Charl Bosch
Online Motoring Reporter
3 minute read
12 Feb 2021
9:35 am

Electrification the future for next generation performance Jeep models

Charl Bosch

“There are so many things we can do with electrification: it’s a new world that’s opening to us".

Outgoing Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk's 6.2-litre supercharged Hemi V8

Brute force will give way to electrification in Jeep’s next generation of performance models the brand’s Global President has confirmed.

In an interview with Australian media this past week, Christian Meunier stated that electrical assistance allows for “limitless access to performance” and that the iconic US brand is currently studying it together with other “different plans and ideas” for the next SRT and Trackhawk branded models, set to be topped by all-new Grand Cherokee L. The brand has already adopted electrification with the plug-in hybrid 4xe designation featuring on the Compass, Wrangler and Renegade.

“There are so many things we can do with electrification: it’s a new world that’s opening to us. Electrification is not boring, it’s exciting. I won’t give you more details than that but I think the sky is the limit with electrification. We can do a lot of different things, and really exciting things that would meet the [high-performance] Jeep DNA, if you know what I mean,” Meunier was quoted by motoring.com.au as saying.

Hinting at the continuing future of the mentioned models, he said, “At the end of the day I think these very, very specialty products are part of the DNA of Jeep and we will continue to do it. Are we going to do it the same way? Maybe, maybe not. But there are a lot of different options we have [available] to get on the exotic side of the brand, and we will continue to do that. Is it a Trackhawk, is it an SRT, is it something else? I don’t know yet. Well I do know, but I can’t say anything!”

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Meunier’s comments comes after fellow Stellantis division Dodge’s CEO, Tim Kuniskis, told CNBC at the end of last month that the 6.2-litre supercharged Hemi V8 used in not only the outgoing Grand Cherokee Trackhawk but also in the Charger, Challenger and Durango Hellcat, as well as the Ram 1500 TRX, was living on borrowed time as a result of “compliance costs”.

“The whole world is going to shift to electrification, right? We know this is coming. The whole world’s going get there and when it does, the price point of that technology is going to come down and … the crazy people are going to take the electrification that has now become accessible from a price point and make that performance-based instead of economy-based,” Kuniskis said.

“1972 was the beginning of the end of the Golden Age of muscle cars,” he said in reference to the first oil crisis that saw the implementation of emissions regulations, fuel economy standards and new measurement of power that led to the so-called Malaise Era of the US auto industry in which V8 engines produced laughable amounts of power and torque for their displacement.

“They went away for fuel economy, for the oil crisis. They went away for safety. So is this 1972 right now and we just don’t know it because we’re just drunk on the horsepower? I worry about that every single day because think about how long it took us to get here”.

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