Historian John Dalberg’s oft-quoted dictum that “power tends to corrupt, absolute power corrupts absolutely” can be sprinkled liberally across the automotive spectrum. Anyone familiar with an early Saab 900 Turbo (RIP) will attest to this. Here though, it takes on a grisly significance. This is the Hennessey HPE800 Twin Turbo Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8.
That 800 in the moniker stands, naturally, for how many horses have been strapped under the Santa-spec red bonnet. 805bhp, to be precise, that ride shotgun with 823 torques to give a 0-100kph time of 3.1 seconds. That’s fractionally, fractionally faster than a Ferrari 458 Italia. Mr Hennessey tells us it’ll do the standing quarter mile in 10.9 seconds, travelling at 210kph.
That massive 6.4-litre V8 gets rebigulated to 7 litres, treated to two turbos and mated to an upgraded transmission and torque converter. It also gets 20in wheels, much leather and Alcantara, a Brembo brake system, lowered sports suspension and a carbon fibre lip spoiler.
Says Mr Hennessey: “This vehicle is designed for the performance minded driver who live in Aspen or Moscow and wants to be the fastest in all weather conditions.”
Or indeed, the driver who enjoys plastering looks of sheer surprise across supercar owners at the lights. Yikes.