FrontRunners: Grander Cherokee

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Chrysler has brought its Jeep brand into the high-performance SUV ring with the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 (www.drivesrt.com). On a par with Germany’s best SUVs and priced from $55,300, the SRT8 is distinguished visually from the standard Grand Cherokee by bodywork that appears more aggressive and a stance that is 1 inch lower. More significantly, the SRT8 packs a 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 that generates 470 hp and 465 ft lbs of torque and can shuffle the 5,150-pound vehicle from zero to 60 mph in just 4.8 seconds. In addition to the engine, other SRT8-only perks include a paddle-shifted 5-speed automatic transmission, permanent all-wheel drive, Bilstein active adaptive damping, and Brembo brakes that will bring the vehicle from 60 mph to a stop in just 116 feet.

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