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Ferrari F1 Drivers Get New Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 Company Cars

 

Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa and their new company cars.

Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa and their new company cars.

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It’s a long-standing Formula 1 tradition that drivers are given (or leased, for very low rates) automobiles representing the brands they race for. Sebastian Vettel, for example, drives an Infiniti FX50, while Fernando Alonso drives a Maserati GranTurismo convertible.

Or, more accurately, Alonso drove a Maserati GranTurismo. We’re betting that his current ride of choice is the new Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 presented to both Alonso and teammate Felipe Massa by Beth Paretta, director of marketing and operations for the SRT brand.

If you’re puzzled by why Ferrari drivers are being presented with Jeeps, it all ties back to Fiat. The Italian auto giant is the parent of Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, SRT, Ferrari, Maserati, Lancia, Abarth and Alfa Romeo.

The Jeep SRT8s presented to the Ferrari team drivers aren’t off-the-shelf versions, either. Each is sprayed in Ferrari’s signature Rosso Corsa paint, and trimmed with an offset black racing stripe. The roof is finished in matte black, and an italian flag is painted underneath the rear spoiler, as on the F150th Ferrari F1 car.

To improve handling, the ride height on these custom SRT8s has been dropped by 1.5 inches, and each gets a set of black-painted 20-inch wheels.

Inside, the seats are finished in Ferrari Red leather, as are the door panels, armrest and instrument panel. The steering wheel gets red accent stitching, and the gauge faces are done in Maranello Yellow to match Ferrari’s GT cars.

Under the hood, Alonso and Massa will have to make due with the stock 6.4-liter Hemi V-8, which puts out 470 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque. That’s good enough to get the plus-sized SUV from 0-60 mph in just 4.8 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 160 mph. Not bad for an all-wheel-drive grocery-getter.

The pair of Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8s are the first delivered in Europe, and the SUV goes on sale to European customers this summer.

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Comments (8)
  1. saw one of these new Grand Cherokees on the road the other day. Very nice looking car, although a shame it uses the Cherokee name as that was always go anywhere 4x4 of the past along the lines of the original go anywhere WW2 Wileys Jeep
     
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  2. @WizardsLore, the new Grand Cherokee is much better on-road than the old model, and that's where the bulk of them spend their lives. I haven't driven the new Jeep GC SRT8 yet, but I'm really looking forward to it. All of the SRT vehicles are much more fun to drive than they should be.
     
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  3. @ Kurt, thats because you yanks have a tendency to load a big bore V8 into any car you can. I would say for freeway crusing thats great but in what is supposed to be a road car with the ability to go on pebble loose roads nots not necessarily a good thing. I have driven any n umber of large SUV's with lower prrofile tires and large engines and the tendency to lose all amounts of grip and increased road noise is dangerous at best. unfortunately these cars are ultimately for posiers. good looking but pretty redundent for everyday driving
     
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  4. @WizardsLore, the SRT8 isn't designed for anything other than paved roads.
     
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  5. s@ Kurt, then why not get a sedan or a wagon. it will handle a damn sight better too haha

    im trying to put my sensible cap on here, the GC wasnt designed to house a beefed up engine, but it was added later on. something like the Cayenne or the Tourag, or the X5 or the ML were designed with the intention of having large powerful engines. As such their road manners reflect the positive engineering that took place during the desing process, and not as an afterthought.
    hope that makes sense
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  6. @WizardsLore, think of the JGC SRT8 as a maul (for splitting firewood). The BMW and Porsche models are hydraulic log splitters.

    When you're trying to lay in firewood for winter, the hydraulic ram is a much better option. On the other hand, there's something that just feels good, on a visceral level, about splitting firewood by hand.

    That's what the JGC SRT8 is about...
     
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  7. hahah a back to basics styled car then ??? i get you :)

    then let me put this to you, why all the mod cons if its supposed to appeal to all those visceral sences that the rugged man craves in his down to earth car?
     
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  8. @WizardsLore, not sure I understand the phrase "mod cons"
     
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