A few months ago, we discussed what we expect to happen with the next-generation of Jeep Grand Cherokee (WL) vehicles when they launch sometime in 2020. Since then, we have gotten a few folks writing to us wanting more information about the next-generation Grand Cherokee SRT and Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. Because of these requests, we will go a bit more in-depth on what we know about the next generation of Grand Cherokee performance variants.
Let’s start with the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT. Several weeks ago, we posted an article talking about how Jeep was ditching the SRT nameplate for their track-based performance lineup in lieu for the Trackhawk nameplate. This was made public by the Jeep brand in June during their 5-year plan presentation. Once the current WK2 platform Jeep Grand Cherokee exits production, we will not see another SRT vehicle from the brand.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is the most sold SRT nameplate vehicle, but if you recall in 2011, SRT was turned into its own performance brand. Instead of marketing the vehicles as it had in the past, FCA decided to turn the nameplate into a standalone brand. The brand was short-lived due to its confusing nature. In 2014, SRT was folded back into the Dodge brand; however, there were two exceptions: the Grand Cherokee SRT and the export Chrysler 300 SRT, which is sold outside North America in select markets.
Things started to change last year when Jeep launched the 2018 Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. The Trackhawk features its own badging, even though it was created by the SRT engineering team. The Trackhawk only features one SRT reference on the entire vehicle, which can be found on top of the 6.2-liter HEMI HELLCAT V8’s IHI supercharger.
We expect there will be a replacement for the Grand Cherokee SRT, but it will simply be called the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. We expect the non-supercharged model to continue with the same naturally aspirated HEMI V8 and all-wheel drive performance as the original. However, our sources are saying it will more than likely be powered by the upcoming 7.0-liter HEMI (426 cubic-inch) “Banshee” SRT V8. This engine would produce figures north of 520 horsepower and 520 lb.-ft of torque and won’t make it to market until 2021.
So what about the current Trackhawk? From what our sources are saying, the HELLCAT-powered monster isn’t going anywhere. The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk Supercharged will be the official name of the next generation 6.2-liter HEMI HELLCAT beast. While many are hoping that the 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT HELLCAT Redeye‘s 797 horsepower variant finds its way into the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk Supercharged, that seems very unlikely. That does not mean that the HELLCAT version of the engine won’t get a slight power boost due to better cooling, similar to the boost the 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT HELLCAT models received.
When it comes to technology in the next generation of Jeep performance models, we are hearing some exciting things that FCA, Magneti Marelli, and Uconnect are working on. While we are sure that the popular 12.1-inch Uconnect infotainment system will make it into the next generation Grand Cherokee, sources tell us that Uconnect is also working on a new heads-up display (HUD). The new HUD system will integrate with the Uconnect system, to create a fully customizable windshield display, that could put all the things you see on your Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) between your gauges right in front of the driver’s eyes, like vehicle speed, radio information, and possibly even a version of performance pages.
While details are still murky, as the next-generation Grand Cherokee Trackhawk models are still quite a ways out, we do know the performance models of the Grand Cherokee will continue to be part of Jeep’s lineup. While they might not be badged as SRT models anymore, they will still be built by the same SRT performance engineering teams in the past that love to push the limits.