What Does This Insanely Awesome Button Do?


The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 is home to perhaps one of the most appropriate buttons we've encountered in the What Does This Button Do? series. Mysterious buttons are rarely spelled out as clearly as the Jeep SRT8's, or as fun to use.

By spelled out, we mean the whole word, "Launch," appears on the button to designate the 470-horsepower, all-wheel-drive Jeep SRT8's Launch Mode. There are no acronyms or guessing with this button. What the button does is also made clearer by the awesome depiction of a drag strip's starting-line lights, aka a "Christmas tree."

Jeep's launch control is standard on SRT8s for consistent, enhanced fast starts of the high-performance SUV. Launch Mode brings the engine, suspension, transmission and driveline together for fast launches from a standstill by revving the engine at a standstill and launching the 5,000-pound SUV like a rocket.


To activate, Jeep's instructions say the SUV must be stopped on a level surface before fully depressing the brake pedal - while in Drive - and then pressing the Launch button. While holding the brake, mash the accelerator pedal to the floor within a half-second and the engine will rev to a predetermined rpm. Once the engine speed is up, all the driver has to do is lift the brake and the SRT8 launches perfectly every time.

Cars.com reviewer Aaron Bragman tested the SRT8's Launch Mode at the vehicle's introduction:

"Jeep rates the SRT Grand Cherokee at 4.8 seconds from zero to 60 mph, but I discovered that this is a conservative figure: Using the SRT's onboard software and a special launch button, I was able to consistently rip off 4.5-second zero-to-60 times, and SRT engineers say that they've been able to achieve 60 mph in 4.2 seconds under perfect conditions."

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And with about $25k worth of engine work, you'll have a family hauler that will make those in the far more expensive Cayenne Turbo S wonder what they could have done with that additional $60k. Like buy another SRT Cherokee as a daily driver.


The launch button launches the four wheel drive


and this is needed why? do a lot of Jeep Cherokee driver drag race? seems like a good way to needing a new transmission, engine &
other things

Ray ray

Yes, actually, a lot of people drag race these. Why? Because they are a vehicle that will do 0-60 in 4.5 seconds. Herp derp! They are meant for this. As far as needing a new tranny, engine & other things... don't be silly. It's a Chrysler product. They were all going to fail prematurely anyhow.


Oh...so if you don't press the launch button and you floor it you blow it up? Are they assuming decades of race-accelerating drivers don't know how to take their foot off the break just after revving the motor? DUH!

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