The Jeep® Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is a force to be reckoned with on the drag strip. But how about on ice? During the annual Speed Days of the Baikal Ice Motor Sports Festival in Russia, the 707 horsepower all-wheel-drive performance SUV has set a new speed record for SUVs on ice.
Starting in 2011, the Speed Days on the Baikal Ice Festival more than 20-speed records have been set on the ice at Baikal in numerous vehicle categories. Traditionally conducted on natural bare ice, preparation of the route is limited to the removal of obstacles such as packed snow and hummocks, which can affect safety for the drivers and judges. Participation in this event means a serious load on the braking system due to the specifics of the Baikal ice. In sunlight, the surface of the lake is covered in a film of water, which reduces grip on the surface.
Before the race, unnecessary items were removed from the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk and it was checked that the fuel level was sufficient.
The 707 horsepower Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk was able to achieve an average speed over a distance of 1 kilometer (or 0.62 miles) of more than 257 km/h (or 159.692 mph) with a rolling start and an average speed starting from a standstill of more than 100 km/h (or 62 mph). The maximum speed on ice according to GPS trackers was 280 km/h (or 173.98 mph).
All records at Baikal are recorded by license judges from the Russian Automobile Federation (RAF) using timekeeping equipment approved by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). The maximum average speed was counted over a distance of 1 kilometer with a rolling start; the drivers had to cover 1 kilometer in the middle of the track at the maximum possible speed and 1 kilometer from a standing start. The rules also dictated that the timing gates needed to be passed in both directions, with the judges calculating the average result. To allow for the required acceleration and braking, the total length of the course was 12 kilometers (7.5 miles).