Dream Vacation or Nightmare Road Trip? Pre-Trip Vehicle Check Can Make the Difference

Road trip car trouble can be a real nightmare, but performing a pre-trip vehicle check helps drivers avoid a vacation breakdown disaster, says the Car Care Council.

“When dreaming about summer vacation, the thought of a roadside breakdown can be terrifying,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Performing a pre-trip driveway inspection gives motorists peace of mind by reducing the chance of unplanned, costly car trouble and providing an opportunity to have any repairs performed by a trusted technician before hitting the road.”

Right in their own driveway, motorists can determine how road ready their vehicle is with a 10-minute vehicle check. If service or repairs are needed, they can be performed in advance to ensure safety and reliability on the road.

– Check the tires including tire pressure and tread. Underinflated tires reduce a vehicle’s fuel economy and uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots.

– Check the hoses and belts as they can become cracked, brittle, frayed, loose or show signs of excessive wear. These are critical to the proper functioning of the electrical system, air conditioning, power steering and the cooling system.

– Check filters and fluids including engine oil, power steering and brake, and transmission, as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.

– Check the wipers and lighting so that you can see and be seen. Check that all interior and exterior lighting is working properly and inspect and replace worn wiper blades so you can see clearly when driving during precipitation.

– Check the brakes and battery to be sure the battery connection is clean, tight and corrosion-free and that the brakes are functioning properly.

The Car Care Council also recommends that motorists restock their emergency kit, consider a pre-trip tune-up to help the engine deliver the best balance of power and fuel economy, and order a free copy of the Car Care Council’s popular Car Care Guide for the glove box at http://www.carcare.org/car-care-guide.

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a copy of the council’s Car Care Guide or for more information, visit http://www.carcare.org.

Read more at: http://www.carcare.org/dream-vacation-or-nightmare-road-trip-pre-trip-vehicle-check-can-make-the-difference/

Top Ten Car Care Tips

With a huge investment, come a huge Responsibility. Owning a car doesn’t have to be a short-term responsibility. You can save a lot of money by just following some simple steps. All you need is a a mechanical genius mind to be its care taker and a determined mindset. Good car care does not require greasy hands and oily footprints. With the following car care tips, you can help keep your vehicle healthy and your hands clean and save the ecology from harmful pollutants.

#Tip 1 : Check Your Tires

Make sure they are properly inflated. Tire gauges are cheap and easy to use. Tires should be replaced when tread wear indicators are showing between the treads. You will find proper inflation tables for your vehicle on your door panel and vehicle handbook, or call your tire and repair specialists. Check your tires every other day for pressure and every week for wear. Have them replaced when they become worn beyond acceptable limits.

#Tip 2 : Oil and Fluid Levels

Fluids are the blood of your car, and without it, the car isn’t going to go far or quietly. Have your mechanic demonstrate how to check your oil properly. Most car manufacturers recommend changing the oil every three months or 3,000 miles. Always use the fuel that is recommended for your vehicle, this will provide you with the most power and best fuel economy.

#Tip 3 : Windows/Windsheild Wippers

Make sure that all windows, mirrors and lights are clean and not broken .Check them for wear and cracks and replace them if necessary, think about doing this each spring and fall.

#Tip 4 : Brakes, belts, and battery

It is very important to check the brakes and brake fluids for proper level. Whenever necessary, change the brake pads as small changes can add to car safety. Check the belts or have them checked regularly for wear and tension. Very loose belts often make a loud squealing sound; have yours serviced if you hear this noise. The battery and charging system should be checked at a service facility at least once a year. Clean the battery case by wiping it with moist paper towels and a mild detergent. Dirt and residue on the case can cause a current drain on the battery.

#Tip 5 : Greasing

Everything with moving parts needs grease to survive. If not then mark an early retirement of the joints due to poor lubrication.

#Tip 6 : Engine Air filter

Changing out the engine air filter is a quick job that can be done during any oil, brake or transmission fluid change.

