What to Read Next

Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8, a ‘shine runner’s dream: Motoramic TV

13 February 2013

Chrysler’s non-Viper SRT cars are all variations on a simple formula: add big power, big brakes and firm suspension to mainstream vehicles to create factory hot-rod sleepers. And the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 is the biggest sleeper of them all.

The Jeep is unique among SRTs in that it offers standard all-wheel-drive. Drop a 470-hp Hemi into a Dodge Charger or Challenger and you get a vehicle that wants to do a burnout for three blocks every time you stomp the gas. In the Jeep, though, that 6.4-liter V-8 deploys its power with ruthless efficiency. When I climb into the SRT, the onboard performance computer shows that someone cracked off a 0-60 run in 4.2 seconds. And this is a 2013 model—next year brings the eight-speed ZF transmission, which will make the big Jeep even quicker. Might we see a Jeep running sub-four-second 0-60 runs? That seems entirely possible.

While the SRT version of the Grand Cherokee does without the height-adjustable suspension and Kevlar-reinforced sidewalls of the more off-road-oriented versions, it can still navigate a rough dirt road in a way that honors its SUV roots. Which got me thinking, naturally, about moonshine and the Jeep’s suitability as a bootlegger car.

Back in the days when Junior Johnson was serving time for bootlegging, liquor runners wanted a vehicle that combined power, a healthy cargo capacity and low-key styling. And, oh yeah, a bit of ground clearance would be nice, too, for accessing backwoods stills and overland shortcuts.

The Grand Cherokee SRT8 would appear to succeed on all counts, making it an awesome weapon for illicit cross-country whiskey transportation. But I figured that I’d better find out by sending my moonshine-running cousins, Lance and Randy, out for a track test — a dirt-track test. Then they headed into the woods to assess the Jeep’s shortcut-taking ability. As for that 0-60 timer, they claim they managed a run in 5.7 seconds. Which doesn’t sound that quick until you consider that there was no pavement anywhere in sight. For all-weather, all-terrain American speed, the Grand Cherokee SRT8 is as good as its gets.

Sorry, General Lee, but if I need to straighten the curves and flatten the hills in a modern Mopar, I’m not choosing a Dodge. I’m climbing in the window of a Jeep.

Starwood Credit Card

Earn 25,000 Bonus Starpoints®! Use toward Award Nights or Flights.

Military Mortgage Rates In 2016

Rates as Low as 2.75% (3.028% APR) 15 Year Fixed. Exclusive For Veteran & Military Takes 1 Min!

Stomping Out Burglary, One Home at a Time

After his friends were robbed, an engineer at Harvard discovered a serious problem in the home security industry. So He Built Something New.

10 Cards for People Who Have Great Credit

What card offers up to 5% cash back? And which one offers 24/7 concierge service? See the best credit cards of 2016. Apply online, quickly & easily.

Naive Homeowners Make Banks Record Profits in 2015

Homeowners are in for a shocking surprise in 2016. If you own a home and owe less than $625,000 then you need to read this before it's too late...

Insane Navy Seal Flashlight, should it be banned?

The Military has recently released technology that is now available to the public. Get yours before they run out - Limited Supply!

Heartburn Facts

Read About Heartburn Facts From TUMS. Check Out Heartburn History, Who Gets Heartburn and More.

Mountains of Freebies Are Delivered Every Day!

7 million users get samples without buying anything! Sign up to get yours!

Banks Are Worried Homeowners Will Do This.

Homeowners are surprised and furious. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home, you better read this.

How To Pay Off Your Mortgage (It's Genius)

Homeowners are surprised and furious. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home, you better read this...

Missed Open Enrollment? You can still buy Medigap!

The Medicare Open Enrollment Period isn't the only time to buy Medigap coverage. You can actually buy at any time of the year.

Ever Googled Someone? Do A "Deep Search" Instead

Entering a Name and State on this site could reveal info you thought wasn't available. Have you searched yourself or someone you know yet?

The Smith Part-Time MBA Gives You More Options

Ad Description Earn an MBA from UMD on your schedule. New accelerated options at 3 locations.

Kid sleep troubles email series for moms

We get it. We’ve been there. Sign up for our email track to learn how to handle kids who won’t go to sleep or won’t stay in bed.