The guys and gals at Jeep Australia have noticed that black is the new black in buyer choice when it comes to adding extras to their Jeep Grand Cherokees and heading to the aftermarket areas. So they’ve come up with a smart limited edition called Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Night featuring the sinister shade.
The Sport and Racing Technology (which is what SRT stands for) Night has black 20-inch 10-spoke wheels, blacked out areas of the front grille, black leather interior trim and a few other dark touches that set it off brilliantly.
As FCA Australia’s Director of Product and Marketing, Zac Loo, correctly points out buyers know they are getting quality extras, whereas some after market stuff can be on the dodgy side.
As well as the black bits the Night also comes with a powerful Harman Kardon 825-Watt, 19-speaker premium audio system and has a large, darkened two-pane sunroof.
The red Brembo brakes are really highlighted by the black wheels, and the black Laguna leather interior upholstery is set off beautifully by the silver accent stitching, black chrome and anodised silver bezels.
Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Night is powered by the company’s big 6.4-litre V8, producing 344 kW and 624 Nm. Drive is, naturally, to all four wheels. Jeep took us to Western Sydney Motorsport Park to let us play on the dragstrip and we managed a best time of 13.2 seconds away from the christmas tree to the end of the quarter mile. Passing through 100 km/h just 4.6 seconds after takeoff. Sticky tarmac at the start line probably stripped a few tenths off the overall time so normal road acceleration may be slightly slower, though still very very rapid.
Grand Cherokee SRT Night has a revised instrument cluster, with the tacho in the centre, and the speedo to the left side of the cluster. The speedometer is rather small and hard to read, fortunately it’s backed up by a digital readout low down in the tacho segment.
The Chrysler Jeep SRT Performance Pages set up has a large array of timers and gauge readouts. Multiple drive modes let you control the all-wheel drive system, transmission, paddle shifters, stability control, suspension and steering. They are configured for Auto, Sport, Track, Snow and Tow settings.
A Custom setting lets the driver customise the drive experience to their favourite settings.
Away from the track and onto normal roads we found the big Jeep surprisingly comfortable in its ride. Handling is very good for a three-tonne high riding vehicle and it will be difficult to get into trouble unless you do something really silly. The electronic power steering system (EPS) gives excellent feedback and really does let you select the correct line, and change direction mid corner with a minimum of fuss.
Engine acceleration is immediate, showing the advantage of having a big-capacity naturally-aspirated unit instead of a silly little turbo engine that has to think about what’s happening before giving its best.
Jeep’s eight-speed automatic transmission gets the message quickly as well and adds to the driving excitement by hopping down a ratio or three asap.
Fuel consumption? We didn’t check it out for obvious reasons, but feel it’s not as bad as you might anticipate. We will test an SRT Night in our home territory for a week and comment on fuel use as part of the report. But, is anyone operating in this class really interested?
The complete Jeep Grand Cherokee range is:
Laredo 3.6-litre petrol 2WD five-door wagon: $47,000 (automatic)
Laredo 3.6-litre petrol AWD five-door wagon: $52,000 (automatic)
Laredo 3.0-litre turbo-diesel AWD five-door wagon: $59,000 (automatic)
Limited 3.6-litre petrol AWD five-door wagon: $62,000 (automatic)
Limited 3.0-litre turbo-diesel AWD five-door wagon: $69,000 (automatic)
Overland 3.6-litre petrol AWD five-door wagon: $72,000 (automatic)
Overland 3.0-litre turbo-diesel AWD five-door wagon: $79,000 (automatic)
Summit 3.0-litre turbo-diesel AWD five-door wagon: $88,000 (automatic)
SRT 6.4-litre petrol AWD five-door wagon: $90,000 (automatic)
SRT Night 6.4-litre petrol AWD five-door wagon: $97,000 (automatic)
Note: These prices do not include dealer or government charges. Contact your local Jeep dealer for drive-away prices