There is too much petrol in the world right now. Way too much. The storage tanks are full and Big Oil needs your help to empty to them. That means buying maximum capacity for your cash, a buying strategy we're quite fond of anyway. Cue today’s Spotted, a Jeep Grand Cherokee Hemi SRT8 which has 392 cubic inches of V8 muscle for just over £30k. That means for mid-level hot hatch money you get twice the standard number of cylinders, not to mention a whole lot more metal around them and rarity - and, best of all, a proper muscle car soundtrack. Its man maths made easy.
It wasn’t always like that for Jeep’s quick SUV. Its more-than £60k price tag left it looking overly expensive compared to the other brash all-wheel drives on the market, including the BMW X5 M and GL63 AMG. Powerplant aside, it looked under-equipped and lacking in quality chintz to justify the cost, and, truth be told, it didn’t take to British roads particularly well. But there was still always something quite PH-worthy about it all. Mostly to do with the monster under the bonnet.
In the SRT8 you get the naturally-aspirated Hemi with 467hp and 465lb ft of torque, enough to send over two-tons of American silliness from zero to 60mph in under five seconds, which, back in 2012, was ruddy quick. Its secret weapon is launch control, something that hadn’t featured on a performance SUV at the time. It was mad. So we chose to love it a little.
When Jeep brought an update model to market in 2013 it received an ZF eight-speed auto, which made operation a lot smoother and shifts quicker. It came with a tweaked four-wheel-drive system that was more rear-biased in Track Mode, and the car could now crack 160mph, which was absolutely necessary. But the underlying character, which one could politely call rudimentary, remained, as did the high-end sticker price, leaving the facelifted SRT8 to appeal almost exclusively to those wanting something left of the German mainstream. Way left.
Later cars got more and more power, finishing up with the 710hp supercharged 6.2 that went into the Trackhawk,dragging the 0-62mph time down to a preposterous 3.7 seconds. No less impressive is the model’s 180mph top speed; imagine the air pressure on those brick-shaped panels. The top Grand Cherokee is as American muscle as they come, but thanks to the limited appeal of such a proposition in Britain, used cars don’t exactly hold their value - especially the now less powerful/famous SRT8.
That’s why today’s Spotted appeals. Sure, you can technically get more litres for your money – here are 6.8 of them for £10k - but for something fairly new, not overly technically advanced (so there’s less to go wrong) and somewhat practical, it looks worthy in a twisted sort of way. This particular car’s certainly been looked after in its 41,000 miles of life, with regular servicing and apparent good health inside and out, so it isn't an outrageous bet. Unless OPEC gets its way of course.
SPECIFICATION - JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE SRT8
Engine: 6,410cc, V8
Transmission: 8-speed auto, four-wheel drive
Power (hp): 467@6,250rpm
Torque (lb ft): 460@4,100rpm
First registered: 2016
Recorded mileage: 41,000
Price new: c. £64,000
Yours for: £30,995