Jeep Grand Cherokee Hellcat confirmed for 2017

The V8 might have to be de-tuned to preserve the Grand Cherokee\'s all-wheel drive system.

Putting an end to a long-standing rumor, Jeep CEO Mike Manley has confirmed a Hellcat-powered Grand Cherokee will go on sale before the end of next year.

"Not only can I put a Hellcat motor in [a Grand Cherokee], I'm going to bring that to the market before the end of 2017," affirmed the executive in an interview with Youtube user Brian Makse on the sidelines of the Detroit Auto Show.

Tentatively called Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, the fastest Jeep ever built will use the same supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine found that's under the hood of Dodge's Charger and Challenger Hellcat models. Power will be sent to all four wheels via a ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic transmission. Some sources claim the Hellcat engine will have to be de-tuned because the Grand Cherokee's all-wheel drive system can't handle 707 horsepower and 650 lb-ft. of torque, but performance specifications aren't available yet.

Similarly, Manley didn't reveal when the Hellcat-powered Grand Cherokee will be introduced. However, the late-2017 launch date suggests the super-SUV could be shown in the metal for the first time at next year's edition of the Detroit Auto Show.

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