engine, which delivers 470hp and
465lb-ft. of torque. And while the SRT
nomenclature is relatively new, first seen
on 2004 models, the Hemi – named after
each cylinder’s hemispherical combustion
chamber – is steeped in Chrysler Corp.
lore. The first of its cars to use this engine
design emerged in 1950, when the unit
was given the dramatic name FirePower. But
by the mid- to late-’60s muscle car boom,
the word “Hemi” was synonymous with a
combo of power and reliability. Kendall, a
hot-rodder at heart, is pleased SRT
embraces its parent company’s heritage.
“Hemi is almost a brand in itself, and
evokes performance,” he observes. “Over
several decades, it’s earned the reputation
of delivering potency and durability, and
SRT is smart to promote that history. You
know, the fact that the basic engine design
has endured so long and can still be made
efficient enough for SRT vehicles to meet
regs and take on major rivals is something
to be very proud of.”
So the Grand Cherokee SRT’s pace
isn’t in doubt, but if all it could boast was
a 0-100mph time of under 12 seconds, it
would have very one-dimensional appeal.
A vehicle at the upper end of the SUV
market has to satisfy a broad range of
people and perform a variety of roles
The 392-cu.in. Hemi, the heart of four cars including the
Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT, sounds fantastic. It’s a great
counterpoint to lesser vehicles that rely solely on their
exhausts to sound distinctive. This engine is the real deal.
The Jeep’s agility
around the very tight
Park belied its size.
Tommy Kendall didn’t
need to be asked
twice to exploit it.
WORDS David Malsher IMAGES Sean Klingelhoefer