Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT
The Jeep® Grand Cherokee is more than 30 years old, can you believe it? Dating back to 1983, it was actually designed to be a successor to the Jeep Cherokee. Today, Jeep wears the Chrysler badge, under the FCA umbrella, although many say it could stand on its own. Once the guys at SRT got their hands on one, it became a fact.
History of the Grand Cherokee and the SRT
Although conceived in 1983, the Jeep Grand Cherokee didn’t officially debut until it was shown off at the 1992 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. Sales immediately began, and have continued to rise since. Enough so, that Jeep has expanded across practically the entire world. Today, in its 4th generation of design, the Jeep Grand Cherokee has been tweaked heavily throughout the years. With the saturation of SUVs and crossovers on the market, if the Jeep Grand Cherokee didn’t have the Jeep brand’s signature seven-slot grille, it might blend in with the other SUVs on the road.
So when did the Grand Cherokee SRT come about? Well, as we know, the acronym stands for “Street & Racing Technology,” and the term SRT began with the development of the Dodge Viper. The first Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT was known as SRT-8, due to its debut with a 6.1-liter HEMI V8 engine. That engine was available from 2006-2010, but the Grand Cherokee SRT didn’t receive much hype until 2011, when the SRT-8 engine was replaced by a 475 hp SRT 6.4-liter HEMI V8 engine in 2011.
Power of the Grand Cherokee SRT
Today, the beast is still powered by the same engine and it runs on a 4×4 drivetrain. The Grand Cherokee SRT was the predecessor to the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Trackhawk, which is a Jeep equipped with Dodge’s infamous SRT Hellcat engine. Paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, the Grand Cherokee SRT can switch gears manually or automatically. Equipped with Chrysler’s cylinder-deactivating Fuel Saver Technology and an Eco Mode, it has the complete package of power and fuel efficiency. At this time, it gets 19 mpg on the highway – not a whole lot, but what can one expect from a SRT vehicle?
The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT also comes with a Selec-Track system with several settings to adjust the suspension, torque distribution, shift schedule, stability control, and engine mapping based on the terrain, objective, or the driver’s preference. Built with numerous SRT-specific components, it has a driving and handling advantage over other vehicles in its class. A lower ride height helps with its center of gravity, along with stiffer spring rates, robust anti-roll bars, and cambered front and rear wheels for better curvature capability without losing control and rolling over. It also comes with a high-performance Brembo brake system, includes four-wheel disc antilock brakes, and has Launch Control for optimal acceleration every time.
When it comes to 4×4 systems, the Grand Cherokee SRT has its very own – the Quadra-Trac SRT 4×4. For superior driving performance in any condition, this system has been built with the strongest transfer case ever designed by the Jeep brand. For a refresh on how that works, check out our extensive article on everything that goes on with Jeep 4×4 systems, Jeep Performance Parts Explained. This system also features a wet clutch and electronic limited slip differential to handle the massive amount of horsepower and torque generated. This also brings us back to the five-mode Selec-Trac system for splitting torque and suspension damping.
Any vehicle that gets the SRT tag also needs the SRT look. Built with a blacked-out front end and new front fascia, the Jeep G.C. SRT has a look of its own. Exterior lighting is taken care of with LED daytime running lamps, black lens LED tail lamps, and automatic high/low on bi-xenon High-Intensity Discharge headlamps. For a little more style, a rear spoiler has been integrated into the liftgate, and consumers can opt for a dual-pane panoramic sunroof.
The Grand Cherokee SRT has several convenience features such as deep tint sunscreen glass, tinted windshield glass, tinted front door glass, rear sunscreen acoustic laminate glass, heated exterior mirrors with memory and integrated turn signals, a power liftgate, and polished dual exhaust tips. The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is also available in nine colors, but can you really beat blood red (Velvet Red Pearl Coat)? The standard wheels are 20-inch 5-spoke polished Goliath wheels, but this vehicle can also ride in on 20-inch low glass black spider monkey wheels or 20-inch lightweight satin chrome. They’re wrapped in Pirelli brand all season run flat tires.
Bigger on the Inside
We’re not sure how many Jeep enthusiasts will get that phrase, but it couldn’t be helped. With a world-class ultra premium interior, the Grand Cherokee SRT definitely feels bigger on the inside. Loaded with style and detail, the interior is as track-ready as the exterior. A SRT shift knob complements the flat-bottoms SRT steering wheel and race-inspired seating with carbon fiber inlay. A 7-inch driver information digital cluster display provides instant G-force feedback, making this SRT vehicle cabin feel like a cockpit or a jet. The seating trim is a choice between nappa leather with perforated suede or perforated laguna leather in morocco black or sepia. The seats are embroidered with the SRT acronym and come available with red seat belts.
Other features found on the interior consist of a 60/40 split rear folding seat, heated front and second row seats, ventilated front row seats, an active noise control system, auto-dimming rear view mirror, dual-zone automatic temperature control, a heated steering wheel, leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather-wrapped dashboard and door panels, a memory drivers seat, front and rear LED lamps, and steering wheel mounted audio controls. Drivers have 4 color options/combinations to give the interior some personal style. Of course, no FCA vehicle could be complete with Uconnect multimedia.
Drivers can see real-time performance data on an 8.4-inch touchscreen that provides performance statistics on dynamic handling, braking, engine horsepower, engine torque, and acceleration. If registered with Uconnect Access, then drivers will also find Performance Pages Plus will be helpful for surveying what’s going on under the hood, such as relay battery voltage, oil pressure, coolant and intake air temperature. The standard sound system is made up of 9 amplified speakers with a subwoofer, but it can be upgraded to a 19 Harman Kardon speaker system with a subwoofer. GPS navigation, HD radio, integrated voice command with Bluetooth, and a media hub are all standard features. Drivers can also opt in for a rear seat video system and rear seat dual screen with a Blu-Ray/DVD player. Lastly, the Jeep Grand Cherokee comes with a trailer hitch view camera and a valet mode to keep valet drivers from taking a joy ride.