Jeep's fastest 4x4

Is the epic N$2.2-million Trackhawk worth it versus rival performance SUVs?

23 January 2019 | Motors

Lance Branquinho, motoring journalist - “The all-American performance SUV has some very impressive numbers, but how does it compare to those European luxury SUVs which have dominated for nearly two decades?”

LANCE BRANQUINHO

Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is Jeep's priciest yet

After a very quiet 2018, Jeep announced the pricing of its most expensive – and fastest – product for the Southern African market earlier this month.

It’s the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk and for N$2.2 million you can buy into the American dream of a very OTT performance SUV.

There is no doubt that a N$2.2m Jeep is a strange proposition in Southern Africa, where the Grand Cherokee has traditionally always been a value offering in comparison to its European luxury SUV rivals.

Although N$2.2m is hardly a price point which can be classed as affordable, there is some real value in what Jeep is offering with its Trackhawk SUV.

For the price, you simply cannot go faster in an SUV than Jeep’s ultimate Grand Cherokee.

The Trackhawk is powered by an immensely powerful supercharged 6.2-litre V8 engine. It dyno-checks at 522 kW and 881 Nm (Americans don’t round off in metric), which makes it – by quite some margin - the most powerful SUV on sale in Southern Africa.

But exactly how much of a speed machine SUV bargain is the Trackhawk? Well, if we do the cost-per-kilowatt numbers, that value coefficient is tremendous. Jeep is only charging N$4 175 per kilowatt in its high-performance SUV. A vehicle which is also good for 0-100km/h in 3.7 seconds, a number bested by no rival.

So, the all-American performance SUV has some very impressive numbers, but how does it compare to those European luxury SUVs which have dominated for nearly two decades?

Mercedes-Benz’s new AMG-engined Geländenwagen features a 430kW twin-turbocharged 4-litre V8 and retails for N$2 913 644. That’s N$6 775 per kilowatt. Which is also 62% more expensive than the Trackhawk. The Geländenwagen is way slower too, trailing the Trackhawk’s 0-100 km/h time by more than a second.

Perhaps a British rival is more credible? Land Rover markets two high-performance SUVs in South Africa, both Range Rovers, and of these the Sport SVR is more affordable, at N$2 281 335. For that price you get a similar boost configuration to the Jeep Trackhawk, supercharging instead of a turbocharger, which helps the 5-litre V8 engine produce 423 kW. Crunch the numbers, and you are still paying N$5 393 per kilowatt. That’s 29% more than a Trackhawk.

The near most powerful SUV to Jeep’s supercharged V8 Grand Cherokee is Lamborghini’s focused and sophisticated Urus. Powered by a turbocharged 4-litre V8, it boasts 478 kW – but the privilege of owning a Lamborghini gravel traveller can never come cheap. To secure an Urus order you are required to part with N$3 495 000. That calculates to N$7 311 per kilowatt. Better value than the AMG Geländenwagen, but still a 75% premium to power-output-per-price-unit offering from Jeep. – Wheels24

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