The 2006 Jeep Cherokee SRT8 #ThrwBkThrsdy
Updated August 12, 2014
Last week on autowise.com we profiled the 2015 Range Rover Sport SVR, the fastest SUV to make it’s rounds on the ever popular Nurburgring. Well today, we’re going to look at an SUV, that not only capitalized on the whole, “Fast SUV” movement, but made it known that it was going to be a hard fought contender too. Ladies & Gentlemen, the 2006 Jeep Cherokee SRT8.
Now back in 2006 the car market was doing pretty well, and anyone who could afford a car, truck or SUV, would find a way to go out, and buy one for themselves or their family. The funny thing was, that pretty much anything bigger than a Volvo S70R was almost always going to be slow. At which point the SUV entered a realm of understanding that would allow it to temporarily relinquish its grip on dirt roads, and then adopt the ways of the asphalt path. The 2006 Jeep Cherokee SRT8 had an entirely different set up than your standard Cherokee Jeep. First off the suspension was setup for handling what any good, or bad road could throw at the Jeep. Independent coil over suspension was what would keep the ride smooth, whilst allowing for the sinister All Wheel Drive system to keep gripping the road at all four corners. Next you had the wheels and tires that sat under this beast. A set of 20 Inch wheels, wrapped in Goodyear Run Flat rubber, provided the wet & dry traction that you would need when driving.
As we move a little further up the drive line we find that the 2006 Jeep Cherokee SRT8 came with a very potent, and angry 6.1L HEMI V8 motor that produced an amazing 420HP, and 420lb feet of torque to the wheels. This monster motor was linked to a seamless, yet bulletproof 5 Speed Electronic Transmission, that allowed the single speed Transfer Case to work at 100% all of the time. Because of this trio, the Jeep SRT8 was able to pull off its proven 4.5 second 0 to 60MPH times. Now, for what it’s worth the Cherokee SRT8 was a welcomed site to many Jeep owners, but you had a few purists who didn’t like the direction that SUV’s were heading in. But over the years the popularity of the Jeep Cherokee SRT8 expanded to the point where, this vehicle would achieve international notoriety. For those of you who are a part of Jeep SRT8 Forums, and such would already know about how these Jeeps have been tweaked, and tuned to outstanding horsepower numbers. Here’s some numbers to crunch, if the standard/stock 2006 Jeep Cherokee SRT8 comes off the dealership lot with 420HP, but then it has been handed over to a tuning shop that specializes in power adders, and drag racing, and that same Jeep now makes over 1,400HP to the wheels!! Yes people, if you didn’t know, that simply means you need to watch more YouTube. (Watch This!) The CEO’s at Chrysler would have never even fathomed that their, “Street Jeep” aka “The X5 Killer” would be, or even could be tuned to the horsepower likes of a Corvette with a GM 572 crate motor in it. It has been said that the Hemispherical shape of the HEMI engine is what allows for so much power to be produced from these engines. There have been quite a few drivers/owners who have dumped thousands of dollars into these engines, for the simple notion that they wanted to go fast, and be able to drive home after the day was done. Not many dedicated racers can say, or lay claim to that fact. “Your 2006 Jeep Cherokee SRT8 that you took your daughter to school in on Friday is the same Jeep that you laid down a 9.45 second pass in at the track on Saturday?” Yeah, who does that?
Well either way the SRT8 Cherokee is still here among those SUV’s that have pretty much either gone in the direction of frugality, or lavishness. If you don’t know what, or whom I was referring to in that last statement, then simply Google the words Kia, Ford, Toyota, and then put the word Crossover behind it, and that represents the frugal side of things. And then on the complete other side of the table you’ll find the likes of the Porsche Cayenne (Useless off road), the BMW X5 & X6 (Off-roading not recommended), and then the Big Daddy of them all is Range Rover, (The Ultimate SUV, because it costs over 100K!?!) Nowadays you can grab a pretty well 2014 Jeep SRT8 for about $55-$60,000 dollars, and it too can go off road. The point is folks, the 2006 Jeep Cherokee SRT8 was/is a vehicle that somewhat set a precedent in what, “On Road Fast SUV’s” should do, and what type of legacy they should leave behind them. To this very day, a 2010 SRT8 Jeep is on my Mega Millions Lotto list, and it’s not coming off until the day I die. Well, now I’d like to Thank all of you for joining us on this #ThrowbackThursday edition of autowise.com. Until next time, be safe and have fun.