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Jeep confirms Trackhawk amid record sales

02:05, Saturday, 19 November, 2016
Jeep confirms Trackhawk amid record sales

eep will achieve its fifth-consecutive year of record global sales this month, and will look to the all-new Compass and a high-performance Grand Cherokee Trackhawk to continue its momentum in 2017.

Mike Manley, head of Jeep, on Wednesday confirmed the record sales and all-new Trackhawk, a track-capable SUV which is targeted to be unveiled at the New York International Auto Show in April.

The Trackhawk has been rumored to be coming for some time with the automaker’s 6.2-liter Hemi supercharged engine that debuted as the Hellcat engine for the Dodge brand, however Manley declined to comment on specifics of the upcoming high-performance SUV.

“There is international demand for the vehicle, but the U.S. is going to get it first,” he said of the Trackhawk, adding it should arrive in U.S. showrooms next September or October, followed by select international markets such as Asia and the Middle East.

The Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, Manley said, will not replace the current $65,000-plus SRT version of the popular SUV, which has a 6.4-liter Hemi V-8. He said there’s currently “space for both.”

“I don’t see any reason to stop our current Grand Cherokee SRT just because we’ve launched the Trackhawk, because they’re going to be very different vehicles,” Manley said on the sidelines of the Los Angeles Auto Show.

Manley said Jeep faithful have come to expect a performance version of the Grand Cherokee, which has helped expand the brand’s reach.

“With Grand Cherokee, we have built up for a long time, that concept of capability at the two bookends — one: capability off-road, two: capability in terms of on-road performance,” he said. “I like that with Grand Cherokee.”

Kelley Blue Book Executive Publisher Karl Brauer said vehicles like Hellcats, and now Trackhawks, is what helps Fiat Chrysler differentiate itself from its larger competitors.

“I think it’s a great move for them. It plays truly well to who they are,” he said. “While they may face challenges in their market share compared to other companies, the share they own is super loyal because of vehicles like Hellcats and Trackhawks.”

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