#Tip 7 : Clean the Interior and Exterior

It’s easy to use your car or truck as a storage area for all kinds of things (including useless junk and garbage), especially in the cold months when you don’t feel like cleaning your car in the freezing cold. Take the time to declutter your car, losing the extra weight can significantly increase your gas mileage too. It’s worth it. Take special care to address the undercarriage where road salt can eat away or corrode the metal. A thorough cleaning at a car wash should do the trick.

#Tip 8 : Emission control systems

Depending on where you live, you may be required to get your car checked for emissions periodically. It is advisable to go to search for a mechanic for such diagnosis. Oxygen sensors and EGR valves are two common culprits and must be checked on regular intervals.

#Tip 9 : Maintain the cooling system.

The coolant level should be within one inch of the top of the radiator filler neck, and the coolant should be free of contaminants. Flush or refill the cooling system at 40,000 to 100,000 miles.

#Tip 10 : Lights

You can check your own lights if you have someplace you can park near reflective glass windows, or you can ask a friend to walk around your car while you turn on different lights. Make sure to check your headlights, taillights, reverse lights, and turn signals.

Following these simple tips will keep your vehicle healthy and perform its best.

Read more at: listscoop.com/auto/top-ten-car-care-tips

Spring cleaning tips for your vehicle: How to avoid costly repairs following a harsh winter

The winter season can take a toll on a car, both in terms of its physical appearance and driving capabilities.

While many utilize the longer days and warmer weather of spring to clean around their homes, automotive experts say this time of year is ideal for spring cleaning and routine maintenance of your vehicle.

Once the last of the cold and snow departs, a trip to the car wash is usually required to bring back a car’s sparkling shine after it’s been encrusted with salt and dirt.

However, one of the main reasons it’s important to wash your car is to prevent rust from forming. Rust can form on valuable components of a car’s mechanical system, such as the brake lines, fuel tanks and exhaust systems. This can result lead to safety issues, according to experts.

Rock salt, along with other chemical solutions used by road crews in the winter, can be one of the main contributors to rust damage, which is expensive to repair.

Drivers in the United States spent an estimated $15.4 billion in rust repairs caused by these de-icing methods over the last five years, according to AAA.

“While the application of de-icing salts and solutions is critical to keeping our nation’s roadways safe every winter, it’s important that drivers pay attention to warning signs that their vehicle may be suffering from rust-related damage,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of automotive engineering and repair.

Such warning signs include a “spongey” or soft feeling when applying pressure to a brake, the smell of fumes in or around the vehicle or an unusually loud exhaust sound.

Experts say that residents who experience snowy winters should frequently wash their vehicles with a high-quality car wash solution following a snowstorm.

One area they stress washing is the undercarriage. While this portion can be difficult to reach, commercial car washes can service a car’s undercarriage. A through cleansing in the spring is vital because any deposits left over from winter can lead to corrosion year-round if not properly removed.

“In the last five years, 22 million U.S. drivers have experienced rust damage to their cars due to salt and liquid de-icers,” Nielsen said. “In addition to the safety risk, repairs to fix these problems are often costly, averaging almost $500 per occurrence.”

AAA also suggests touching up paint scratches and chips which could expose bare metal and lead to rust.

In addition to monitoring for rust buildup, the end of winter is an ideal time to check the engine’s cooling system.

“As the weather starts to get warmer, the cooling system’s health is important, as it prevents overheating,” said Richard Reina, product training director at CARiD.com. “At a minimum, check the coolant level and eyeball the radiator and heater hoses for any obvious problems like cracked rubber, loose clamps or stains from leaks.”

Additionally, vehicles should regularly have the radiator coolant drained, flushed and replenished with fresh antifreeze once every 1-3 years, he added.

Reina explained that it’s also important to check the vehicle’s air conditioning system well in advance of when 90-degree weather returns. This can be done by running the system through all of its direction controls including the floor, dash and defrost to make sure cold air is coming out of all the vents.

Car owners should test their air conditioner to ensure that the air coming out of the vents is colder than the air outside the vehicle. If it’s not, it is recommended that a professional examine the system to look for any leaks and to refill the system with refrigerant.

