First Drive: 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT

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Fun Thrown In The Face Of Conventional Wisdom

Let’s talk asses for a moment. What do they have to do with the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT, you ask?

Well, we’re here to tell you that this SRT can haul some. Lots of them, as a matter of fact: Jeep has increased the towing capacity of its most powerful SUV to 7,200 pounds. Assuming the average donkey weighs about 400 pounds, the Grand Cherokee SRT can haul ass to the tune of 18 burros, give or take a covered trailer or so, which is significantly more than it could in previous years. In 2013, the machine could manage 5,000 pounds, while the first generation was rated at just 3,500. The increase is mostly attributable to a new eight-speed automatic transmission and beefier rear axle, and it’s a welcome update for those who’d like to use their SUV as, well, an SUV with an emphasis on utility.

You’ll be pleased to know that this isn’t the only kind of ass hauling the 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT is capable – it can also accelerate really, really quickly – 0-60 in 4.8 seconds to go along with quarter mile times in the low 13-second range and a top speed of 160 miles per hour. That’s extraordinary for a vehicle of this ilk – and the run to 60 matches that of the last-gen model despite an extra shift taking place due to the new gearbox. Passing performance is even more impressive, as evidenced by a 35-75 mph sprint that’s almost four seconds quicker than it was last year, again, thanks to the extra three gears in the transmission. It goes without saying that the 470 horses grazing on premium unleaded and spitting out 465 pound-feet of torque are also responsible for these accelerative antics, along with the full-time four-wheel-drive system called Selec-Track, which provides more traction than the most stubborn mule in the animal kingdom.

We’ve been rather fond of previous versions of this menacing machine, and with a slew of meaningful enhancements on the menu for the 2014 model year, we took to the track at the brand-new and most excellent Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas at the invitation of Jeep to find out just how Grand the iconic Cherokee nameplate has become.

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2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 25 Feb 2013 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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