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Jeep's Best Argument To Skip The Dirt

We've just returned from flogging the all-new 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 on the main 2.5-mile road circuit at Willow Springs Motorsports Park in Southern California. This particular Jeep is nothing like your great-grandfather's Willys, your cousin's lifted CJ or even your little sister's Liberty.

Lacking anything close to resembling a Trail Rated badge, this lowered, two-and-a-half ton monster packs a massive 6.4-liter Hemi under its hood, 20-inch forged alloys at each corner and an adaptive damping system to keep body movement in check. Even from a distance, it's hard to miss this four-door's oversized brakes, cannon exhaust pipes and intimidating body cladding. This Jeep looks mean, sounds aggressive and picks fights with sports cars instead of mountains.

But what is the point of the Grand Cherokee SRT8? Do its owners race it, or is this simply an exercise to antagonize cavalier Porsche Cayenne and BMW X5 drivers? What are the benefits - and drawbacks - to packing 470 horsepower in an SUV? Can this thing even tow?

We found answers to all of those questions and more, during our day on the track and long drive back to Los Angeles.Continue reading 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 25 Jul 2011 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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