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Tony O'Kane | Aug 6, 2008

Jeep has revived their factory-tuned Grand Cherokee SRT8 performance SUV for 2008, updating the looks, aerodynamic efficiency and standard equipment for Australia's fastest sub-$100,000 high-performance sports utility.

Available from your local Jeep dealer from this month onwards, the 2008 Grand Cherokee SRT8 packs a lot of performance into its boxy frame. You get 313kW and a huge 569Nm of torque from its 6.1-litre HEMI V8, which is enough to propel the 2171kg SUV to 100kph in under six seconds.

Jeep_GCher_SRT8_03 It's not all about straight line go, however. The Grand Cherokee SRT8 also boasts a quartet of four-piston Brembo calipers, which squeeze 360mm rotors up front and 350mm rotors in the rear. Cornering hasn't been overlooked either, and Street and Racing Technology have equipped the SRT8 with specially-tuned dampers, lower and stiffer springs, thicker swaybars and heavy duty bushings all around, giving the tall wagon a good measure of turning ability while eliminating the floatiness of regular 4WD suspension systems.

The only gearbox available is a 5-speed tiptronic automatic borrowed from Mercedes-Benz's parts bin. It's the same as that used by the previous Grand Cherokee SRT8, but then again the majority of the 2008 SRT8's mechanical package is carried over from the previous model.

What has been changed, though, is the front fascia, which has been redesigned to improve airflow into the radiator and through the integrated brake ducts. The rear bumper has also been redesigned to accommodate the quad exhaust tips, while those massive 20-inch forged alloys are also new.

Jeep_GCher_SRT8_04 The interior has also been upgraded for 2008, with softer, more luxurious materials and an updated instrument panel and dashboard blinging up the inside. Satellite navigation and a reversing camera are now part of the standard kit too.

The 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 is available now for $89,990.

Follow this link to read The Insider's review of the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8

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2008 Jeep® Grand Cherokee SRT8®: Quickest Jeep Ever

Chrysler Group’s Street and Racing Technology (SRT®) organization has shown that it knows no boundaries with the creation of the first four-wheel-drive SRT vehicle, the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8®.

It’s the quickest, most powerful Jeep vehicle ever created, offering astonishing on-road and all-weather ability and power. With a 0-100kph time in the low 5 second range – in wet or dry conditions – it’s the quickest SUV in Australia priced under $100,000.

Powered by a 6.1-litre HEMI® V8 producing 313 kW and 569 Nm of torque, the 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 delivers a complete performance package, with exceptional ride and handling, world-class braking, race-inspired interior appointments and functional, performance-oriented exterior enhancements.

Design

Refreshed in 2008, the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8’s front fascia provides aerodynamic benefits by reducing lift and drag, while providing sufficient air flow to cool the 6.1-litre HEMI V-8 engine. The front fascia also helps increase brake-system cooling through integrated air ducts.

The rear fascia incorporates an aggressive centre cut-out to accommodate dual 4-inch exhaust tips. Sill extensions result in another functional enhancement by creating additional down force.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8’s cabin has been further refined for 2008 with softer surfaces and a richer look and feel, including a dark slate grey interior colour, accent stitching, new instrument panel and centre console, a unique SRT-designed leather-wrapped steering wheel, and new cluster graphics and bezel finishes. Full instrumentation includes a 300-kph speedometer, tachometer and temperature gauges, all trimmed with a unique blue accent.

The MyGIG Multimedia Infotainment System is now standard equipment for the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 for 2008. This includes satellite navigation and reversing camera.

Consistent with its performance attributes, the 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 comes equipped with power-adjustable, deeply sculpted performance front seats complete with uniquely patterned performance suede inserts to hold occupants during aggressive manoeuvring.

Engineering

SRT engineers created the first SRT vehicle with full-time four-wheel drive by creating a new transfer case. They used the front half of a Jeep transfer case, chosen for its capability and light weight, and mated it to the rear half of a heavier-duty case, chosen for its ruggedness and ability to house electronic full-time, four-wheel-drive system components.

Under normal driving conditions, 5 to 10 percent of torque is directed to the front wheels, but as much of the 6.1-litre HEMI V-8’s torque that’s needed can be directed forward when additional traction or stability is required. Remaining torque is sent via a heavy-duty driveshaft to a Dana 44 rear axle.

