Is there a motor show going on in America perchance? Sure is!
We’re not usually fans of hefty performance SUVs here at PH Towers, but the SRT8 floats our boat in a way that no others can. Its blend of mean, chunky styling, a mildly unhinged all-American V8 and a relatively low price mean it’s somehow far more appealing to us than, say, an X5 M or a GL63. Yes, it’s a lumpen thing that corners like a tower block, but like an old, slightly whiffy Labrador, its crudeness lends it a charm that can’t be explained.
In its natural habitat on a track. Er... hang on...
News from Detroit of a raft of updates to the current model, then, caught our eye; it seems the SRT8 has been made even more bonkers than it already was. The headline addition to this most muscle-car-ish of SUVs is launch control. Yes, launch control. On an SUV. Well, we suppose it’ll help on those all-too-frequent occasions when you’re racing pro-street Camaros between the lights. Just the thing for a rainy night in Altrincham, then.
OK, so it doesn’t work all too well in the UK, and any justification for buying one will be based on decidedly shaky man maths, but just look at it. It’s huge, ridiculous, and fantastic. From the Eastwood-esque squint at the front to the hilariously oversized exhausts out back, it’s seriously mean. And under the skin, it’s unashamedly old-school in its makeup: a 6.4-litre Hemi V8 provides 470hp and 465lb ft – the same as the pre-facelift model – but it’s now matched to the excellent ZF eight-speed gearbox.
Buttons: the SRT8 has them.
The new SRT8 also gets a tweaked four-wheel-drive system that throws more torque to the rear wheels when it’s set to Track Mode – all the better for lurid powerslidey fun times. That’ll mean it’ll hit 60 in a frankly astonishing sub-five seconds, before it runs out of aerodynamics at somewhere just north of 160mph. Utterly bonkers, we’re sure you’ll agree – but admirable in its own way.
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Wait to buy one on 3 yeas time where it will prob be a third of the original sale price!
Carnnoisseur14 Jan 2013
The exterior revisions, although slight, seem to make all the difference at first glance. Not my cup of tea, but love the capability of this car!
kambites14 Jan 2013
Mildly amusing vehicle, but I can't really see any appeal in the UK.
Stu R14 Jan 2013
Amazing things, especially given how close to the German mega-SUV's it gets with such a difference in price. Looks pretty neat too.
That being said, and casting aside the massive price difference, I'd still rather have an X5M - ugly as they are the performance is mind blowing and it makes the ML63 feel positively behind the curve, both in terms of how well it gets around a bend, and powers out of it. For the money though (in the US, at least), the Jeep is a cracking bit of kit and looks to be getting even better.