The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Trackhawk is the most powerful and highest-performing SUV on the planet right now. The Hellcat-powered street machine can scram from a standstill to 60 miles per hour in a mere 3.5 seconds, all the way to a 11.6 second quarter mile, thanks to its 707 horsepower supercharged engine, despite weighing over a thumping 5,300 pounds. These performance figures are practically modern day supercar numbers. But unlike the typical supercar, the Jeep Trackhawk provides ample cargo room, four doors, and even a relatively relaxing ride. And it can tow things, as well. It’s an SUV that’s far from boring.
So it comes as no surprise, then, that some customers have traded in their more specialized sports cars for more of an 80-percent performance solution that provides exponentially more practicality. But don’t just take it from us, as we were able to chat with Scott Tallon, North American Director of the Jeep Brand, for more insight on the matter.
“We had some pent-up demand from our existing Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT owners, first of all. Next you saw other performance cars come into play… early on the Nissan GT-R popped really high on the list for competitive trades,” said Tallon.
“Now they’ve got a real back seat and acceleration that’s comparable to the GT-R in a cozy and quiet SUV that’s as docile as you want it to be. Or as crazy as you want it to be… we had sports car buyers coming in the showroom that never would have stepped foot in or considered a Jeep before.”
The Nissan GT-R is definitely long-in-the-tooth, but continues to stand out in the market as a no-frills all-wheel-drive performance solution both on the drag strip and on the road course. Newer variants can rocket to 60 mph in as little as 2.7 seconds, thanks to the added traction of all four wheels putting the power down. But good luck moving the family and cargo around in one in the way that an SUV can.
“They don’t want something that they have to park seven months out of the year, but they like the speed and the performance. They need a daily driver, and this is that customer, and they don’t have the garage space for three cars,” continued Tallon.
While yes, Nissan GT-R and other performance vehicle owners trading in their toys for a versatile Trackhawk was a pleasant surprise for Jeep, Tallon notes that the super SUV likely would have never happened if not for an existing customer base.
“Grand Cherokee SRT customers was a big part, and that was by design. They’ve been asking for more, so we gave it and they responded.”