When you think of vehicles that can quickly lap Germany’s famed “Green Hell,” the Nürburgring Nordschleife, Jeep’s Grand Cherokee SUV
probably isn’t near the top of your list. Even in SRT8 trim
, it’s size, weight and and high center of gravity conspire against it.
Which is exactly why SRT hired ‘Ring ace Sabine Schmitz to pilot the Grand Cherokee SRT8 on a hot lap of the Norschleife. Schmitz probably knows the track better than any other current driver, and has experience piloting everything from the old M5 ‘Ring Taxi
thorough a Ford Transit Van at speed.
The results were either amusing or disappointing, depending upon your perspective of the lap. As Autoblog
points out, the SRT8’s time never came close to dethroning the Viper SRT10 ACR’s production-car-lap-record of 7:12.13
, and it didn’t even unseat the Chevrolet HHR SS, which lapped in 8:43.52.
It took the Jeep 8:49 to complete the lap, even with the immensely-qualified Schmitz behind the wheel. From the video, it sounds as if a sword fight was going on inside the cabin, which probably didn’t help Schmitz’s concentration on the task at hand.
Scoff at the time if you will, but how many other ‘Ring lap record holders have the off-road heritage of the Jeep? Besides, it easily bested the 8:55 time posted by the Range Rover Sport Supercharged
, which gives SRT8 owners some bragging rights, at least.