Hennessey Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT-8 is a Supercar Slaying Sleigh
Not about to let the Germans monopolize the crazy-fast SUV market, Jeep is just now beginning to roll the second generation Grand Cherokee SRT-8 into showrooms. The Hemi V8 is bigger (6.4L) and brawnier (465 horsepower) than the one in the first generation model (offered between 2006 and 2010), and the chassis is even more adept at corner carving. In short, it's now an even sportier utility vehicle.
Unfortunately, it's still noticeably down on power relative to the likes of the BMW X5 M, Porsche Cayenne Turbo, and the freshly-redesigned Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG. Maybe Chrysler isn't interested in joining the 500+ horsepower SUV club, but a lot of potential Grand Cherokee SRT-8 buyers are. Luckily for these folks, Hennessey (the tuner, not the winery) is gearing up to produce a limited run of titanically powerful SRT-8s that will challenge foes far more formidable than other hot rod 4x4s.
Officially known as the HPE800 Twin Turbo Jeep, most of its differences from the stock 2012 Grand Cherokee SRT-8 are under the hood. Engine displacement is increased from 6.4L to 7.0L and, much to the delight of Mopar fanatics, that latter figure translates to around 426 cubic inches. But, as the name implies, the Hennessey folks didn't stop there. The embiggened engine is also treated to a pair of turbochargers. When all is said and done, the engine will be churning out 805hp and 823 lb.-ft of torque. We don't know about you, but the word "monstrous" springs to our mind.
Needless to say, the 5-speed automatic transmission and its torque converter have been upgraded to handle all that added strain, and those bits (along with the AWD system) help blast this joltin' Jeep to 60 mph from rest in a claimed 3.1 seconds, and through the standing quarter-mile in 10.9 seconds at 130 mph. Those figures are impressive for a supercar, but for an SUV tipping the scale at almost two-and-a-half tons? That's outrageously awesome.
But the tweaks don't end with the powertrain. Hennessey also adds Brembo brakes with 15.1 inch rotors, a sport suspension system that also reduces the ride height, 20" wheels, a carbon fiber front splitter, and an interior retrimmed in a mixture of leather and Alcantara. Unfortunately, HPE has only released one rendering of the HPE800 Twin Turbo Jeep. It has, however, released how many copies it will build and how much each one will cost. Turns out only 24 will be made (individually numbered by a dashboard plaque), and they will retail for (Are you sitting down?) $235,000. That's exotic car money. Then again, you also get exotic car performance (at least in a straight line), plus the added bonus of room for five and a week's worth of groceries. And the best news of all? You'll never be late for soccer practice again. Ever.