Jeep has displayed the raw power and remarkable race track agility of its 6.4 litre 344 kW V8 HEMI engined Grand Cherokee SRT by becoming the first 4x4 vehicle to race a plane around a track (and win!).
The Jeep vs plane challenge was inspired by the origins of the HEMI engine which was first developed for the legendary Republic P-47 Thunderbolt fighter aircraft, and is now, in its latest form, housed under the bonnet of the Grand Cherokee SRT.
The UK’s Blyton Park Driving Centre hosted the head-to-head around its 2.9 km circuit and saw both car and plane reach speeds in excess of 240 kmh. While the Grand Cherokee SRT tackled the race track, the Silence SA1100 aerobatic plane navigated around seven-metre high pylons marking the twists and turns of the test track, as they both attempted to reach the chequered flag first.
Capable of reaching 0-100 kmh in just 4.9 seconds and blasting on to a top speed of 255 kmh where the law permits, the 6.4L V8 HEMI powered Grand Cherokee SRT boasts a massive 344 kW and is packed full of high-performance technology including launch control, Selec-Trac transmission and air-cooled six piston Brembo brake calipers which bring the Grand Cherokee from 100 kmh to stationary in just 35 metres.
The Grand Cherokee SRT was driven by Ed Morris – the youngest ever British driver to compete at Le Mans 24 hour – while the Silence SA1100 aerobatic plane was flown by Peter Wells, a specialist aerobatic pilot with more than 25 years of flying experience.
The 6.4 litre Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is available in New Zealand priced at $114,990 plus on road costs, while the 5.7 litre version of the Hemi V8 is available in Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited for $89,990 plus on road costs.