Soon, there will be no such thing as a Grand Cherokee Trackhawk with a Hemi V8 engine, according to executives at Jeep. The engine option will be killed off in the wake of electrification, and the Trackhawk name will either go with it, or be tweaked to suit the drivetrain.
Speaking to Motor Authority at the 2022 New York Auto Show, Head of Jeep brand Jim Morrison explains that future performance models of the Jeep Grand Cherokee won’t have a V8, and the name Trackhawk won’t see a second-generation on the new WL platform.
While the executive didn’t exactly confirm that the Trackhawk name would be disappearing, he strongly hinted that it would be replaced with something like “Electrichawk” to go along with the 4xe powertrain.
We’ll be sad to see it go, but from a performance standpoint, but with the introduction of the Hurricane twin-turbo I6 engine, and the stellar combination of output and efficiency in the 4xe powertrain, it’s leaving little room for the 5.7L, 6.4L and supercharged 6.2L V8 engines to exist in the Jeep Grand Cherokee lineup. The plug-in hybrid Grand Cherokee 4xe is almost a full second (0.9 seconds if you want to be pedantic) to 60 mph faster than its 5.7L V8 counterpart, while also offering significantly better fuel economy. It’s a tad on the pricey side, however.
In addition to the Grand Cherokee, the Gladiator will also face the same fate as a non-recipient of a V8. Gladiators make up a third of the sales of the Wrangler, which makes the introduction of Gladiator 392 a tough business case. Instead, the Gladiator will see a 4xe powertrain likely by 2024, as part of all vehicles in the lineup receiving electrification by 2025.
Both the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer will be part of that electrified lineup as well, but Morrison was tight-lipped when asked if the new Hurricane engine found in those vehicles would be paired with an plug-in hybrid powertrain. Long wheelbase Wagoneer L and Grand Wagoneer L models could also receive the 4xe treatment.
“I think it does make sense” Morrison said in that regard. Rumors have swirled that Jeep would eventually affix the 4xe plug-in hybrid technology to the new Hurricane engine, which will certainly make for one fuel efficient, powerful full-size SUV.
While proficient powertrains are getting a lot of press for Jeep, the loss of Hemi V8 likely means a downgrade for the towing capacity for the Grand Cherokee, which currently has one of the highest in its class at 7,200 pounds when equipped with the engine. Models with V6 power can only manage 6,200 pounds, while only 6,000 pounds is possible with the 4xe powertrain. The Hurricane would have to supersede the outgoing Hemi V8 tow rating to keep the weekend warriors happy.
When asked about the possibility of a Grand Cherokee with the brand’s new turbocharged Hurricane straight-six backed up by a plug-in hybrid system to get back the towing capacity, Morrison just smirked and said: “you know me, I don’t like ever letting anything go.”