Here She Is … 2014 Grand Cherokee

November 26, 2012

A few updates are in store for the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and while we’ve told you about them before, we’re now getting our first glimpse at the refreshed SUV without all the heavy camouflage.

Up front, new headlights with LED running lamps flow into a new front fascia design with a smaller seven-slat grille and some curvy bodywork that flows up underneath the headlamp clusters. (With the black tape still covering part of the fascia, can anyone else see a bit of Chrysler 300 in those headlights?) Revisions have been made to the Jeep’s lower front end, as well; and all in, it’s not as aggressive (or handsome) as the current model. Also, we’re not sure how we feel about the flat gray panel that surrounds the grille on the Laredo model, though it’s unclear whether that’s actually a production piece. We’ll hold off making up our minds about the new styling, for certain, until we see the fully baked SUV.

At the back, subtle tweaks have been made to the taillamps (LEDs have been added – surprise, surprise), and the tailgate has been ever-so-slightly redesigned.

The big changes for 2014 lie under the Grand Cherokee’s hood – most notably, the addition of a 3.0-liter diesel V6 for the US market. As we reported earlier, this will be a massaged version of the oil-burning six sold in Europe, and should be good for about 237 horsepower and 407 pound-feet of torque. The Grand Cherokee will also get a new ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic transmission.

Look for the 2014 Grand Cherokee to officially bow at the Detroit Auto Show in January. Production is estimated to start in the spring of 2013.

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Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 in high demand

April 26, 2012

Australia’s ever growing appetite for rugged American SUVs has secured a quarter of the world’s Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 production when the vehicle goes on sale in June.

Global production of the 6.4-litre HEMI V8-powered Grand Cherokee is limited to just 4,000 units per year, a decision that guarantees to keep the ST8s exclusive and in high demand. Australia is considered one of the larger takers of Jeep vehicles outside of North America and has been a strong market for the new Grand Cherokee since the vehicle went on sale in 2011, with the diesel variant remaining the most popular.

Chrysler Australia expects an allocation of around 1,000 right-hand drive SRT8s to satisfy local demand. Nonetheless, more than 250 customers have already put down a deposit and many more have expressed solid interest, despite no word on price.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 was first unveiled at the 2011 New York motor show and has already gone on sale in numerous other markets.

With 347kW of power and 630Nm of torque, the SRT8 accelerates from 0-100km/h in just 4.8 seconds, making it one of the fastest SUVs in the world and certainly the fastest SUV for under $100,000 in Australia.

It’s not just a case of putting a big V8 in an SUV, though. Chrysler’s Street Racing Technology (SRT) team have made significant changes, such as lowering the vehicle by 30mm, adding a new spoiler, rear diffuser and dual sports exhausts. You also get active damping suspension (via the Selec-Terrain system) which allows drivers to choose between track, sport auto, snow and tow.

The success of the Grand Cherokee has led a new resurgence for the Jeep brand worldwide, with the company taking the lead role in international expansion for the Chrysler group (following a decision to withdraw Dodge from many international markets).

Jeep is expected to launch a new standard Australian Cherokee next year with the Patriot and Compass to follow in late 2014.


Jeep Grand Cherokee logs its best December Sales month in six years

January 6, 2012

Jeep Grand Cherokee logs its best sales month in six years … The Jeep brand is continuing to post record sales numbers. 127,000 Jeep Grand Cherokees were sold  in calendar 2011.

U.S. Grand Cherokee sales rose 51% in 2011, hitting 127,744, and over 50,000 of the similar Dodge Durangos were sold in the same year. Demand for the Grand Cherokee and Durango has remained strong, and the Grand Cherokee SRT8, though condemned by some enthusiasts for its price, appears to be selling briskly at many dealerships.

Jeep fans have been requesting diesel-powered vehicles for many years, because their torque at low engine speeds is ideally suited both to heavy vehicles and to off-road use. Diesels also tend to get far better gas mileage than similar gasoline engines, especially in highway use. They tend to produce relatively high torque and low horsepower, and usually have a much lower operating range than gasoline engines; it is possible Jeep was waiting for wider availability of the new ZF 8-speed automatic before using a diesel. Latest — Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel Coming for 2013

While no official word has been released, many expect the Grand Cherokee to use the same VM Motori diesel as in Europe, coupled to the eight speed automatic.

“Our future, like the history of our brands, is interwoven with the City of Detroit,” said Chrysler Group Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne. “Detroit long has been home to renowned innovators and craftsmen. So it is in the Motor City, home of our industrial heritage and a resilient people, that we are entrusting the manufacture not only of the ultimate American sports car, the SRT Viper, and the Jeep Grand Cherokee – the most awarded SUV ever – but also a diesel version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee for North American markets.

“We believe that investing in Detroit is not only the right thing to do, but it is a smart thing to do as we work to write the next chapter in our shared history,” Marchionne said.

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Price Cut

August 21, 2011

A number of models from Chrysler group will be reduced in price for 2012, including the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Durango, and several others. The Detroit Free Presssays the Grand Cherokee will carry the biggest price cut, with over $3000 slashed from the 2011 model’s base price. While new powertrain enhancements help fuel economy, it seems a few convenience feature have been removed from the base model’s standard equipment to facilitate the price drop.

The base model Grand Cherokee Laredo will carry a price tag of $26,995, a decrease of $3220 from the current model’s $30,215 starting price. The big news for the Grand Cherokee in 2012 is the addition of electro-hydraulic power steering, which replaces the all-hydraulic system used on 2011 models. Detroit Free Press says this upgrade is good for a fuel economy rating of 17/23 (City/Highway) mpg in models with the V-6 and rear-wheel drive, up from 16/23 mpg the year before. Four-wheel-drive V-6 models make their gains on the highway, raising from 16/22 mpg to 16/23 mpg in the 2012 model. Fuel economy figures for V-8-powered models haven’t been released yet, but a mpg gains are also expected with the addition of a six-speed automatic transmission – replacing the previous model’s five-speed auto.

According to Detroit Free Press, some other features may have been sacrificed to make the more-than-$3000 price cut possible. The base Laredo loses power eight-way adjustability for the driver’s seat, a feature that was standard in 2011. Detroit Free Press also reports that other optional features cost more than last year, like the Laredo’s leather interior package, which shoots from $4000 to $5300 in 2012.

Meanwhile, the Grand Cherokee’s platform mate, the Dodge Durango, sees a smaller drop in price – reduced by $200 compared to the 2010 model. The same powertrain upgrades planned for the Grand Cherokee are also planned for the Durango. Automotive News reports that the 2012 Dodge Journey will benefit from a $1200 discount, dropping to $21,795 from $22,995, while buyers of the 2012 Dodge Avenger and Chrysler 200 models will see savings of $250 compared to 2011 ($19,745 versus $19,995).

Source: Detroit Free Press, Automotive News

Chrysler Group LLC Reports July 2011 U.S. Sales Increased 20 Percent;… — AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Aug. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ —

August 2, 2011

Chrysler Group LLC Reports July 2011 U.S. Sales Increased 20 Percent;..

Jeep sales … Grand Cherokee

May .. 9,484

Jun  .. 8,969

July .. 9,499

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