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It Takes a 1080-HP Jeep Trackhawk to Go Toe-to-Toe With Travis Pastrana's Gymkhana STI

Road & Track logo Road & Track 2 days ago Brian Silvestro
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Travis Pastrana's one-off WRX STI wasn't built for straight-line speed. It was built for Gymkhana stunts. But because the car is packing an 826-horsepower engine sending power to all four wheels through a short-ratio gearbox, it can do a hell of a launch and accelerate at blinding speeds. What we're saying is, it's tough to catch it in a straight line. Not even Rob Dahm's 1000-horsepower three-rotor RX-7 drag car could keep up.

The only car Hoonigan has been able to find so far that can go head-to-head against Pastrana's STI in a straight-up drag is this Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. Modified by Peitz Performance of Cypress, Texas, it makes 1080 horsepower to the wheels (way up from the factory 707 at the crank) thanks to new pistons, rods, cams, ported heads, a bigger throttle body, and a strengthened transmission. It's currently the quickest Trackhawk on the planet, able to run the quarter-mile in 9.43 seconds at 147 mph, despite weighing 5500 pounds.

a person standing in a parking lot: These two very different vehicles are surprisingly well-matched in a runway showdown. © Hoonigan - YouTube These two very different vehicles are surprisingly well-matched in a runway showdown.

The first race against Pastrana is incredibly close, with both cars getting great launches. They stick side by side the entire length of the race, but it's the Cherokee that crosses the line first by a hair. The STI gets a better start during the second race and walks away with the win. The opposite happens on the third race when the Jeep jumps the start. Both cars get good starts for the fourth race, but it's the STI that takes the win by around a car length.

These cars couldn't be more different, yet they're incredibly close on the strip. We'd still have the STI, of course, but there's something exceedingly appealing about a family SUV that can run a nine-second quarter-mile.

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