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The New 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 SUV, Power And Performance

The new 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 SUV hints at its distant ties to the Ferrari Formula 1 Red racing team and goes as far as introducing it with F1 champions Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa.

A Custom Jeep Grand Cherokee. Sometimes it seems the stretching of the SUV appeal knows no bound. So how about a custom-built version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 packing a high-performance package feature? Not enough for you? Than how about painting it in exclusive Rosso Corsa colored exteriors, red leather interiors, to give it Ferrari feel?

The SUVs will be delivered in Europe in May, after a preparation overseen by the Chrysler Group's Street and Racing Technology (SRT) design and engineering teams. There will two specially prepared models to choose from in the new 2012 Jeep® Grand Cherokee SRT8®.

Aesthetically Speaking. The Jeep front grille is painted matte black in keeping with its race look with red inserts. An additional matte black painted dual-pane sunroof, carbon fiber mirror caps and a gloss black rear light bar with red accents will be available. And this is where a few eyebrows will be raised, the Italian flag will be painted on the underside of the rear spoiler as a tribute to the Ferrari F150º F1.

Technically Speaking
. In order to achieve better handling, the ride height has been lowered 1.5 inches with the adoption of 20-inch aluminum wheels. The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 will use an all-new 6.4-liter HEMI® V-8 engine rated at 468 hp with what the company calls its Fuel Saver technology. In a nutshell, this system turns off four cylinders when full power is not needed. The torque is 460 lb·ft and the 0 to 60 is achieved in 5 seconds. With a top speed is shy of 160 mph but nonetheless the SUV still manages to brake an impressive 60 to 0 mph in less than 115 feet.

While the notion of a Sports Utility Vehicle has been stretched beyond the limit of common sense in the past, the Sports part of this SUV seems justified. The emissions have not been fully released to my knowledge but knowing the European market, it should be impressive.

The real question is why FIAT would bank so much on introducing an SUV in Europe, a place where gas is 2 to 5 times more expensive than in the US. Europe is known for its small performance cars and SUV have only found a limited niche in mountainous regions. Nonetheless, this new 2012 Jeep® Grand Cherokee SRT8® SUV will test the market.