Frankfurt motor show 2011 - Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8

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• 470bhp hot-rod SUV
• Due in spring 2012
• Likely to cost at least £50,000

The Jeep Grand Cherokee range now has a suitably bullish halo model, in the shape of the outrageous SRT8 model on show at Frankfurt.

The Grand Cherokee SRT8 (SRT stands for Street Racing Technology in Jeep-speak) has a 6.4-litre ‘Hemi’ V8 motor producing 470bhp and 465lb ft of torque. That makes this the most powerful Jeep ever produced and is enough to take the big off-roader from 0-62mph in 4.8sec and from 0-100mph in around 16 seconds. Top speed is a heady 158mph.

Despite having almost 50bhp more than the previous-generation 6.1-litre V8, Jeep claims the new motor is much more efficient. It hasn’t released any fuel economy figures, but says the SRT8 can now travel 450 miles on a tank of petrol.

To make it stand out from lesser Grand Cherokees, the SRT8 has had a butch makeover including deep bumpers, sill extensions and gaping bonnet vents.

Chassis features include ‘active’ suspension that can switch between five modes for different driving conditions, an electronic limited-slip differential, uprated Brembo brakes that can stop the car from 62mph in just 35 metres, and hydraulic power steering with an uprated pump.

The car sits on five-spoke, 20-inch forged aluminium wheels and its extensive standard equipment list includes a data display that can show everything from lateral g-forces to steering input measurements.

The cabin has a race-inspired look and features seats trimmed in Nappa leather and suede. There are also carbonfibre inserts on the fascia and door panels, a double-length sunroof and a touch-screen infotainment system with sat-nav and a 19-speaker hi-fi. The SRT8 will be available in right-hand drive and goes on sale next spring through Jeep’s UK showrooms. There’s no word on pricing yet, but we’d expect it to cost at least £50,000.

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