One of the most popular SRT models has been the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT. With its 6.4-liter SRT HEMI V8 pumping out 470 horsepower and 475 ft.-lbs. of torque to a performance-tuned all-wheel-drive system, the Grand Cherokee SRT has been the performance staple of the Jeep brand… that was until the 2018 model year and the introduction of the 707 horsepower Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.
Since Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) announced it would be rebranding the SRT brand into the performance arm of Dodge in 2015, only one non-Dodge model has carried the SRT nameplate since then in North America (300 still carries the SRT nameplate in a few select regions around the globe).
When the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk made it’s debut last year. All of the SRT badging had been stripped from the vehicle, except for one sticker on top of the supercharger. That rest of the vehicle was covered with the unique Trackhawk badge. Even though it was developed by the SRT engineering team, the vehicle was given its own identity from SRT.
When FCA showed off their 5-year plan for the Jeep brand back in June. There was no mention of an SRT model, however, there was about Trackhawk nameplate.
With the Grand Cherokee (WK2) set to end in the next model year, a new generation of Grand Cherokee (or WL) will be launched. From that point on, all performance vehicles from the Jeep brand will be badged as Trackhawk models. Even though future vehicles will still be developed by SRT engineers, they will be only “Powered by SRT” like the Dodge R/T Scat Pack models. The Trackhawk will be the track performance arm of the Jeep brand. It is already well established with the off-road Trailhawk models. Debuting in 2020, a new “hawk” line will join the fray with a high-speed performance sand based models named “Deserthawk“. The first vehicle in that lineup will be 2020 Jeep Cherokee Deserthawk.
Don’t fret for those loyal SRT fans. The brands are just aligning their performance with what fits their brands. Remember, SRT has gone through several changes over the year. Originally SRT started out as PVO (Performance Vehicle Operations). It was PVO with members of the original Team Viper that created the Plymouth Prowler and developed the first three core SRT models (Dodge Viper SRT-10, Dodge SRT-4 and Dodge Ram SRT-10). After the success of those vehicles, PVO was merged into Street Racing and Technology (SRT).
Under control of DaimlerChrysler at the time, SRT became Chrysler Group’s AMG-ish brand. The performance arm of Chrysler Group was made into its own brand in 2013. However, that branding just confused customers. The brand was changed back into the performance of Dodge in 2015.
Trackhawk begins a whole new chapter of the Jeep brand’s storyline.