traffic without having to continuously adjust settings
• Advanced multi-stage air bags: Inflates with a force appropriate to the severity of the impact Meets FMVSS 208 advanced air bag requirements for smaller, out-of-position occupants
• Anti-lock brake system (ABS): Senses and prevents wheel lockup, offering improved steering control under extreme braking and/or slippery conditions
• Anti-lock brake system with rough-road detection: Anti-lock brake system capable of detecting if the vehicle is driving on a rough road by the oscillations in the wheel speed signals. When rough road is detected on off-road surfaces or trails, ABS enters a different pressure control where it will hold the brake pressure for longer pulses
• BeltAlert: Activates a chime and/or illuminates an icon in the instrument cluster to remind the driver and front passenger to buckle up if a vehicle is driven without belted front-seat occupants
• Blind-spot Monitoring (BSM): Uses dual ultra-wideband radar sensors to aid the driver when changing lanes, or if being passed by or passing unseen vehicles. The system notifies the driver of vehicle(s) in their blind spot via illuminated icons on the sideview mirror and with a driver-selected audible chime
• Brake Assist: In an emergency brake situation, the system applies maximum braking power, minimizing the stopping distance
• Brake Override: When a disagreement exists between the throttle and the brake, the brake signal causes the engine controller to reduce engine power, allowing the operator to stop the car
• Brake-traction control system (BTCS): Helps to keep driving wheels from spinning
during acceleration from a stop or during slow speeds by applying individual brakes to the slipping wheel(s)
• Child seat anchor system: LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) is designed to ease installation of compatible aftermarket child seats
• Constant-force Retractors (CFR): Regulates the force exerted on the occupant by the seat belt, and then gradually releases seat-belt webbing in a controlled manner
• Electronic roll mitigation (ERM): An extension of electronic stability control (ESC). Uses input from ESC sensors to anticipate if the vehicle is at risk of entering a potential roll situation, then applies the brakes individually and modulates the throttle position as needed
• Electronic stability control (ESC): Enhances driver control and helps maintain directional stability under all conditions. Provides the benefit in critical driving situations such as turns, and is valuable when driving on mixed surface conditions including snow, ice or gravel. If there is a discernible difference between driver input through the steering wheel and the vehicle's path, ESC applies selective braking and throttle input to guide the vehicle back on to the driver's intended path
• Energy-absorbing steering column: The power-adjust steering column employs a calibrated bending element that deforms during column stroke for optimal energy management
• Enhanced Accident Response System (EARS): Makes it easier for emergency personnel to see and reach occupants in the event of an accident by turning on the interior lighting and unlocking doors after air bag deployment. Also shuts off flow of fuel to the engine
• Express Up/Down Windows: One-touch powered express up/down window button located on the front driver and passenger-side door
• Forward Collision Warning (FCW): Using forward-facing radar sensors, this system detects when the vehicle may be approaching another vehicle too rapidly and alerts the driver so the driver can determine what action must be taken in order to prevent the vehicle from a collision
• High-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps: Provide approximately three times the light output of conventional reflector lamps for improved nighttime illumination
• Hill-start Assist (HSA): Assists drivers when starting a vehicle from a stop on a hill by maintaining the level of brake pressure applied for a short period of time after a driver's foot is removed from the brake pedal. If throttle is not applied within a short period of time after the driver's foot is removed from the brake pedal, brake pressure will be released
• Keyless Enter-N-Go: When an individual enters the vehicle, electronic sensors detect if the vehicle key fob is present. The vehicle will then allow the individual to push a button to start the vehicle without having to insert the key into the ignition
• Knee bolsters: The lower instrument panel and the glove-box door are designed to properly position the occupant during impact, enabling air bags to work effectively
• Navigation system: Voice-activated navigation system available with real-time traffic to provide precise guidance to destination through the use of global positioning system (GPS) satellite technology
• ParkSense® rear park assist system: Assists at low speeds in reverse to detect stationary objects. Consists of audible warnings for the driver and has a display in the Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) integrated into the instrument cluster
• ParkView® rear back-up camera: Provides a wide-angle view of the area immediately behind the vehicle, giving the driver greater peace of mind before reversing at low speeds. Contains grid line to aid the driver when maneuvering into parking spaces or narrow areas. Also aids in lining up a trailer to the vehicle's trailer hitch, when so equipped. The image is displayed on the navigation screen when the transmission is shifted into Reverse
