We don’t usually bother with special editions, but we’ll make an exception on two counts: 1) the latest Jeep Grand Cherokee is a genuinely good, likable car, and 2) it’s called Red Vapour.
The GC SRT is a bit of an outsider in the UK. Though we love sports car-quick SUVs, the brand pull of the Porsche Cayenne means the Jeep only sells in penny numbers. Despite being more powerful, quicker to 62mph and £11,000 cheaper than the closest German rival, the Cayenne GTS.
A 6.4-litre V8 powers the beast, sending 461bhp to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Together they dispatch 62mph in 5.0 seconds and run on to 160mph. The handling is pretty well sorted as well, with a sophisticated 4WD system and active dampers.
The Red Vapour adds 20-inch wheels, sill extensions, wider wheelarches and gloss black details to the outside; black leather seats with red suede inserts, a backlit badge on the steering wheel and grey chrome trim to the inside. Jeep’s latest touchscreen-based infotainment system with 3D nav, voice recognition, Bluetooth and 825w Harman Kardon stereo come as standard.
The price for all this? £64,999. Which is a lot for a Jeep, though still much cheaper than the aforementioned Porsche. Just try to ignore the vertical depreciation.
In other Jeep news, you can now buy the Cherokee Trailhawk in the UK. As the name suggests, it’s much more off-road focused than the rest of the recently launched Cherokee range. It’s the only one to get a petrol engine as well, a 268bhp, 3.2-litre V6.
With raised suspension, tougher bodywork, rear diff lock and a speed control system that works uphill and down, it should be able to at least keep up with a Land Rover Discovery Sport when the going gets rough. At £34,2545, we suspect most people who really need the Trailhawk’s off-road ability will simply buy the Landy. Still, it’s an interesting alternative.