Kamis, 11 Juli 2013

Hot News: Jeep to Develop Cherokee SRT

While many of us are waiting longingly for SRT to work up a hot version of the Dodge Dart, rumor has it that Chrysler’s performance arm is already working on the next big thing – a high-powered SRT version of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee.

A source within Chrysler told the Mopar-obsessed website Allpar that a performance version of the new 2014 Jeep Cherokee – the Jeep Liberty’s replacement – is on its way. The Cherokee SRT would reportedly sport all-wheel drive and a nine-speed automatic as standard. As for a powerplant, it could go a few ways.
 Allpar believes the Cherokee SRT will likely get a V-6 powerplant – either the Maserati Ghibli’s six-cylinder unit, or a turbocharged version of the Cherokee’s new 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6. The Ghibli currently has two 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 engines – a version producing 325 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, and one rated at 404-hp and 406-lb-ft. Given that the Ghibli’s V-6 is longitudinally-mounted (and expensive), we’d be shocked to see it in the Cherokee SRT. A more viable option may be a turbocharged version of its optional 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6. A single-turbo 3.2-liter V-6 could make around 375 hp, while a twin-turbo version could make around 410 hp.

Another option for Chrysler could include a turbocharged version of the base 2.4-liter I-4. Given that the 2014 Cherokee shares its platform with the Dart, bestowing the Cherokee SRT with a turbocharged 2.4-liter I-4 making a bit more than 300 hp might make the most sense. That way, Chrysler could spread the costs of building a specialized engine between the Cherokee and Dart SRT4, which would likely sell in much bigger numbers than the Jeep.
 As for whether the Cherokee SRT will be on-road-focused like its Grand Cherokee SRT big brother, or more of an off-roader, we’re betting on the former. When we spoke to SRT head and Chrysler design chief Ralph Gilles earlier this year at the New York auto show about the possibility of an SRT off-roader, he said “We’ve never done it before but I’ve been asked that a lot, even internally it’s been a water cooler discussion. If the opportunity presents itself, why not? But most of the people on my staff are ex-road racers — a lot of road racers, a lot of hotrodders – they’re not in the Baja community.”

Thanks to: Motor Trend

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