- A 2014 Jeep Cherokee SRT is in the works, according to allpar.com.
- Chrysler would not confirm the report.
- SRT is the Chrysler Group's performance brand.
The vehicle is expected to be equipped with a nine-speed automatic transmission and likely will be offered with all-wheel drive for better driving dynamics, according to allpar.com. A turbocharged version of the automaker's new 3.0-liter V6 is one of the engines that would fit under the hood, allpar.com also said.
Chrysler spokesman Dianna Gutierrez would not confirm that a Cherokee SRT is planned.
"We have not made any announcements," Gutierrez told Edmunds. "We don't comment on future products and we don't comment on speculation."
However, Jim Hall, an analyst with 2953 Analytics, said the report that an SRT variant is planned "doesn't surprise me."
SRT is the Chrysler Group's performance brand. The automaker currently markets the Chrysler 300 SRT8, Dodge Challenger SRT8 392, Dodge Charger SRT8 and Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8, along with the SRT Viper convertible and SRT Viper GTS coupe.
The 2014 Cherokee has been redesigned and developed on a front-drive vehicle architecture created by Fiat. Sales of non-performance Cherokee models, including those that are trailed-rated, begin this fall. Cherokee replaces Liberty in Jeep's lineup. With its front and all-wheel-drive configurations, the new Cherokee is expected to be a strong competitor to the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and other compact crossovers.
Although Hall does not know whether Jeep will offer an SRT Cherokee, he told Edmunds that an SRT variant is a logical choice for the automaker.
"They now have the powertrains and the platform, and as you know, they engineered that thing... to take a broad band of engines," Hall said. "It would not surprise me at all to do an SRT version of that (model)."
Additionally, he said the sole SRT model in Jeep's lineup is a big money maker that likely would influence the automaker's decision to produce a Cherokee version.
"The SRT version of the Grand Cherokee has proven to be a cash cow," Hall said. "The volumes are not high. (But) when you look at the incremental cost compared to what they charge for it, they get to pocket a nice piece of change."
The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT stickers for $63,990 including $995 for transportation, according to the Jeep configurator.
Edmunds says: A 2014 Jeep Cherokee SRT is a no-brainer, it would seem.