Two Jeeps, One Auto Show: Grand Cherokee SRT Night and Wrangler Backcountry
They’re paint jobs, sure. But they’re paint jobs on Jeeps. And in L.A. Automatically cool.
What you’re seeing is a preview to the Hellcat-powered Jeep Grand Cherokee. That 707-horsepower, four-wheel drive kitty, tentatively named Trackhawk, will indeed come to Jeep dealers next summer. It will then, presumably, kill every single production SUV record like dogs in the street. We cannot wait.
In the meantime, have a 2016 SRT Night, which Jeep just unveiled at the L.A. Auto Show. Like the Dodge Charger Scat Pack, the 475-hp Grand Cherokee SRT is plenty extreme; this special edition that turns up the badass just a tad more. The Night blacks out the grille, roof and all chrome trim, including the Jeep badges. The optional new 20-inch black wheels can barely contain the red Brembo brake calipers. Inside, it’s black leather with silver stitching and a few pieces of polished black chrome trim. This is a stiff-riding truck with hardly any rebound. Take care if you dare commute.
On opposite extreme is the 2016 Wrangler Backcountry, another decal-and-paint special based on the Wrangler Sahara. This Xtreme Purple color is exclusive to the Backcountry, although four other colors are available. Random black and red marks dress the front left fender and rear right quarter panel. They don’t make any sense, but we can get behind the black 17-inch wheels, powder-coated off-road bumpers and seats upholstered in gray stitched leather and gym shorts mesh. A few dollops of polished black plastic trim and all-weather floor mats complete the look.
The Backcountry is a silly thing for the always rabid, special-edition-crazed Jeep fanbase. And that’s fine. Our take? Needs more Hellcat.