New Video Shows YouTuber Driving 707 Horsepower Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk
It's worth mentioning that this is the first Hellcat-powered right-hand-drive vehicle we have seen.
There has understandably been a lot of buzz around the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk since Fiat-Chrysler acknowledged its existence over six months ago. Many people were skeptical about having a factory SUV put 707 horsepower to the ground through an all-wheel-drive system, but Jeep has proven it is possible. In fact, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk reportedly flies to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and can complete the quarter mile in just 11.6 seconds. Both numbers are just slightly below the Dodge Challenger and Charger Hellcats.
Up until recently, no one outside the FCA family has had the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. However, in a video posted by Youtube channel Sinister Life, we can see a "civy" taking a crack at the high-performance SUV. For whatever reason, the pre-production vehicle being tested in a right hand drive configuration, which is certainly peculiar since Hellcats are not sold overseas (but the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is).
Unfortunately, we do not get a lot of information from Sinister Life other than the Trackhawk allegedly has a lot of torque steer. This shouldn't be too surprising since approximately 282 horsepower is directed to the front wheels during normal driving conditions. Regardless of how you distribute the power, 707 horsepower will make you work a little to keep the wheel straight.
In order to obtain optimal performance, FCA has installed three drive modes for the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk cleverly called Normal, Sport and Winter. When the performance SUV is in Normal, the power distribution is 40 percent front and 60 percent rear. If the driver opts for a sportier feel, they can set the Trackhawk to Sport mode and reconfigure the power distribution to 30 percent front, 70 percent rear. Finally, Winter mode will provide equal power to all four wheels for reduced slippage.
As you may notice, the Youtuber also appears to have difficulty shifting the Trackhawk on several occasions. This may be because of a slightly different paddle shifting configuration from other Hellcats, or FCA is still fine-tuning the shift patterns. You can hear the FCA employee in the passenger seat discussing the fact that they're still in the process of testing everything.
The real question is why did this FCA engineer allow Sinister Life to get behind the wheel of the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk? If you look at Sinister Life's YouTube account, you can see he is a current Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat owner and many of his videos feature FCA products (SRT in particular). It's possible FCA wanted to leak some performance clips through his channel as an unofficial preview, or maybe that engineer just had a brief lapse in judgement.
Whatever the case may be, it is bizarre an FCA employee let a member of the media (loose term here) not only film the Trackhawk driving but get behind the wheel. It is also worth noting that this is still a pre-production Trackhawk, and all vehicle stats and impressions should be taken with a grain of salt.