Feast your eyes on one of the most ridiculous cars I’ve ever driven – and certainly the wildest SUV that I’ve ever sat behind the wheel of.
I was at a car magazine in the late 1980s which tested something called the Lamborghini LM002, which was a four-wheel-drive vehicle fitted with a V12 engine from Lambo’s Countach supercar.
The Cherokee Trackhawk is in the same league.
Under the bonnet here sits a 6.2-litre V8 engine. Called the HEMI by Chrysler, it’s the same iconic powerplant that’s used to propel the Dodge Challenger muscle car.
This is a powerful engine in its standard spec but in the Trackhawk the motor is fitted with a supercharger that crams more fuel and air into the engine.
At 6,000rpm this beast produces 707bhp. We’ve only tested two cars with more power than this – the Ferrari F12 TDF and McLaren 720S.
It is, of course, far more horsepower than any road car needs, let alone a SUV, but I can’t resist silly cars like this, or massively powerful American V8 engines.
The Trackhawk will be available later this year in right-hand drive but we’ve managed to bag an Italian registered left-hand-drive car that Jeep happened to have over here.
Time for some more crazy numbers.
The Trackhawk has a top speed of 180mph and will accelerate from rest to 62mph in 3.5sec.
I remember a time when a sports car that could do 0-60mph in under five seconds was considered unbelievably quick.
This monster’s combined fuel consumption is 16.8mpg but I managed only about 14mpg, which is enough to turn any green red.
And then there’s the price, which is £89,999 on the road. A big figure, but for a car with this level of performance and hardly any rivals – and those it has are considerably more expensive – it’s not too bad.
First we have a most fabulous noise.
The Trackhawk’s HEMI starts with a rumble that’s actually more neighbour friendly than a Jaguar F-Type’s irritatingly loud V8.
Jeep hasn’t needed to add any artificial noises to the V8 because it sounds just great naturally.
And you can hear the whine from the supercharger which is cool.
The Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio that we tested last year felt unbelievably fast but this Jeep is in a different league.
Before sampling the Trackhawk’s fearsome acceleration you have to check that you have not switched off the traction control, make sure that you’re not on a slippery patch of road, and then check the traction control again.
Acceleration is neck snapping. For a big V8 engine this motor builds revs very quickly with the modern eight-speed automatic gearbox almost struggling to keep up.
Self-restraint is required by the skip load when driving this nutter of a car.
The acceleration is so intoxicating that your licence is in danger all of the time, and bear in mind that this car weighs almost 2.5 tonnes and is far happier going in straight lines than it is whizzing around corners.
It does corner surprisingly flat but you need to not overdo it or the Jeep will trip over itself. There’s not a lot of feel in the steering to give you forewarning, either.
The Jeep Cherokee Trackhawk is a car not to be taken seriously. It’s a celebration of the extreme, a hot rod for the green welly brigade and one of the daftest cars I’ve ever driven.
Next to it, sophisticated high-performance SUVs like the Bentley Bentayga W12 look boring.
Jeep Cherokee Trackhawk 4X4
Engine: 6.2-litre V8, 707bhp
Fuel consumption: 16.8mpg
Uses the same platform as the Audi Q7 and has a Lambo-tuned VW Group V8 engine. With 642bhp it’s fast.
Porsche Cayenne Turbo
This 550bhp Porsche SUV would beat the Jeep in corners but will be savaged by it at the drag strip.
Range Rover Sport SVR
Fastest Land Rover ever made but it’s only got a 575bhp engine.