We know the Jeep Trackhawk is the most powerful SUV in the world. But its now proven itself to be the world’s fastest SUV – on ice.

Running on the frozen Lake Baikal in Russia, the Trackhawk topped at a frankly scary 174mph.

It also achieved a flying kilometre average speed of 159.6mph. Which is still faster than most SUVs top out at.

Frankly, it’s hardly surprising the Trackhawk was so fast since it’s powered by a 6.2-litre, supercharged HEMI V8 that thumps out 710hp and 618lb/ft of torque. That’s enough for a 0-62mph time of a mere 3.7secs and a top speed of 180mph. In a car that weighs 2.5 tons and has the aerodynamics of a small warehouse.

The record was set during the Baikal Ice Motor Sports Festival, a sort of very cold, Russian equivalent of the Bonneville Speed Week in the United States. The competing cars run on a specially prepared 12km course.

Lake Baikal, in deepest Siberia, is largest fresh water lake in the world, holding more water than all of America’s Great Lakes combined. It’s nearly 400 miles long, 50 miles wide, an average of over 2,400ft deep and contains more than 20% of the world’s surface fresh water. It’s also one of the most ancient lakes in the world, and is home to many species that don’t exist anywhere else on the planet.

It’s get pretty warm on a bright and sunny day, even in the Arctic. So, though the lake is frozen over, for much of day competitors have to contend with a layer of water on top of the ice. That put the Trackhawk’s huge Brembo brakes and Quadra-Trac four-wheel-drive system to the test. Even so, it’s a fair bet that driving it at such high speed, through water, on ice, was a puckeringly scary experience.

The outright speed record on ice stands at 215.5mph, set – slightly weirdly – by a massively modified BMW E30 M3.

By Graham King