Can Hennessey's big Caddy notch another win at the drag strip?
Another week, another interesting drag race from the folks at Hennessey Performance. After pretty much the entire world watched the tuning company’s 800-horsepower Cadillac Escalade whip a stock Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in a straight-line contest of speed, Hennessey decided to make it a fair fight by pitting SUV against SUV. What off-roader could possibly stand a chance against an 800-horsepower (597 Kw) land yacht in a black tuxedo? That’s right, it’s the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk and its 707-horsepower (527 Kw) Hellcat V8.
At this point you’re probably thinking the Caddy notches another victory. After all, it holds a significant power advantage over the Jeep and it’s not like the Trackhawk is some miniscule, lightweight supercar. Nor does it seem to be a fair fight, considering the big Escalade has all kinds of go-fast parts thrown at it whereas the lowly Jeep is factory-stock. Toss another 100 ponies under the hood of the Trackhawk and the outcome would almost certainly be quite different.
Here’s the thing though – the Trackhawk wins, and not just necessarily at the last second. As with the Camaro race, the Cadillac grabs the advantage at launch but only by the smallest of margins. Lest we forget the Trackhawk also has all-wheel drive and a monstrous supercharged mill of its own, not to mention a weight advantage of approximately 500 pounds (227 kilograms) and a slightly more aerodynamic profile. It also has less rotational mass with its 20-inch wheels versus the massive 22s on the Caddy – bling does come at a cost of performance.
So yeah, the stock Jeep beats the modded Escalade in a drag race. We won’t completely spoil the video by revealing the margin of victory, and there’s also the crazy bouncing from the Escalade during launch that’s rather comical to watch. Still, it’s nice to live in a world where a freaking stock Jeep can best anything on four wheels with 800 horsepower.