Driveshaft upgrades help Trackhawk power up

FCA chose GKN Automotive’s high-performance halfshafts and propshaft for the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

Ambitious targets drive the auto industry forward. For the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, the goal was to build the quickest, most powerful SUV.
To get the 2.4-tonne, 707bhp vehicle to deliver acceleration of 0-60mph in 3.5 seconds, the SRT engineering team at FCA worked with GKN engineers on the driveline.

It meant applying motorsport technology to a high-volume SUV for the first time. Upgrades to the rear halfshafts and propshaft used aerospace materials and designs developed for the World Rally Car (WRC) series and the Dakar Rally.

Performance matters

“We started with extreme motorsports performance requirements as the baseline,” says Uwe Paksa, GKN Driveline Vice President CVJ Engineering. “We then had to ensure the driveline met the Trackhawk’s torque demands for straight-line speed and efficiency.”

Perhaps the best thing about extraordinary goals is that people notice. “Surprisingly sophisticated”, “refreshingly different” and “absurdly compelling” give an idea of the feedback from the press and the buzz the Trackhawk’s launch generated.

The Trackhawk’s ambitious targets did not just earn it entry into an elite group of high-performance SUVs: it changed expectations.