The end of winter is also an optimal time for other miscellaneous tasks including detailing the interior of the car and replacing wiper blades that can “take a beating” during harsh winter conditions, according to Reina.

“These are the kind of things that should almost become automatic at the end of the winter season to do to a car,” he said.

Read more at: http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/automotive-experts-share-spring-car-maintenance-tips-following-a-long-winter/70001245

Ram Trucks Launched Heavy Duty Night Models

Ram Trucks revealed both of the Heavy Duty models for the first time at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show. Based on the Sport appearance package, the Night adds blacked-out features, including wheels, grille surround and badging, to deliver an eye-catching twist on the performance-enthusiast package.

If you’re looking for a way to stand out from the crowd – these Heavy Duty Night models will do just that.

The new Ram Heavy Duty Night package adds:

Black grille surround with black billet inserts
Bold “RAM” tailgate with blackened-out lettering from Ram Power Wagon®
Black Ram’s head grille badge
Flat black Ram 2500 or 3500 Heavy Duty door badge
Flat black 4×4 tailgate badge (if applicable)
Flat black powertrain door badging

The Night package is available on Ram 2500 and 3500 (single-rear-wheel models only) in Crew Cab configurations, 4×2 or 4×4, and any available powertrain combination (5.7L HEMI® V8, 6.4L HEMI V8 or 6.7L Cummins® I-6).

Ram 2500 and 3500 HD Night models are available in Bright Silver Metallic, Bright White, Brilliant Black Crystal, Delmonico Red Pearl and Granite Crystal Metallic.

Production of the 2017 Ram HD Night models began early February 2017. Ram Heavy Duty Night pricing starts at $45,520 MSRP, plus $1,320 destination.

Read more at: https://blog.ramtrucks.com/features/ram-trucks-launched-heavy-duty-night-models/


The Jeep® Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited Chief Limited Editions take open-air freedom to the next level. Built for off-road performance and designed with beach-ready styling, the Jeep Wrangler Chief is one cool customer. From the NEW 17-inch five-spoke high-gloss silver wheels to the LED headlamps and fog lamps to the NEW Millennium Topography fabric sport bar cover, the Jeep Wrangler Chief is in charge of the trail and takes the lead on four-wheel-drive style.


Here’s a look at everything the Jeep Wrangler Chief can bring to your next beachcombing adventure.

Performance Components | Jeep Wrangler Chief

When it comes to 4×4 performance, the Jeep Wrangler Chief Edition doesn’t just conquer the sand — the Chief owns every obstacle and challenge. Performance components include 32-inch BF Goodrich® KM off-road tires; Dana 30 front axle and heavy-duty Dana 44 rear axle; 3.21 axle ratio standard, 3.73 axle ratio optional; Command-Trac® transfer case with 2.72:1 ratio; and standard front and rear black tow hooks.

Exterior Features | Jeep Wrangler Chief

The Jeep Wrangler Chief knows how to handle itself near the surf, and looks every part of a leader in off-road performance. Exterior features on the Jeep Wrangler Chief include Gloss White Beltline accent decals; Gloss White heritage 4WHEEL DRIVE swing-gate decal; chrome CHIEF fender badges; body-color grille with Fine Silver Metallic accents and Jeep brand badge; power dome vented hood; Fine Silver Metallic side mirror accents; Fine Silver Metallic front and rear bumper accents; White Freedom Top® hardtop standard, optional Dual Top with premium Sunrider® soft top; side steps; black fuel filler door and taillamp guards; body-color fender flares and deep-tint windows.

Interior Details | Jeep Wrangler Chief

Owning the trail begins with commitment and dedication, and a state of mind that starts on the inside. Fortunately, the Jeep Wrangler Chief knows just when to look inward for inspiration. Interior details on the Jeep Wrangler Chief include a nine-speaker Alpine® Premium Audio System with all-weather subwoofer; heated black leather-trimmed seats with Light Diesel Gray accent stitching; silver passenger grab handle with CHIEF imprint; leather-wrapped steering wheel with silver accents and Light Diesel Gray accent stitching; vinyl-wrapped front door armrests and center console lid with Light Diesel Gray accent stitching; silver vent rings and door handles; Power Convenience Group; and sport bar grab handles.
Learn more about Jeep Wrangler special-edition vehicles and the full Jeep brand lineup at jeep.com.

