Jeep is normally known for vehicles that can get through any type of weather or terrain without an issue. So what happens when Chrysler’s Street and Racing Technology division got a hold of the Grand Cherokee, a staple of Jeep’s portfolio, and swapped its engine and tires out for something bigger and smaller? Is a Jeep a Jeep if ground clearance is minimal and making off-roading next to impossible? All of these questions and more are answered in this week’s installment of Motor Trend’s Ignition.
Associate road test editor and Ignition host Carlos Lago sums of up 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee up in one sentence, calling it “absurdity on wheels.” A 6.4-liter V-8 engine, the same one that does duty in the Challenger SRT8, is responsible for getting the 5,000 pound Jeep to get up and go. Always one for the dramatics, SRT slapped a set of 20-inch wheels wrapped in Pirelli tires on its variation of the Grand Cherokee.
As Lago puts the Grand Cherokee SRT8 through the normal pacing, it becomes evident Jeep was on to something. The Grand Cherokee SRT8 posts respectable numbers in every performance category and shadows vehicles twice its sticker price. While it’s not known for competing with performance-oriented SUVs, the Grand Cherokee SRT8 has vehicles like the Porsche Cayenne S and BMW X5 M in its sights. So is the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 really “absurdity on wheels?” That’s something you’ll have to decide after watching the latest episode of Ignition below. Be sure to catch a new episode of Ignition every Monday on Motor Trend’s YouTube channel.