The range-topping Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 arrives in the UK in the Autumn, but just 100 cars are allocated to the UK in the first year.
We like just about everything that makes up the new Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8.
We like its styling – still very US but with a welcome does of European panache; we like its interior – no longer an American plastic feast; we like it’s price – there’s a lot on offer for not silly money.
But most of all we like the SRT8’s performance. It offers all the goodness of a regular Grand Cherokee but turns in to real competition for the German super-SUVs with a mammoth 6.4 litre Hemi V8 good for 465bhp and a 0-62mph 4.8 seconds.
And not only will the SRT8 go like a rat being chased by a Jack Russell in a straight line, it will also make short work of the twisty stuff thanks to a fettling of the suspension by Chrysler’s Street and Racing Technology Division (that’s the ‘SRT’ bit in SRT8).
So with prices for the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 starting in the UK at £59k we thought Chrysler would have a real sales success on its hands. Yes, Jeep are only building 4,000 a year to make sure they all find buyers and keep their halo car ‘rare’, but we did think the UK would get a decent allocation. But it seems not.
It seems Chrysler are allocating just 500 cars to the whole of Europe in the first year, and just 100 of those are coming to the UK in RHD form. Contrast that to Australia (a market less than a tenth the size of Europe and less than half the size of the UK) which is getting 1,000 SRT8s, and Chrysler’s logic has lost us.
All we can assume is that a bean counter somewhere in the bowels of Chrysler has looked as sales figures for big petrol SUVs in that part of the world that’s ‘Not America’ and thought “That there Australia buys a lot still, we’ll send most of them there“, without actually looking at what sort of petrol SUV sells in Australia.
It’s true Australia does buy more petrol SUVs than Europe, but we wouldn’t mind betting that Europe – and in particular Germany and the UK – buy more performance SUVs than just about anywhere – including Australia.
So come on Chrysler – give us a fair share of Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8s. You know it makes sense.