• Power tilt-and-telescoping steering column with memory: Allows steering column to tilt and move toward or away from the driver to achieve a safe and comfortable distance from the advanced multi-stage front driver air bag, if deployed
• Rain Brake Support: Uses the ESC pump to occasionally push brake pads lightly against brake rotors in rainy conditions in order to keep rotors dry
• Rain-sensing wipers: A driver convenience feature that automatically senses moisture on the windshield and activates wipers
• Ready Alert Braking: Anticipates situations when the driver may initiate an emergency brake stop and uses the ESC pump to set brake pads against rotors in order to decrease the time required for full brake application
• Rear Cross Path (RCP): In parking lot situations, this system warns drivers backing out of parking spaces of traffic moving toward their vehicle. It activates any time the vehicle is in Reverse. The driver is notified of vehicle(s) crossing behind the vehicle via illuminated icons on the sideview mirror and with a driver-selected audible chime
• Remote (fob) operated windows (front windows - down only): Enable an individual to cool down the vehicle passively by opening front windows remotely
• Remote keyless entry: Locks and unlocks doors and turns on interior lamps. If the vehicle is equipped with a security alarm, the remote also arms and disarms that system
• Remote start: Conveniently starts the engine and activates key comfort settings based on ambient conditions by using the key fob while maintaining vehicle security
• Rollover crash sensing: Senses a rollover and deploys seat belt pretensioners and/or standard full-length side-curtain air bags as needed
• Seat belt pretensioners: During a collision, impact sensors initiate front seat belt pretensioners to remove slack in the seat belt system, thereby reducing the forward movement of the occupant's head and torso
• Sentry Key® engine Immobilizer: Utilizes an engine key that has an embedded transponder with a preprogrammed security code to discourage vehicle theft. When the key is inserted into the ignition, the controller sends a random number to the transponder and the engine is allowed to start. If an incorrect key is used, the engine will shut off after a few seconds
• Signal mirrors: Signal lamp built into the housing of exterior mirrors allows turn signals to be viewed from the front, as well as the sides and rear of the vehicle in order to alert oncoming traffic and pedestrians
• SmartBeam® headlamps: Headlamp system adjusts to ambient light and oncoming traffic to deliver maximum lighting
• Standard full-length side-curtain air bags: Extend protection to all outboard front- and rear-seat passengers. Each side air bag has its own impact sensor that autonomously triggers the air bag on the side where an impact occurs. This type of air bag is housed in the headliner just above side windows
• Standard seat-mounted side thorax air bags: Provide enhanced protection to the
driver and front outboard passenger in certain impacts. Each side air bag has its own impact sensor that autonomously triggers the air bag on the side where an impact occurs. Standard side air bags are housed within the outboard side of each front seat
• Three-point seat belts: Front outboard seating positions and all rear seating positions have lap and shoulder belts
• Tire-pressure monitoring (TPM): Informs driver when tire pressure is too low. Pressure-sensor modules within the valve stems of all four road wheels send continuous radio-frequency signals to a receiver and the system
• Trailer-sway control (TSC): Reduces trailer sway and improves handling in adverse towing conditions caused by crosswinds and traffic. The system monitors the vehicle's movement relative to the driver's intended path, then applies alternating brake pressure to slow the vehicle and then increases the pressure on one front wheel in order to counteract the sway induced by the trailer
• Uconnect® Phone: In-vehicle, voice-activated communication system that allows customers to talk on their Bluetooth compatible phone with your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. The built-in phonebook sync feature automatically downloads as many as 1,000 phone book entries from supported phones, which can then be selected by simply saying contact name
Connectivity and Infotainment
New for 2012 is the available 825-watt, 19-speaker premium SRT performance audio surround-sound system from Harman Kardon® that includes a 10-inch subwoofer for the ultimate in sound quality.
A wide variety of easy-to-use infotainment options are available with features that provide customers with seamless integration of consumer electronics, delivering drivers and passengers the conveniences of home and office.
Garmin Navigation and SIRIUS Travel Link are standard with the 430N AM/FM/CD/DVD radio. Also standard are a multitude of features including SIRIUS Satellite Radio and Uconnect Phone.
The available Vehicle Entertainment System (VES) includes a DVD player and rear seat overhead screen that deliver a variety of programming choices, with ports to connect games and media players with audio and video output capability, including iPod® connectivity. The Media Center or the VES remote can control multiple screen inputs and each screen can play something different.