No so long ago, we’d never fathom such a contest outside some crazy street race video where someone drops a Jeep body onto a freaking jet engine or something. But no, this is a drag race between a bone stock Jeep Grand Cherokee and a McLaren 570S supercar, and it’s close. World, welcome to 2018 courtesy of Hennessey Performance, the architects behind this adventure.
Did we forget to mention the Jeep is a 707-horsepower (527kW), Hellcat-powered Trackhawk? Our bad; we’re still getting used to saying Hellcat and Jeep in the same sentence. Its competition heralds from England, and though the McLaren doesn’t have quite as much horsepower – 562 (419kW) is available from its mid-mounted biturbo V8 – it is a bit lighter. Correction – a lot lighter, as in roughly half the weight of the Jeep. So while the muscle SUV has 145 more hp, it’s also burdened with 2,400 extra pounds. Ouch.
On paper, the all-wheel drive Trackhawk is said to hit 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. The McLaren, on the other hand, does the same sprint in 3.1 seconds with just the rear hides clawing at pavement. Bench racing would give the victory to the supercar, but we all know numbers don’t always tell the tale. So what’s going to happen here?
That’s an interesting question, because there are a couple of results. Take away the McLaren’s launch control, and it’s buh-bye supercar. We reckon a skilled 570S pilot could achieve a better result, but it goes to show just how much of a difference technology can make. That’s because the outcome is quite different with the 570S in full attack mode, losing just the smallest bit of ground thanks to launch control. After that, it's buh-bye Jeep.
What’s the takeaway here? If you happen to own a McLaren, you’ll probably still be faster than a stock Jeep. But don’t let your guard down.