Read more at: https://blog.jeep.com/news/introducing-jeep-wrangler-chief/

Future of the Ram TRX Hellcat off-road pickup

The Ram Rebel TRX made a huge splash when it hit the ’Net, and for good reason: it was a serious high-speed off-road truck, taking lessons from the Power Wagon, Jeeps, and racing pickups, and packing the Hellcat’s supercharged power up front. The 4×4 system may have been a pilot for the Hellcat-powered Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.


The question then becomes, will Ram actually produce it? You may not like the answer: as you see it, probably not.

Ram is quite busy engineering the next-generation Ram 1500, coded DT, and it’s pulling out the stops to top Ford’s future product while making the 2019-model-year deadline. The Ram 2500 and 3500 will come along just a year later, if they hold to schedule and tradition. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for people to work on a niche truck that would only live for a year or two.

What about 2020? It’s likely too soon after the 2019 launch for the company to actually make the TRX; but chances are, 2020 is when the executives will get together and ask each other, “Can we do it? Should we do it?”

One can ask why they aren’t doing that already, but markets change quickly, and any number of factors could sabotage decisions made today, from plant issues to product popularity to changes (or lack of changes) in emissions or gas-mileage rules. The decision will most likely be made in 2019 or 2020 — and until then, the TRX will remain a concept, albeit one that Ram could make, and a showcase for the capabilities of their unique multi-link rear suspensions.

Read more at: http://www.allpar.com/news/2017/04/future-of-the-ram-trx-hellcat-off-road-pickup-37253

Will the NHRA ban hurt Demon owners?

Analysis. Since the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon debut, some outlets (and some people) have been freaking out about the “NHRA ban.” But will the people who will buy the Demon really going to be hindered by the NHRA ban?

The new Challenger SRT Demon was created by Dodge to be the ultimate street-legal drag racing machine. It is full of components which will make it a beast on the quarter mile; and when coupled with the 840 horsepower supercharged Hemi, this beast is capable of getting down the drag strip in just 9.65 seconds – making it the quickest factory, street-legal quarter mile car in the world, ever.

The new Challenger Demon is so quick in the quarter mile that the NHRA has banned it from competition, because any car that runs quicker than 9.99 is required to have a roll cage, and, as produced by the factory, the Demon doesn’t have one.

There is a difference, though, between “banned from competition” and “not allowed at any drag strip, ever.” People may question how Dodge could build a drag car that is banned by the world’s largest drag racing sanctioning body, but I don’t think that it will be a problem at all for most buyers — and here’s why.

The new Dodge Demon can run a 9.65 quarter mile; since it does not come with a roll cage, the NHRA has banned it from sanctioned competition. This means that if you plan to buy a new Challenger SRT Demon to run sanctioned NHRA sportsman events, you will need to add a roll cage before you will be allowed to enter the event, but that is the extent of the “NHRA ban.”

Other than NHRA events, the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon isn’t banned from anything; and owners will be allowed to take their new Mopar muscle car to any track in America to make time runs. When those owners run in the 9-second range without a cage, they might be asked to not return to that track until they have added a roll cage, but that only applies to NHRA sanctioned tracks which closely adhere to the rules. There are a great many tracks in the USA which are not NHRA tracks, so the NHRA rules have no impact on what goes on at those tracks; and I have spoken with scores of Hellcat owners who ran in the 9s for more than a year without adding a roll cage.

In short, Demon owners will only be run out of NHRA tracks when they run in the 9s and only if the track officials follow the cage rule (which many do not).

