While the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT already offers a formidable 344kW from its 6.4 litre V8, those hungry for even more won’t have too much longer to wait, with confirmation of a Hellcat-powered variant on its way in 2017.
For the Grand Cherokee that’ll mean a switch to all-wheel-drive, and despite a heavier body the extra grip should see the the Grand Cherokee Hellcat match its Challenger coupe counterpart with a 3.5 second 0-96km/h (0-60mph) sprint according to earlier reports.
The announcement was made by Jeep CEO Mike Manley, revealing in an off-the-cuff interview with vvuzz.com that a Grand Cherokee with a Hellcat engine would be on the road before the end of 2017.
The announcement comes without the usual fanfare associated with a flagship product, and hasn’t yet been officially confirmed by Jeep’s media department.
And while the Charger and Challenger Hellcat models aren’t offered in Australia - there are no right-hand-drive versions of either model - the Grand Cherokee SRT is here, making the performance halo a possibility for this market.
That’s provided a right-hook version actually gets built, and that demand in the United States doesn’t outweigh supply (as it has done with the Charger and Challenger).
When asked about the likelihood of it heading this way, Fiat Chrysler Australia's manager of corporate communications, Andrew Chesterton, wasn't able to offer a definitive answer:
"It’s fair to say that Australia is absolutely a performance focused market," he said.
"Up to 30 percent of Grand Cherokees sold in Australia are the SRT variant, so if something was to come along with more power in that package, we’re sure there’s be a place for it here."
The Hellcat name could potentially be dropped too. There are rumblings afoot that Fiat Chrysler may return the ‘SRT’ badging back to Dodge, stripping Chrysler and Jeep models of the performance branding.
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