Only a Slight Letdown
In the cat and mouse game that is played between the media and automakers there has been once again photos of an upcoming vehicle leaked ahead of the debut. Does this really come as any surprise to anyone at this point? It sure doesn’t surprise me and the fact that we will get an up close and personal look at the new Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk at the New York Auto Show it seems to be more of a publicity ploy by Jeep than something that the brand would be concerned with. The leaked photos, however, are not the letdown.
The letdown with this SUV is the fact that after all the talk and anticipation Jeep has pulled the plug on the Hellcat engine in the Trailhawk. Instead of giving us the 707 horsepower engine in this SUV to make us wonder what so much power can do on the trails we instead will see the same Trailhawk treatments as the Renegade and Cherokee Trailhawk to make it a more sensible vehicle to have on the trails than one that is not only over powered but guzzles gas as well. I would have loved to see the Hellcat engine in the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk, but can easily understand not making this part of the package.
What we do see instead is a one-inch lift and an off-road suspension to go along with the standard skid plates that make it their job to protect the delicate underbody of this mean beast. We expect to see seventeen-inch wheels put under the SUV and for it to ride confidently on beefy tires that make the trail riding more enjoyable and accommodating. Of course, with the name of Trailhawk there will be some subtle red accents that make the vehicle stand out with the right badging to be admired.
As for the engine, we aren’t sure yet what we will see, the New York Auto Show will give us that information when it takes place. There is expected to be pricing for this new SUV that starts around $40,000 which is an acceptable jump when compared to the base price of $30,990. This makes sense when you consider the Cherokee begins at $24,390 and the Cherokee Trailhawk will start around $31,990. This new Grand Cherokee should be more capable and built to be tough on the trails while giving us more than the standard power, just not the 707 horsepower we expected.
Are we disappointed the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk will not have the Hellcat engine? Absolutely, but maybe we will learn from Jeep just why they chose to nix the plan for this massive power plant under the hood of this vehicle. If they had put the Hellcat in this SUV you would need to carry a couple fuel bladders along on the trails just to make sure you had enough gas to get back where you needed to go, but that is probably not the only reason this engine was left out of the new model.