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‘BRUTE FORCE MEETS REFINED LUXURY AND TECHNOLOGY’
The all-new 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is a full-size vehicle that is powerful and refined, luxurious and functional, muscular and stylish. It is the brute force of a 470hp/465lb.ft. of torque Hemi V8 combining refined luxury and automotive high-technology. It stands alone as the greatest Jeep Grand Cherokee ever.
The real great news is that the 470hp Hemi V8 is now teamed with the all-new 8HP70 eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shift interactive manual control and an electronically modulated torque clutch with Eco mode. The fun-to-drive feeling starts with the automatic mode as shifts come fast and seamless when I revved the engine up to redline and into eighth gear. The Eco mode starts the Grand Cherokee in gear #2 after a stop then quickens the transmission up to eighth gear to save fuel. At low throttle the system also has the ability to cut the eight cylinders down to four to further save on fuel usage. This eight-speed automatic also features full-time Quadra-Trac Active On Demand AWD with Select-Track that is retuned to deliver more torque to the rear wheels in Track mode for optimal rear-wheel drive characteristics. These four-variable modes are front-to-rear traction-Automatic at 50/50, Snow/Tow at 50/50, Sport at 35/65 and Track at 30/70. Push buttons to switch from each is located on the center console. The new eight-speed transmission also helps to deliver greatly enhanced towing performance of 7,200 pounds-a 44% increase over the 5,000 pound towing capacity from the previous SRT8. The all-new eight-speed transmission comes with the new electronic leather-wrapped T-handle shifter that provides the flexibility for me to choose a transmission shift schedule independent from the Selec-Track system. Drive and Sport shifting can be selected via the T-handle with no effect on the chosen suspension, stability control and driveline torque split setting. To help put all of the 465lb.ft. of toque down on the pavement is an electronic limited slip differential. Also new for 2014 is a launch control system that mimics a professional driver’s inputs to optimize Grand Cherokee SRT’s performance by bringing engine, transmission, driveline, stability control and suspension in line for a textbook launch. Controlled by a button behind the T-handle shifter on the center console, the result is improved and more consistent straight-line acceleration. The performance experience of the truck is further accentuated by a change in transfer case proportioning and dynamic controls for the Selec-Track system when the vehicle is in Track Mode. When this mode is selected, 70% of the engine’s torque is delivered to the rear wheels for a more pronounced rear-wheel-drive experience. Grand Cherokee SRT drivers will notice a vehicle that is more responsive from mid-corner to exit. The all-new eight-speed is at the epitome of automotive high-technology. With Launch Control set, 0-60mph time is lowered to 5 seconds flat! That is not bad for a 5,150 pound SUV.
The all-new 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT rides on a SRT-tuned fully independent suspension that feels as if I am riding on rails. When cornering I feel like I am up against a wall as the trunk feels so flat with no bend up, even when taking a cloverleaf highway entrance at 65mph. Up front is a Short-and-Long Arm (SLA) independent setup with coil springs, Bilstein adaptive damping shocks (ADS), upper and lower control arms (A-arms) and a stabilizer bar. The rear is a multi-link setup with coil springs, Bilstein adaptive damping shocks (ADS), an aluminum lower control arm, independent upper links (tension & camber), plus a separate toe link and a stabilizer bar. Software improvements to the retuned Select-track system further distinguish the five dynamic modes: Auto, Sport, Tow, Track and Snow, enabling me to choose a vehicle setting that ideally meets my requirements and ambient conditions of road surface, traffic and weather.
Guiding the all-new Grand Cherokee SRT on my chosen path is the SRT tuned power-assisted rack & pinion system. It makes me so close to being a part of the new truck. Feel for the road is amazing, turn-in is instant and on-center is spot on. Because the all-new Grand Cherokee SRT is a super-high-performance machine, the ride can be a little stiff but never harsh.
Slowing this 5,150 pound SUV down from speed are world-class brakes. Up front are 15 inch vented discs clamped with giant six-piston Brembo calipers, and 13.8 inch vented discs clamped with four-piston calipers in the rear. Standard ABS and Advanced Brake Assist helps to keep me in control during severe braking on wet or slick pavement. Braking from 60mph to 0mph takes only 116 feet. The standard Electronic Stability Control helps me keep control of the truck when tackling the steepest curving roads.
The all-new 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT rides on one of the largest wheels and tires of any SUV. Each stain carbon Split 5-spoke ‘Spider Monkey’ wheel measures 20X10 inches and each is wrapped with super-high-performing Pirelli 295/45ZR20 inch P Zero tires for incredible grip, traction and a smooth ride.
The all-new 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT carry’s its super-truck performance to a more aggressive and bold exterior. Its signature seven-slot upper grille with black screen insert has been shortened and is flanked by slimmer, bi-xenon headlamps that are surrounded by a signature LED character lamp treatment. The grille itself is brawnier and the headlamps feature a unique black background to distinguish SRT from other 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee models while further accenting their jewel-like appearance. Down below is another air-intake to further help cool the giant engine and at the sides are LED daytime running lamps and projector-beam foglamps. The lower splitter also features side air-ducts with L-shaped chrome surround to channel cool air to the massive front brakes. The new styling also enabled designers to incorporate the headlamp washers into the headlamp housing for the first time-rather than on the bumper-for a cleaner more functional appearance. A new Grand Cherokee badge along the vehicle’s sides feature a more distinct, more pronounced font.