In speaking with a few different people who were involved with the development of the newest supercharged Challenger, I also learned that 9-second ETs aren’t an easy feat for the average driver. Members of the development team (including Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis) explained that they believe that the average Demon buyer will start off running in the low 10s; over time, they will work their way into the 9s. The best racers might get into the mid-9s in a hurry, and those folks are going to need a cage right away, but many Demon owners are going to spend time learning the car and during that time, they likely won’t run quick enough to need a cage – so they won’t run quick enough to be thrown out of NHRA tracks.

So for the “NHRA ban” and the lack of a factory roll cage to have a real impact on the buyer of a 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, he or she will have to run record times without much seat time and he or she will have to run those numbers at an NHRA sanctioned track where track officials closely follow the NHRA cage rules for stock vehicles.

While this might still seem ridiculous to some people (who don’t have a world of track experience), there is one more good way to think about this whole “no roll cage” issue.

Say that someone wants a street-legal muscle car that can run in the 9-second range. Whether it is a Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, a Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 or a Ford Mustang GT, the process will begin with acquiring the car; the next step is adding the performance components needed to get the car into the 9-second range. Once they have their car running in the 9s, they will need to add a roll cage to make it legal for NHRA sanctioned tracks and events.

With the 2018 Demon, Dodge has done all of the work to get the car soundly into the 9s, so all the buyer will have to do is install a roll cage. Dodge has removed the steps to get the car into the 9s, making it quicker than any other car on sale today, but like any built project car, Demon owners will need to add the roll cage of their choice in order to be NHRA legal.

Read more at: http://www.allpar.com/news/2017/04/will-the-nhra-ban-hurt-demon-owners-37268

Basic Tire Maintenance for Every Driver

The tires are the only thing between the vehicle and the road. When they are properly inflated and in good condition, the handling, stability and safety of the vehicle will be maximized. Conversely, when the tires are under inflated, worn out or damaged, all of the safety systems on the vehicle cannot overcome the loss of control that comes with a blow-out or hydroplaning situation. Air pressure in a tire is like oil in an engine; when it is low, the resulting internal damage is unseen until it is too late. Tires naturally lose 1-2 psi per month, so ongoing neglect will eventually result in a tire that cannot support the weight of the vehicle and the occupants. When this happens, the resulting blow-out can result in the loss of control and an accident.

It’s also important to rotate the tires on the vehicle every 5-7,000 miles. Today’s front-wheel-drive vehicles cause the steer tires to wear at a much faster rate than the tires on the rear axle. By periodically rotating the front tires to the back and the back tires to the front, motorists can achieve even treadwear on all four tires and increase the mileage and performance. Failing to rotate the tires often results in the front tires wearing out faster while the rear tires develop irregular treadwear patterns that cause vibrations. The same can be said for alignments. When the vehicle is not properly aligned, the tires will wear out faster which leads to increased operating costs.

Finally, drivers should perform a visual inspection of their tires on a regular basis, especially after hitting a pothole, curb or any type of road debris. Bulges, cuts and other visible damage weaken the internal components of the tire, which can lead to a blow-out. Regular visual inspections will often identify any potential problems before they result in an accident. It’s also a good idea to have the tires inspected by a professional before any long road trips to ensure there are no obvious out-of-service conditions that must be addressed.

Written by: Kevin Rohlwing, Senior VP of Training, Tire Industry Association

Read more at: http://www.carcare.org/basic-tire-maintenance-every-driver/

2018 Dodge Demon delivers 840 horsepower, does 0-60 in 2.3 seconds

Concluding what has to be the longest teaser campaign in the history of the automotive industry, Dodge has unleashed the 2018 Challenger SRT Demon.

And the car doesn’t disappoint. In fact, it was banned by the NHRA because it’s too fast for the dragstrip.

With performance numbers that are mind boggling, this Dodge halo car is a perhaps the ultimate expression of the American muscle car.

It all starts with the numbers. Peak output is 840 horsepower and 770 pound-feet of torque, making it one of the most powerful V-8 cars ever produced, and that’s just the beginning.

