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Sunday 10 December 2017
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Estrenamos la Hellcat de los vehículos SUV

El nuevo modelo Trackhawk de la Jeep Grand Cherokee está equipado con el mismo motor Hemi V8 de 6.2 litros con supercharger y 707 caballos de fuerza que tienen las temibles versiones Hellcat del Dodge Charger y el Dodge Challenger. MotorShowPR la estrenó en las carreteras del estado de Maine y en una pista en New Hampshire. FOTOS: Andrés O’Neill, Jr.

 

Con 707 caballos de fuerza cortesía de los modelos Hellcat de Dodge, la Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk se convierte en la SUV más potente del mundo.

 

Portland, Maine – Siempre he dicho que los ingenieros de la división Street Racing Technologies (SRT) de Chrysler son seres con mentes tenebrosas. Ellos son los que se encargan de inventar con motores que ya de por sí son potentes para sacarles aún más fuerza y llevarlos a niveles demenciales de potencia. Toman vehículos que ya de por sí son rápidos y los transforman en misiles de cuatros ruedas.

  • Las pruebas de manejo en carretera fueron en el estado de Maine y las de pista, en New Hampshire.

Las obras más célebres de SRT son las versiones Hellcat del Dodge Charger y el Dodge Challenger, cuyos motores con supercharger generan una furia infernal de 707 caballos de fuerza.

No contentos con eso, siguieron haciendo ajustes, y se las ingeniaron para extraerle aún más energía al motor Hemi del Challenger Hellcat y llevarlo hasta los 840 caballos. Equipado con esa bestia de motor el carro pasa a llamarse Demon.

El nombre “Trackhawk” (halcón de pistas) es un juego de palabras del nombre “Trailhawk” (halcón de los senderos), designación que reciben las máximas veraiones 4×4 de los otros modelos de Jeep como Compass, Renegade y Cherokee.

El modelo que más recientemente cayó en las manos maquiavélicas de SRT fue la Jeep Grand Cherokee. A estas mentes torcidas se les ocurrió instalarle a una cómoda guagua familiar de lujo nada menos que el mismo motor de los Hellcats, el monstruoso Hemi de 6.2 litros con supercharger y caballaje de 707. Equipada así, la guagua adquiere el nombre de Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, el halcón de la pista. Y aunque no le dieron el nombre de Hellcat, se puede decir con toda propiedad que es la Hellcat de las camionetas SUV.

  • El punto de partida fue un viejo almacén industrial en la ciudad de Portland, Maine.

Otra cosa puede decirse de la Trackhawk: es la guaugua SUV más potente del mundo. No existe un vehículo utilitario de producción que supere sus 707 caballos de fuerza. Ni siquiera la Bentley Bentayga con su motor de 12 cilindros twin turbo.

Al descubierto: la bestia que se esconde debajo del bonete.

 

Así luce el motor ya instalado.

Justo antes del huracán Irma tuve acceso a esta Grand Cherokee demencial. Como parte de un evento de manejo para la prensa internacional, viajé a Estados Unidos donde probé la Trackhawk en una larga ruta por los estados de Maine y New Hampshire.

Dependiendo del equipo ordenado, los precios en Puerto Rico correrán entre $100,000 y $125,000.

Los expresos de Maine tienen un límite de velocidad un poquito más alto que los de Puerto Rico: 70 mph (112 kph). Para un vehículo ordinario es más que suficiente, pero para un monstruo como la Trackhawk quedarse en las 70 o 75 es una tortura. A esa velocidad el Hemi simplemente comienza a ponerse en forma. Es cuando pide más presión del pie derecho, listo para dar muchísimo más. Bueno, como que su velocidad tope es de 180 mph (288 kph). ¿No les dije que SRT crea misiles de cuatro ruedas?

La ruta nos llevó por muchos pueblos pequeños de la ruralía de Maine y New Hampshire.

Manejar un vehículo así en la carretera conllevó mucha mesura. Afortunadamente, parte del día de prueba fue en Club Motorsports, una pista recién construida en New Hampshire. Allí manejamos la Trackhawk sin riendas.

Lleva la placa de los Hellcats en el motor.

Como muchos de los mejores autos deportivos, la Trackhawk tiene un sistema llamado “Launch Control”. Muy apropiado el nombre porque prácticamente es eso mismo: un sistema de despegue. Activado, permite un arranque casi perfecto de 0 a 60 mph. Con la compañía de un instructor, realicé esta prueba siguiendo sus órdenes: “Activa el sistema. Hunde el pedal de freno. Presiona el acelerador hasta el fondo”.

A este punto, el Hemi suelta un rugido que da miedo. Pero más terror da la acción instantánea que ocurre luego de la próxima instrucción: “¡Suelta el freno!”.

Al hacer eso, la Trackhawk libera unos niveles de potencia casi nucleares que la disparan hacia el frente y que pegan a uno contra el espaldar del asiento. En cuestión de un instante alcanza velocidades de tres dígitos y rápidamente sale la próxima orden del instructor: “¡Frena!”.

La Club Motorsports, donde hicimos las pruebas de velocidad es una pista recién construida en la localidad de Tamworth en el estado de New Hampshire. Es una pista a la que se tiene acceso por membresía.

Frené y miramos y el cronómetro en el panel de instrumentos: 3.8 segundos. O sea, un arranque de 0 a 60 mph de menos de cuatro segundos… ¡en un vehículo de 5,500 libras y con tres personas a bordo! En un cero a sesenta, 3.8 es un númerito que definitivamente pertenece a la liga de autos exóticos

Sí, definitivamente la Trackhawk es la Hellcat de las guaguas SUV.

 

La Trackhawk en el punto final de la ruta: el hotel Press, en el centro de la ciudad de Portland, Maine.

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Periodista automotriz, escritor, viajero, road tripper y fanático del metal. Su carrera de más de 20 años lo ha llevado a cubrir eventos en países de Asia, Europa, el Caribe y Latinoamérica, además de gran parte de Estados Unidos y Canadá. Actualmente escribe la sección de autos del semanario de negocios “Caribbean Business”, las de autos y viajes del semanario “CB en Español” y de las revistas “Imagen” y “Buena Vida”. En radio cubre la industria automotriz en el programa “AutoShow 580” (sábados a las 4:00 p.m. con repetición a la medianoche) por la estación WKAQ de Univisión Radio y los lunes en la mañana conduce las cápsulas informativas “MotorShow” en las estaciones “Estereotempo”, “Z-93”, “La Nueva 94” y “El Circo de La Mega”.


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