Providing horsepower and torque to the unique SRT four-wheel-drive system is a specially tuned version of the 6.1-litre SRT HEMI engine, which was developed by adding more displacement, increasing the compression ratio and redesigning the cylinder heads, intake and exhaust systems for better flow and increased engine speed (versus the 5.7-litre HEMI).

Power from the SRT 6.1-litre HEMI is sent through a special torque converter to an SRT-upgraded, five-speed automatic transmission with specially calibrated driver-selectable Autostick, which offers fully automatic or manual shift selection.

Chassis setup for the 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 employs SRT-tuned dampers, unique sway bars and specially tailored spring rates and suspension bushings. Front suspension knuckles were redesigned to accommodate high-performance braking and steering systems. The ride height of the 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 is one inch lower than the Jeep Grand Cherokee, which lowers aerodynamic drag as well as the centre of gravity, and contributes to the vehicle’s stability and aggressive stance.

The braking system on the 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 features four-piston performance brake calipers developed by Brembo, finished in black. These calipers work with 360 mm x 32 mm vented rotors up front, and 350 mm x 28 mm vented rotors in the rear.

Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 formula

Functional, performance-oriented exterior design, featuring 20-inch forged alloy SRT wheels (20x9 front and 20x10 rear), front and rear fascias with air dam and cooling ducts; race-inspired interior appointments that include deeply bolstered seating and comprehensive instrumentation; benchmark braking; and world-class ride and handling characteristics

The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 is part of a line-up of SRT vehicles developed under the credo, “Race inspired, street legal”

Safety and Security

Advanced Anti-lock Brake System (ABS)

Advanced multi-stage air bags

BeltAlert

Brake Assist

LATCH (Lower Anchor and Tethers for Children)

Digressive load-limiting seat belt retractors

Electronic Roll Mitigation (ERM)

Electronic Stability Program (ESP)

Energy-absorbing steering wheel and column

Enhanced Accident Response System (EARS)

Express-up/down front-door windows

Four-wheel Brake Traction Control (BTC) system

Head restraints in all outboard seating positions

Knee bolsters

ParkSense® rear park assist system

ParkView™ rear back-up camera

Rain-sensitive wipers

Remote keyless entry

Seat belt pretensioners

Sentry Key® engine immobilizer theft deterrent system

Side-curtain air bags with roll-detection system

Three-point belts in all seating positions

Tyre pressure monitoring system with warning indicator

UConnect® hands-free communication system

SRT8 Exclusive Features

The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 was introduced as the first Jeep-branded SRT and the first four-wheel-drive SRT model.

Colours: Steel Blue, Bright Silver and Brilliant Black

All-new front fascia with integrated brake ducts

All-new rear fascia with cutouts for four-inch dual exhaust tips

No body cladding or roof rails

MOPAR® sill extensions

Grille insert

Chassis

New dual rear exhaust system with bright centre-exit tips

New 20-inch forged alloy wheels (five-spoke polished look aluminium)

New centre caps

New tyres (255/45/20-front, 285/40/20-rear)

New brakes (four-wheel ABS, 360 mm rotors, front; 350 mm rotors, rear; Gloss Black callipers)

Electronic Stability Program (ESP)

Enhanced cooling system

Modified steering system

Brake ducts

Powertrain

6.1L HEMI® engine

SRT upgraded A580 five-speed automatic transmission

Full-time four-wheel drive

Unique MD146 SRT transfer case

Unique air induction

Unique intake manifold

Unique exhaust manifolds

Upgraded Dana 44 rear differential

Interior

Power-adjustable, deeply sculpted performance front seats

Front seat uniquely patterned performance suede inserts

“Carbon-Fibre” finish on leather-wrapped steering wheel, instrument panel brow and shift knob

Refined aluminium finish on centre stack, shifter and door-switch bezels

Upgraded trim on seats and steering wheel

Instruments trimmed with unique blue accent with carbon-fibre binnacle

Oil pressure and temperature displayed in specially configured unit in centre of instrument panel

Electrical and Electronic Systems

Premium audio system DVD-based GPS navigation system with turn-by-turn directions and voice prompts. UConnect® Hands-free Communication System with Bluetooth® technology

The new Grand Cherokee SRT8 will arrive in Australian dealerships August 2008 priced at $89,990.

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