Motoring News

Jeep Trackhawk: High-flyer 4×4, but how will it handle Africa?

  • Unadulterated, flat-out, devastating power
  • All the traction control you could possibly need
  • Superior comfort and entertainment features
2019 JEEP CHEROKEE TRACKHAWK: Image: Jeep
2019 JEEP CHEROKEE TRACKHAWK: Image: Jeep

DETROIT, Michigan – It claims to be the most capable, powerful, and quickest full-size SUV on Planet Earth. It’s a Jeep Cherokee loaded with a 522kW, 6.2-litre, supercharged V8 and badged for the rugged outdoors as… Trackhawk.

Yee, hah! And to answer the question in the headline, this uberwagon is apparently available in South Africa for around R2.2-million.

Reading the media release just sent to The Corner from Detroit, the wagon comes over as a brute: in its belly a supercharged engine with a cast-iron block cooled by water jackets between its cylinders.

Inside that, a forged-steel crankshaft with hardened bearing surfaces so strong they can withstand ignition pressure equivalent, Jeep says, to the weight of five family sedans standing on each piston and with a crankshaft damper burst-tested to 13 000rpm.

2019 JEEP CHEROKEE TRACKHAWK: Image: Jeep
2019 JEEP CHEROKEE TRACKHAWK: Image: Jeep

The forged-alloy pistons hang from powder-forged connecting rods with high load-capacity bushings and diamond-like carbon-coated piston pins.

TOUCH OF TEFLON

The cylinder heads are heat-treated aluminum-alloy; the sodium-cooled exhaust valves are hollow-stem, and special steel-alloy heads can handle 900 Celsius.

The supercharger includes charge-air coolers and an electronic bypass valve to regulate boost pressure to a maximum of 80kPa and the twin-screw rotors are coated with  polyimide and other resins, wear-resistant particles, and Teflon solid lubricants.

The supercharger is sealed for life with premium synthetic oil, has a maximum speed of 14 600rpm, and is fed by an air scoop in place of the driver’s-side fog light and a high-capacity oil/air heat exchanger mounted in the Jeep’s nose can handle driving temperatures in harsh conditions.

YOU HARDLY NEED MORE GRUNT

The system can handle 30 000 litres of air a minute and the whole package can hurl the Trackhawk to 100km/h in 3.5sec, cover the standing quarter in 11.6sec and bawl on to 290km/h. A new Brembo braking system inside new 20” x 10” Titanium-finish wheels expose distinctive yellow Brembo brake calipers – the largest front brakes yet on any Jeep.

2019 JEEP CHEROKEE TRACKHAWK: Image: Jeep
2019 JEEP CHEROKEE TRACKHAWK: Image: Jeep

Tyres are Pirelli 295/45ZR20 Scorpion Verde All-Season or new Pirelli P Zero three-season tyres with an increased speed rating.

Launch control will co-ordinate engine, transmission, drive train and suspension for, Jeep says, ”a textbook launch and consistent straight-line acceleration”.

STRONGER CHAIN

The standard TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission, Jeep says, delivers improved shift response, and consistent performance and driveability. Torque is delivered via Quadra-Trac on-demand all-wheel-drive backed up with an electronic limited-slip rear differential.

The new full-time active transfer case uses forged-steel chain sprockets and a wider – and therefore stonger – chain.

READ MORE Jeep features on Carman’s Corner

A Selec-Track system uses performance-tuned software to pre-configure and distinguish the five dynamic modes –  Auto, Sport, Track, Snow or Tow – to control the all-wheel-drive system, transmission, paddle-shifters, suspension and electric power steering.

The Trackhawk is rated to tow 2905kg.

2019 JEEP CHEROKEE TRACKHAWK: Image: Jeep
2019 JEEP CHEROKEE TRACKHAWK: Image: Jeep

But back to those  brakes… they’re Brembos. Up front are 400mm two-piece vented rotors with six-piston callipers painted a distinctive yellow, and 350mm vented rotors with four-piston yellow callipers at the rear for outstanding stopping performance, heat management, and durability.

The can half the Trackhawk 100km/h in 35 metres – depending on surface, of course – thanks to anti-lock, electronic stability control, and ”tuned”traction systems.

2019 JEEP CHEROKEE TRACKHAWK: Image: Jeep
2019 JEEP CHEROKEE TRACKHAWK: Image: Jeep

Its ruff ‘n rugged look is bolstered by its riding 25mm lower than its sister Grand Cherokee, body-coloured wheel-arch flares, sill cladding and a sculpted bonnet with sexy heat extractors. The signature seven-slot grille is flanked by bi-xenon headlights with diode LED wraparounds.

NINE COLOURS… WHO CARES?

Fog lights have been sacrificed to supercharger intakes; at the rear are 10cm black-chromed quad exhausts – we’re told that it sings. Bass.

The Trackhawk will be available in nine exterior colors: Silver, Granite, Black, Ivory, White, Red, Rhino(?), Redline 2 (exclusive) and Blue.

The cabin is said to be ”driver-focused” (well, isn’t every car, Jeep?) with the focus on the 290km/h dial.

Most data appears on a 21cm touchscreen that features Trackhawk Performance Pages to showcase an array of performance timers and gauges – one of them an engine dynamometer to show instantaneous kW, torque and transmission choice. The dynamometer screen also includes a snapshot function for its owner to save data on a USB.

2019 JEEP CHEROKEE TRACKHAWK: Image: Jeep
2019 JEEP CHEROKEE TRACKHAWK: Image: Jeep

The  three-spoked steering-wheel is bottom-flat and carries a keyboard’s worth comfort, convenience and connectivity controls and gear paddle-shifters.

Leather is standard with lots of ‘Trackhawk’ logos. All seats are heatable and ventilated (front). Dark Ruby Red seatbelts and a dual-pane panoramic sunroof are standard.

HIGH-POWER FROM HARMAN

Additional premium interior features include: standard noise-cancellation, pos headlining, stitched leather instrument panel, doors, centre console and armrests. There’s a dual-screen rear-seat entertainment centre with Blu-ray.

There is also a 825W Harman Kardon high-performance audio system with 19 speakers and two sub-woofers.

2019 JEEP CHEROKEE TRACKHAWK: Image: Jeep
2019 JEEP CHEROKEE TRACKHAWK: Image: Jeep

The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk includes more than 70 safety and security features, among them a trailer-watch camera  a valet mode that enables safety and security features such as following cruise control, blind-spot monitors, cross-traffic alert, all-round parking radar,  land-keeping and roadside assistance buttons

All of which operates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto through the latest version Uconnect’s touchscreen.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s