The 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT’s front light treatment is mirrored in back for a cohesive styling appearance, and features large tail lamps with signature LED lighting. To further emphasize SRT’s performance heritage, the tail lamps feature a black surround, creating the illusion of floating lamps. Also new for 2014 is a more aerodynamically efficient rear spoiler up top that is integrated into the all-new, one-touch power liftgate that features a new SRT badge that no longer carries the engine cylinder number reference. Rather than relying on a manual lever, the liftgate is operated electronically with the push of a button located on the overhead console and closes by pushing a button on the left side of the cargo area. Also new for 2014 is the elimination of the flipper glass that greatly enhances rearward visibility and reducing weight. The step-up bumper features a non-slip black foot pad with chrome surround and down below is a blacked out SRT stenciled badge hiding the tow-hitch that is easily removed when ready to tow. At the sides are two, blacked-out, four-inch wide exhaust tips with a flat-bottom diffuser in between to further help with rear airflow.
From the side view is a sleek stylish SUV with steeply raked windshield A-pillars, heat extractors mounted on the front sides of the hood, a full-perimeter chrome strip around the greenhouse to show a luxury touch, flared fenders with molding to bring the giant 20 inch tires closer to the wheel-wells, deep side extensions to lower the center of gravity enhancing cornering prowess, black trimmed, aero-styled heated/power remote sideview mirrors and pull-out door handles. The look is like the all-new exterior was sculpted from a solid piece of metal.
Open the wide four doors and there are two rows of seats for up to 5-persons. The dashboard, center console and door trim of all four doors is covered in white-stitched high-quality Laguna black leather and with real carbon fiber trim held in place with chrome pieces. The front bucket seats are deeply cut with suede sides to keep me and my front passenger in place. Each seat is 8-way powered with power lumbar for a comfortable ride. The most significant interior enhancement this year is the new Uconnect 8.4AN radio touchscreen. The 8.4 inch display shows a wealth of SRT-exclusive Performance Pages, including recent track times, lateral acceleration, 0-60mph times and much more. All data is shown in full-color and can now be shared with other SRT enthusiasts via a built-in 3G connection. The same screen accommodates Uconnect Access Via Mobile, an all-new feature that makes its debut. With it, customers can stream their favorite music into the vehicle using the acclaimed apps Aha, iHeart, Pandora and Slacker. The display also affords drivers access to Bing Internet searches and facilitates cutting-edge cloud-based features such as voice texting-the transmission of text messages using natural speech. My test Grand Cherokee SRT also came equipped with the new navigation color system that also uses the same screen. On the center console you find the new leather-wrapped T-handle shifter for the eight-speed transmission that allows me to select two driving modes including Drive and Sport. Also new is the redesigned SRT-exclusive power tilt/telescopic/heated three-spoke, leather-wrapped/aluminum trimmed steering wheel with a flat bottom that features a bevy of comfort, convenience and connectivity controls and more pronounced, more ergonomically efficient aluminum paddle shifters. The new steering wheel is designed and positioned to provide optimal view of the new gauge cluster that now features a 7-inch, full-color, customizable instrument cluster display. The new screen allows drivers to select from a multitude of layout and information to be shown in the center of the gauge cluster. My test Grand Cherokee SRT came equipped with the amazing 825-watt, 19-speaker premium SRT performance audio surround-sound system from Harman Kardon that offers world-class and premier innovation, featuring a 32-volt tracking power supply (TPS) 12-channel Class D amplifier that delivers outstanding acoustics and brings multi-dimensional quality sound for all interior occupants.
Standard equipment not mentioned above includes heated/ventilated front bucket seats, heated second-row seats, tri-zone climate control, integrated voice command with Bluetooth, Sirius satellite radio, HD radio, 2-person memory, aluminum-faced foot pedals, power remote/heated sideview mirrors, self-dimming rearview mirror, dual map lights, dual front lighted vanity mirrors, grab handles above each door, adaptive cruise control, rain-sensing wipers, rear wiper/washer, keyless entry, push button start/stop, center console with dual cupholders/armrest, rear pull-down armrest/dual cupholders, second-row reading lights, rear cargo lights, thick cut-pile carpeting with SRT embroidered floor mats in front, second row floor mats, rear cargo floor mats, power windows with front express up/down, power door locks and remote engine start system.
Standard safety systems include front supplemental airbags, supplemental front seat-mounted side airbags, driver inflatable knee bolster airbag, forward collision warning with mitigation, tire pressure monitoring system, 3-point safety belts for all 5-seats with front pretensioners/load limiters, Parksense front/rear park assist system, Blind Spot and Rear Cross Traffic Path Detection, STR Track Experience, electronic stability control, Parkview rear back-up camera, security alarm, supplemental side-curtain front/rear airbags, front/rear crush zones and steel beams in each door.
The all-new 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is an amazing super-high-performing, luxurious, and convenient, high-tech infotainment, machine that seats up to five in comfort with the latest in automotive high-technology safety equipment, standard. I truly enjoyed the seven-day test drive of this incredible all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT that should keep the Jeep brand at the top of the go-fast with luxury and comfort sport utility vehicles.
COPYRIGHT: 2013: HARVEY SCHWARTZ
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