"When we set out to create the first Jeep-branded SRT vehicle, the 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee presented us with an incredibly capable starting point,” said Dan Knott, Director – Street and Racing Technology, Chrysler Group. “With an infusion of SRT DNA, the 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 is the new benchmark performance SUV. It has the raw power to outperform the Porsche Cayenne Turbo, while providing exceptional ride and handling, world-class braking, race-inspired interior appointments and functional, performance-oriented exterior enhancements."
The first retail-ready pilot model was built on March 11th, 2005, just ahead of its appearance on TV and at the NY auto show. A total of 41 pre-production pilot models were built from March through September.
Around the time that the spy photos first appeared, a Jeep executive commented on what it would take to build a a SRT version of the Grand Cherokee. He said that "a Jeep aimed at performance enthusiasts would have to be re-engineered. The center of gravity would have to be lowered, which would affect the vehicle's off-road capability. They could not lower the suspension of the vehicle enough to get high speed, highly capable handling and then have the articulation needed to go off road, it wouldn't work. He said that Jeep does not think people would expect a racing inspired, street-legal, high-performance Jeep to be, at the same time, off-road capable. That's the tradeoff".
The 2006 Grand Cherokee SRT8 is a derivative of the all-new WK generation which debuted for the 2005 model year. At the time of the original development of the WK series the SRT8 was not in the plans. The SRT division was already starting to grow but they were working on Dodge Vipers, Rams and Neons. In fact, it took quite a bit of convincing by SRT staff to the top brass at DaimlerChrysler to approve the idea for a Jeep version. Better minds prevailed and as they say, the rest is history.
The SRT8 Grand Cherokee was officially introduced to the press and public on Thursday March 24th at the NY Auto Show.
Retail production of the 2006 Grand Cherokee SRT8 began on November 5, 2005, with production slowly ramping up in the months following. A few dealers received them in late December, with the first retail model being put into service on December 20, 2005. The base MSRP was $39,995 including destination.
A total of 3,172 Grand Cherokee SRT8's were built for the 2006 model year. This includes 115 pilot/company lease vehicles. The total for the U.S. was 2,800 and for Canada just 164 while Mexico came in at 208. For the exterior colors, approximately 50% were Black while Red and Silver were even with around 25% each.
Introductory Base MSRP including $695 destination: $40,675.00
2007 models of the SRT8 started production in early August 2006. Due to a factory shutdown for inventory adjustment, all Grand Cherokee production was stopped from September 15 until mid October. New features and changes included:
Introductory Base MSRP including $695 destination: $41,220.00
2008 models of the SRT8 started production on July 16, 2007. The Jeep SRT8 recieved a refresh for the 2008 model year with an extensive list of new features and changes:
Introductory Base MSRP including $730 destination: $42,730.00
2009 models of the SRT8 started production on August 11, 2008. New features and changes included:
Introductory Base MSRP including $780 destination: $44,105.00
2010 models of the SRT8 started production on August 17, 2009. New features and changes included:
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