It has so much power it can lift the front wheels off the ground for 2.92 feet, making it the first production car to do so, and that’s been certified by Guinness World Records.

The quarter mile time? A flat out amazing 9.65 seconds at 140 mph, and that was certified by the NHRA. For those keeping score at home, that means the Demon is the fastest production car in a straight line down the quarter mile.

It can pull 1.8 g in acceleration, and run 0-30 mph in 1.0 second while running 0-60 mph in just 2.3 seconds. Yes, you read correctly, and that makes it the fastest production car in the 0-60 mph sprint in the world, regardless of pricing or powertrain. Take that, Tesla.

The craziest part of it all? This beast is a factory-built car with a three-year/36,000-mile vehicle warranty, and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

How did all this happen? Dodge poured a massive amount of engineering into the Demon. This isn’t just a Hellcat with a wide-body kit and more boost. No, more than 50 percent of the engine components have been upgraded over those of the Hellcat.

The 2.7-liter supercharger is bigger than the Hellcat’s 2.4-liter unit. Of course, boost pressure is up 2.9 psi for a total of 14.5 psi of boost. The redline has been raised from 6,200 rpm to 6,500 rpm, and there’s now dual-stage fuel pumps instead of a single-stage pump. That massive air grabber hood? It’s part of a larger induction box along with two other air intake sources.

Like with the Hellcat, Dodge provides two keys. The black key, which you’ll never use, limits engine output to 500 horsepower. The red key unlocks 808 horsepower and 717 pound-feet of torque on regular gas, and if you use the red key and run 100+ octane gas while using the optional Direct Connection powertrain controller, you get the full and quite insane 840 horsepower and 770 pound-feet of torque.

And as we also learned from the barrage of teasers leading up to the Demon’s introduction, this muscle car comes prepared for the dragstrip with a power chiller, after-run chiller, TransBrake, Torque Reserve feature, available front runners, and available Demon crate with parts and tools for the strip.

The Demon rides on a square setup of street-legal drag tires specifically designed for the car by Nitto. Mounted on 18×11-inch aluminum wheels, the Nitto NT05Rs are 315/40s with a 15-percent larger contact patch than the Hellcat giving it, according to Dodge, twice the grip. We can only imagine that the turning radius is about 100 feet. For those who think that’s ridiculous, Dodge will also offer skinny frontrunner drag tires as part of the Demon Crate (more on that later).

For those who think the Hellcat is too fat, the Demon went on a diet to the tune of more than 200 pounds.

Just as you’ll find in other performance vehicles, including the Hellcats, the Demon has driving modes. Appropriately, they are Auto, which is also known as Street, Plus Drag, and Custom. These modes control everything from horsepower output and gasoline octane mode to suspension firmness, transmission calibration, steering, and where the cabin cooling is directed.

As you can tell, this is a serious car meant for the strip. Given that, a four-point harness bar (not a full roll cage) will be available from Speedlogix, and it bolts right into the Demon with mounting points straight from the factory.

Demons come stock with just a driver’s seat, but the rear seat and front passenger seat can be added back as an option for $1 each. While cloth seats are standard, leather is available.

Options are few, but that Demon Crate with tools and parts is on the list, as is the Direct Connection controller, trunk carpeting, a Harmon Kardon 900-watt 19-speaker audio system, a sunroof, and heated and ventilated leather front seats with a heated steering wheel. Buyers can get a satin black finish on the hood, or on the hood, roof, and decklid. We recommend the latter for maximum malevolence.

Dodge hasn’t set pricing, but only 3,300 Demons will be made with 3,000 going to the U.S. and 300 to Canada. Production will start this summer with Demons being unleashed to dealers this fall.

Before that it will prowl the halls of the 2017 New York auto show which starts Wednesday. For full coverage on the show, head to our dedicated hub.

Read more at: http://www.motorauthority.com/news/1109826_2018-dodge-demon-delivers-840-horsepower-does-0-60-in-2-3-seconds

Hellcat-Powered 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

The main problem with having a 707-horsepower engine is getting traction. The Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is a big leap forward — it doubles the rubber meeting the road.

