The 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is the blistering performance bargain of the decade. Here's why you should not buy it (no matter how badly you want one)
Jeep has once again been indicted for crimes against humanity at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
In a poignant pre-Christmas twist, after flushing its commercial footprint deep into the sewer of no return over the pas few years (see graph, below) Jeep has announced Australian pricing for what I’m sure will go down in the annals as Australia’s most desirable shit SUV - a vehicle that is already a frontrunner for the coveted Australia’s most desirable shit car award for 2018.
I’m talking about the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk - half a megawatt of supercharged Hemi V8 plucked from the Challenger and Hellcat. The numbers are brain-bending - 522 kilowatts and 868 Newton-metres. In-friggin'-credible.
While Australian regulators only managed to slap Fiat Chrysler on the wrist >> for its deplorable customer conduct, regulators in the USA toughened their stance in 2015 and managed to hit the company with a record $105 million fine >>
WHAT HALF A MEGAWATT MEANS...
When it launches here - before it shits itself and the dealer can’t fix it, and Fiat Chrysler drags you into court rather than honour its legal, ethical and moral obligations - you will be driving the third most powerful passenger vehicle on the road - behind the Ferrari 812 Superfast and Lambo Aventador S. Incredibly enough.
It’s almost one full WRX more powerful than the Grand Cherokee SRT. Itself an awesome SUV, at least in pre-shitself mode.
The customer betraying specialists at Fiat Chrysler say - in pre-’shitself’ mode - the Trackhawk will sprint to 100 kays an hour in a blistering 3.7 seconds and top out at a licence-shredding 289.
On the drag strip they say you’ll shred the quarter in 11.6 (that’s pretty fast) and the brakes will pull you up from 100 in just 37 metres. So you’ll be able to have your driver’s licence in hand, ready for shredding, before the police car even stops.
All in all - in a purely bang for buck analysis - the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is the performance bargain of the Century. Lamborghini pace, for less than the price of the transvestite Landcruiser that is the Lexus LX570.
You’ll feel like Superman in the Trackhawk. Of course, a few months after you buy it, when it spontaneously engages ‘autoshit’ on the freeway and Fiat Chrysler sends you a ball gag in the mail, and ankle-grabbing instructions, you’ll feel like Superman after Lex Luthor has inserted a Kryptonite adult implement deep into your outside-the-jumpsuit red underpants. So there’s that to look forward to.
Forgive me father, for I have sinned - I have been having impure thoughts - detailed, carnal fantasies - Bill O’Reilly thoughts - Louis CK thoughts - about what I might do to a Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.
And I am not alone.
Apparently, 200 brain-dead Aussies have been seduced by the Trackhawk’s raw potency and pledged the 134,000 big ones ahead of the better part of valour and rational thought.
Jeep Australia President and CEO - man who works in a house of cards and probably can’t wait to be promoted to a less challenging job in a more civilised country with fewer poisonous animals - or even back to Auburn Hills in Detroit - Steve Zanlunghi - allegedly said:
“As soon as we announced that the Trackhawk was destined for Australia, our dealers were inundated with enquiry and started taking orders.”
- Steve Zanlunghi, president & CEO, Jeep Australia
A new and unexpected development for Jeep dealers in 2017 - actual sales enquiries. 200 of them. Amazing - given the company's recent sales performance.
Jeep Sales 2014-2017 (Australia)
JEEP'S SALES COLLAPSE
That’s a veritable tsunami, after sales plunged 36 per cent in just one year, following repeated ‘pants-pulling-down’ exposes in the preceding 18 months, which saw Jeep cattle-prodded by the ACCC and others into the customer abuse hall of fame, where they stand proudly today, alongside Ford, Holden, Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz as the best of the worst companies to jump into bed with.
Jeep has basically burned 75% of its sales over four years, inclusive, as a consequence of treating customers badly.
Jeep is also a specialist at issuing customers with (possibly illegal) gag orders. Full report on that (with supporting documents) >>
All about the regulatory failure to protect car buyers in Australia >>
YOU WANT ONE. ME TOO.
As you might know, I wage a jihad on bullshit and scientific illiteracy. I know all this about Jeep. I champion rational thought and risk management in the acquisition of a new vehicle. And yet, I want one. I want a Grand Cherokee Trackhawk deep below the belt, where neurons fear to tread. I want to do very explicit, filthy things to it, in private. Over and over. I just do.
And I know this is wrong. It’s just … that vehicle has the kind of gravitational field that makes a black hole look inconsequential. Like, BAM! Visceral response - if you’re a car nut you get it, right? You want one.
In fact, the Grand Cherokee generally is a great, awesomely attractive shit SUV that you absolutely should not buy. It’s been a while since Fiat Chrysler spoke to me (understandably; the truth … such a painful instrument of enhanced interrogation) - but in truth I have loved every Grand Cherokee I have ever driven.
(But only because I could give them back after a week of evaluation.)
GRAND CHEROKEE GENERALLY
Grand Cherokee looks awesome and they are staggeringly capable. I don’t even mind the typically crap American build quality and poor reliability. What shits me in the manner of cutting cocaine with baby laxative - and the reason I do not recommend them - is that the company seems profoundly disinclined to assist or support you when the chips are down. In fact, they are malignant.
Fiat Chrysler has turned this philosophy into an extreme sport. They are the Shaolin monks of shit service. And for this reason I urge you to think with the neurons and not [LOOK LEFT] with the little head before slapping 134 thousand big ones on the counter of the nearest Jeep Death Star.
For now though: join me now in celebration of ‘Straya’s new, most desirable, and preposterously potent, shit SUV - yes! - and stand with me in wishing the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk all the best as it toils tirelessly with the kind of intensity that only half a megawatt of supercharged Hemi awesomeness can muster, towards the ultimate prize:
Australia’s most desirable shit car for 2018. Bullshit car of the year. Will it emerge victorious? Only time will tell.