Lots of people expected Jeep to unveil a Hellcat-powered Grand Cherokee Trackhawk at the 2016 New York Auto Show, but that apparently wasn’t Jeep’s plan. Some different Grand Cherokee-related news came out of the Big Apple instead.
The news concerned the 2017 Grand Cherokee Summit and previously-leaked 2017 Grand Cherokee Trailhawk, that focus on luxury and off-road ability, respectively, instead of tire-shredding horsepower. Not quite as exciting as the mythical Trackhawk, admittedly.
Like the Cherokee and Renegade models that also bear that name, the Trailhawk has the most off-road aptitude of any Grand Cherokee model. It’s a fitting addition to the lineup, as the Trailhawk name was first used on a Grand Cherokee. It started out as one of the concepts Jeep unveils every year for the Moab Easter Safari, and then became a limited-edition 2013 model.
The new Trailhawk will be a higher volume model, but adapts some of the previous version’s styling cues, including a blacked-out hood graphic and other details. Mechanically, it gets the top Quadra-Drive II four-wheel drive system, a specially-tuned air suspension system, Selec-Speed Control with hill ascent control, and skid plates. The Trailhawk stands tall with 10.8 inches of ground clearance, says Jeep.
Taking things in a different direction is the Grand Cherokee Summit. It aims for more luxury with features like a Laguna leather interior with Nappa leather-wrapped dashboard, center console, as well as door panels, Berber carpets, acoustic glass, and active noise cancellation to quiet the interior. Alternatively, you can make some noise with the 19-speaker Harman/Kardon sound system. The Summit is distinguished by a model-specific grille, LED fog lights, and 20-inch polished alloy wheels.
The Trailhawk and Summit will be offered with the same engines as most other Grand Cherokee models, including the 3.6-liter Pentastar gasoline V6, 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6, and 5.7-liter Hemi V8. The 6.1-liter Hemi will remain exclusive to the SRT model. Both new Grand Cherokee variants will be available this summer, and maybe that Trackhawk will show up too.