After two years of rumor, the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk was released on April 9, 2017, boasting the same 707 horsepower supercharged Hemi V8 as the Challenger and Charger Hellcats. Torque is just five pound-feet lower at 645.

What difference does all wheel drive make? The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is quoted as having a 3.5 second 0-60 time, devouring the quarter mile in 11.6 seconds at 116 mph, despite the size and bulk of the SUV. The Challenger Hellcat, on the other hand, does 0-60 in 3.7 seconds — but also has a certified 11.0 second quarter mile. Apparently, size and weight matter in the long (quarter mile) run, but traction makes a difference in 0-60 times.

Car & Driver claimed that the Trackhawk used the air conditioning system to cool the intake; we can’t verify that, but it does have the Dodge Demon’s “Torque Reserve” system, allowing it to leave the line at a higher boost (and torque) level. Boost goes up to 11.6 psi.

The Trackhawk, not surprisingly, has a single transmission — the familiar eight-speed automatic — and a single speed transfer case, with a wider chain and forged sprockets; the driveshaft and half shafts are stronger as well. The normal mode for the transfer case is a 40/60 split, front to rear; it can go up to 30/70 in Track mode, or 50/50 in Snow mode. As with the regular Hellcats, going into a sport mode makes the suspension firmer and cuts the time it takes to shift. (Modes are automatic, sport, track, tow, snow, and driver-customized). The seven-inch gauge screen and 8.4 inch stereo are standard.

The Hellcat powered SUV is 259 pounds heavier than the 392-powered Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV, so the active dampers were retuned, and stiffer springs were installed — 9% stiffer in front and 15% stiffer in back.

Like the Grand Cherokee SRT8, the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk sits one inch lower than standard models; it also has adaptive Bilstein shocks, ten inches wide wheels, and 295/45R20 Pirelli BSW all-season run-flat tires (buyers can choose three season radials instead, at no cost). The standard wheel is Titanium with a Satin Chrome center cap; the lightweight is forged aluminum Low Gloss Black. Optional forged wheels cut around 12 pounds. Skidpad testing shows good adherence to the pavement, with 0.88g quoted.

Front brakes are the inevitable Brembo six-piston designs with 15.75 inch vented rotors; the rear wheels have four-piston calipers and 13.73 inch rotors. Splitting Jeep from Dodge is the color of the calipers: yellow, not red. Stopping from 60 mph is a rather good 114 feet.

The Hellcat batching is conspicuous by its absence, perhaps because Jeep competes with Mercedes, BMW, and such, while Dodge generally does not. Instead, buyers see dignified “Supercharged” badges underneath the words “Grand Cherokee.” No bold stripes, no huge hood scoops. There are, admittedly, four tailpipes, twins on each side.

There are few outward signs that this is a Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, not an SRT; the fog lights, though, were removed, with the driver’s side fog light hole now sending air into the engine (as with the Hellcat cars). Inside, there is black chrome and carbon fiber trim, with the SRT’s standard heated and cooled Nappa leather and suede front seats. Buyers can also opt for real-metal trim in black or the dark red; a panoramic sunroof; red seat belts; and a bigger sound system.

The Trackhawk, unsurprisingly, comes with the SRT’s Performance Pages and a mildly optimistic 200 mph speedometer (the top speed has not yet been released). One surprise, though: the tow rating is 7,200 pounds, so if you were worried about going uphill with a trailer, this might work.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk can be ordered “sometime this year.” Colors are white, silver, black, gray, ivory tri-coat, Redline 2, True Blue, and Velvet Red. The axle ratio is 3.70:1. Standard features include HID headlights, a hitch and compact spare, dark-lens tail-lamps, electronic limited-slip rear axle, forward collision warning plus emergency braking, headlamp washers, lane departure warning with mediation, self-parking, power tilt/telescope steering column, rain-sensitive wipers, and selectable steering modes for the electric power steering.

Read more at: http://www.allpar.com/SUVs/jeep/grand-cherokee/trackhawk.html