Jeep Grande Cherokee SRT – 468bhp Hemi V8 ventures into the Outback
Source : Jeep Grande Cherokee SRT – 468bhp Hemi V8 ventures into the Outback
We run into more than we bargained for while driving a 6.4-litre Jeep Grande Cherokee SRT in Australia
Will V8-loving Aussies fall for the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT? Only one way to find out…
A kangaroo can jump 20ft at a time in addition to is usually the only large animal to use hopping as a means of propulsion.
They’re fast enough to hit 40mph – so why has in which large male decided to stand his ground in front of my Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT?
Black-faced, large in addition to very common, the western grey weighs more than 50kg. in addition to although in which Jeep isn’t fitted with ‘roo bars’, there’s only going to be one winner if he doesn’t move before I can bring the SRT to a halt on its Brembo brakes.
Those with happy memories of 1960s TV series Skippy The Bush Kangaroo might want to skip a few paragraphs right now. There’s a sickening thud, followed by a deafening silence. Fortunately the animal dies instantly, yet in which doesn’t ease a massive sense of guilt.
There’s no such problem for my Australian co-driver, who has seen in which all before. Almost nonchalantly, a Crocodile Dundee-sized knife is usually pulled out of a bag as he points out we develop the basic ingredient of an Aussie delicacy: kangaroo tail soup.
I leave the gruesome road kill butchery to him in addition to assess the damage. The Jeep is usually remarkably intact, although the air intakes from the bonnet have taken a battering in addition to the grille is usually smashed.
in which’s not a promising start to our trip up the coast of Western Australia, although the soup is usually amazing. The 1500-mile return journey will take us north through the state capital of Perth to the Cape Range National Park, near the town of Exmouth.
The Coral Coast road borders the Indian Ocean in addition to is usually one of the most spectacular drives in Australia. I’ve been promised magnificent sunsets, dramatic scenery in addition to sightings of seals in addition to dolphins, plus an opportunity to swim with humpback whales at our journey’s end.
For such a whale-sized journey, you need a car which has a whale-sized engine. The SRT’s 6.4-litre V8 Hemi makes 468bhp in addition to 460lb ft. in which is usually sold from the UK yet in truth, you’re more likely to spot a marsupial playing on the M25.
Sensible buyers here might obviously choose the 3.0 CRD diesel. The torquey V6 offers a healthy 247bhp in addition to won’t give you a nasty shock at the filling station. in which also costs two-thirds of the cost.
The Hemi is usually a different matter. Despite an ‘efficient’ eight-speed transmission, Eco Mode in addition to Fuel Saver Technology, Jeep’s optimistic claim of 20.9mpg combined is usually almost laughable. In Australia, I’m forever checking the distance to the next petrol station to take on more fuel, despite a 92-litre tank. Thankfully, unleaded is usually less than 90p a litre here.
You’ve got to love in which old-school feel of driving a naturally aspirated dinosaur to enjoy the SRT. yet even though in which will rumble to 60mph in several seconds in addition to looks more macho than a bush farmer’s forearm, who in their right mind is usually going to pay £66,865 for the pleasure?
Australians, of course, have a deep-rooted passion for V8s, even though the Antipodean car industry is usually virtually dead; a flood of cheap Far Eastern imports means the roads are right now clogged with SUVs through Kia, Toyota in addition to Nissan instead.
So does a beast like the SRT bring back nostalgic memories for Aussie drivers? Not a bit of in which. Stopping at Green Head to watch sea lions resting on the rocks, I speak to a couple of silver nomads – retirees who spend months on the road towing a caravan across the Outback.
Brad in addition to Marge are through Adelaide in addition to drive a Hyundai Santa Fe. He’s quick to point out in which the Jeep’s 20in low-profile tyres might be useless on rocky terrain. Oh, in addition to I need more spotlights with my bi-xenon headlights. The final insult: “Where’s your roo bar, mate?”
The road to the Ningaloo Reef is usually a long one in addition to there’s not much fun to be had driving the vast distances between highway watering holes, instant coffee in addition to a tiresome combination of deep fried everything. The maximum speed limit is usually a lowly 110km/h (68mph), which I discover the hard way after encountering a police patrol near Geraldton.
in which’s a shame, because the SRT must be one of the only SUVs fitted which has a launch control system. Hit the button, hold down the brake in addition to apply full throttle. in which may be gimmicky, yet feeling the shove through a 6.4-litre block never felt so Great, or so naughty. Otherwise, even the paddle shifters seem pointless on these never-ending roads.
yet where the Hemi definitely scores is usually serving up the grunt to get past Australia’s road trains. The trucks are well over 100ft long in addition to, combined with heat haze on the asphalt, any overtaking manoeuvre is usually interesting. Afterwards, you can measure your sprint on an 8.4in touchscreen in which displays g-force in addition to quarter-mile times.
If I could find a few decent corners within 100 miles of each additional, I might even enjoy the SRT’s Selec-Trac system, which adjusts torque, engine mapping in addition to suspension settings, including an active damping system in which closes the dampers’ valves to firm up the ride.
Everyone drives on cruise control in Australia; in which’s the only way to avoid flooring an SUV like the SRT in addition to taking a big fine. The North West Coastal Highway between Kalbarri in addition to Carnarvon is usually especially bleak, mile after mile of nothingness, except the constant risk of road kill.
Thankfully, Jeep has lavished plenty of premiumness on the Inner surface. The diesel versions are well equipped ,yet the SRT is usually plush, with cooled leather seats in addition to an 825W Harman/Kardon sound system with 19 speakers to keep me entertained. The carbonfibre dashboard isn’t quite up to Range Rover Sport standard yet feels contemporary in addition to stylish – two words not normally associated with Jeeps of old. The boot is usually huge, too, although I’m old enough not to need those piercing warning bleeps on the one-touch boot close.
I’ve given up counting the number of kangaroo carcasses by the time I reach Exmouth, the gateway to Ningaloo Reef. The town is usually loaded with backpackers, nomads in addition to an impressive display of four-wheeldrive exotica, nearly all of in which painted white in addition to blasted with red sand.
Australians don’t definitely ‘do’ bling SUVs in fancy colours in addition to on lowprofile tyres, so the sparkling grey SRT stands out a mile. The sea is usually too rough to swim with whales, the wind is usually whipping up the sand in addition to everybody has retired to a bar or their caravan to watch the Olympics.
There’s not even kangaroo tail soup on the menu as I retire to my hotel. At least the dented front end of my SRT in addition to in which 6.4-litre Hemi make me feel a little more Australian than most, although I’m not looking forward to the drive back.
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