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Hellcat-Powered Trackhawk Appeals To More Than Just SUV Buyers


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.

2020 Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition

“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.”

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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