Chrysler really delivered a knockout punch to the performance SUV market when they delivered the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8. It didn’t take long for the aftermarket to respond with supercharger and turbo kits that turned these fast family haulers into straight-up drag cars. Yet we always had a soft spot in our oil-beating hearts for naturally-aspirated engines, and this bumper-dragging Grand Cherokee SRT8 makes due without any forced induction.
From the factory a Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 packs a 470 horsepower 6.4 liter HEMI V8. That’s a great starting place, but the engine built by Lewis Performance Machines is a 440 cubic-inch stroker that turns this 4,480 lbs performance grocery getter into a wheelie-poppin’, 10-second quarter-mile monster.
Not many SUVs can pull a wheelie past the 60-foot line, and still run a 10.59 @ 122 mph, and on drag radials no less. While we don’t have any specific details on the engine build, you can rest assured that high compression, a big intake, and high-flowing cylinder heads are all integral to making the power.
Sure, going with a turbocharger or supercharger might make it faster, and could even be cheaper. But the sound of that large-displacement motor sucking in air without the whine of forced induction…that brings us back to the days when muscle cars ruled the road. Rock on, wheelie Jeep, rock on.