Priced at $76,000 (plus on-roads), the Grand Cherokee SRT8 enters the line-up with a $6000 gap between it and the previous top-shelf model, the Overland.
Importantly, the new fire-breather arrives at around $10,000 less than its predecessor in the previous Grand Cherokee line-up.
Heavy demand in the US has kept the SRT8 from Australia - it was originally due in May - but demand here in Australia has also seen Chrysler rack up more than 250 deposits.
Driven by a huge 6.4 litre V8 engine producing 344kW and 624Nm of torque, the SRT8 promises a 0-100km/h time of 4.9 seconds and a top speed of 257km/h.
By comparison, the old model packed a 313kW/569Nm 6.1 litre V8, and a 0-100km/h time closer to six seconds.
It's also not far off the Porsche Cayenne Turbo, falling shy by only two-tenths of a second - but bettering its price tag by more than $150,000.
The big 408kW BMW X5 M is also close, with a 0-100km/h time of 4.7 seconds, and a much heftier $183,200 price tag.
Mated to the same five-speed paddle-shifted automatic found in the Chrysler 300 SRT8, Jeep says the Hemi V8's fuel consumption is listed at 14.1 l/100km - a 13 percent improvement over its forebear.
The big SUV gets revised gearing and a performance-tuned hydraulic steering arrangement, gaining a new heavy duty pump and cooler.
Jeep also promises a better drive than in the old model, with torsional rigidity improved by a huge 146 percent and new SRT enhanced adaptive dampers.
The familiar Selec-Track system is on hand for those adaptive dampers, offering Auto, Sport, Track, Tow and Snow driving modes - and adjusting stability control, throttle mapping and torque distribution as needed.
Braking is managed by huge ventilated discs, measuring 380mm up front and 350mm at the rear, making them 30 and 20mm larger than the less heroic Grand Cherokee variants.
Towing capacity is listed at 2268kg.
Styling tweaks on the outside include bonnet vents, dual exhaust tips, body coloured wheel flares, front spoiler and LED daytime running lights.
Inside, there's carbon fibre accents, suede and Nappa leather sports seats, a heated steering wheel, and a 16.5cm display that offers information on engine condition, 0-100km/h times, g-force and braking performance.
Features include navigation, 40gb hard drive, Harmon Kardon 19 speaker set (optional), iPod/USB/Bluetooth audio connectivity, keyless entry and start, reversing camera, automatic headlights and wipers, memory seats, dual-zone climate control and a dual-pane sunroof (optional).
The whole thing sits on 20-inch wheels wrapped in run-flat rubber.
Safety features include even airbags, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, electronic roll mitigation, forward collision warning and brake assist.
The 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee is priced at $76,000, plus on-road costs.
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