Today at the North American International Auto Show, Jeep announced a new version of its Grand Cherokee SRT. The company has made some key improvements to its performance SUV – everything from the interior to the towing capacity of the 2014 model has been tweaked and improved.
The transmission has been bumped up to a new 8-speed automatic in the high-end model. Jeep made this change in an effort to improve fuel economy, which is a trait the automaker is not known for. The new transmission also goes a long way toward improving towing capacity, which has been pumped 44 percent up to 7,200 pounds (3,266 kg).
The engine features the 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 with Fuel Saver Technology, delivering 470 horsepower (351 kW) at 6,000 rpm and 465 lb.ft. (630 Nm) of torque at 4,300 rpm.
Some tweaks to the exterior give the vehicle a little more aggressive look. It maintains some of the styling buyers expect from a Jeep Cherokee such as the seven-slot upper grille, but it's been shortened and given some bi-xenon headlamps along its flank.
Much of the new stuff for the 2014 model lands on the interior. Jeep has upped the technology inside with some slick new stuff, such as an 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen. Because this is an SRT model, this new screen gives access to information such as recent track times, lateral acceleration, and 0-60 mph times. It also comes with a built-in 3G connection, so users can share data with other SRT fans.
The new version of Uconnect also includes a feature that allows streaming of Aha, iHeart, Pandora and Slacker from the user's phone to the car. It additionally provides access to Bing searches and cloud-based voice-to-text messaging.
Also new is a 7-inch multiview gauge cluster. This allows drivers to customize the data seen while driving, which should prove useful on the track or just driving down the street.
Jeep didn't rewrite the book on the SUV with the new SRT, but it brings just enough new goodies to get fans of the performance SUV excited.