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The automotive industry is a global business that is constantly evolving and growing, and we here at AutoGuide know it can be hard to keep up sometimes. So here is a summary of the top stories you may have missed this past week:
The automotive industry is a global business that is constantly evolving and growing, and we here at AutoGuide know it can be hard to keep up sometimes. So here is a summary of the top stories you may have missed this week:
The Houston Auto Show isn’t known for big reveals, but that didn’t stop Jeep from unveiling a new Grand Cherokee special edition concept at the venue today. To name the new concept, Jeep is staging a contest, putting out the call to the public at http://www.jeep.com/en/2012/namemyride/ to put a badge on the back of this machine, which has been confirmed for production.
The choice of the Houston auto show isn’t surprising when you consider that Jeep sales increased 153 percent in Texas in 2011, and Grand Cherokee sales in Texas increased 226 percent. The custom Grand Cherokee is much more aggressive than the standard model thanks to the blacked out theme contrasting with small chrome bits here and there. The 20-inch wheels are blacked out with a glossy finish, the regularly chrome grille is all black, and even the lift gate light bar appears in black to accentuate the stealth look.
Some amenities that will come standard on the new Jeep are leather trimmed heated front seats, Parkview rear backup camera, keyless enter and go, a nine speaker 506 watt stereo system with subwoofer and the Chrysler groups Uconnect hands-free communication system.
Jeep is trying to branch out a little further into uncharted territory with its new design, “Highlighted by a unique platinum-chrome front-end appearance and distinctive black-gloss 20-inch wheels and exterior treatments, our new Grand Cherokee concept provides a completely new look – one that is edgy and aggressive, and certainly different than any Grand Cherokee on the road today,” said Mike Manley, president and CEO of the Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC.
GALLERY: Jeep Wrangler Concept
It’s official: The Chrysler Group has announced that a diesel variant of the 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee will be offered in the North American markets and will be manufactured at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit.
The press release didn’t focus on just the Grand Cherokee Diesel announcement, as Chrysler also mentioned that it would be adding a third crew of workers and about 1,100 new jobs at the same plant next year. Unfortunately no actual details on the Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel have been released but it’s likely to be the same as the European version of the Grand Cherokee Diesel.
In Europe, the Grand Cherokee Diesel is powered by a 3.0L V6 CRD turbo diesel, one with 190-hp and 325 lb-ft of torque and another with 241-hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. Both are combined with a five-speed automatic transmission.
Look for more news on the diesel Jeep from the Detroit Auto Show next week.
GALLERY: 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel
The new truck will be getting the air suspension setup found in the Jeep Grand Cherokee, giving the truck a whole new level of riding comfort. The 2013 Ram 1500 will be getting plenty of new goodies with Dodge looking to enhance the trucks’ luxury department as well as some new tech toys. It’ll be making its debut at the 2012 New York Auto Show.
[Source: Auto Evolution]
Bulgarian tuner Vilner is becoming quite the interior specialists, this time revisiting a Hennessey Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT 600 project. The first time around was back in October 2010, when Vilner got their hands on the 600-hp, V8-powered Grand Cherokee after Hennessey had installed their performance package. This time around though, Vilner redid the entire interior with a similar red and black theme similar to the Jeep’s exterior.
On the inside, plenty of red and black Alcantara has been combined with black leather that is trimmed with red seams. In addition, Vilner designed and developed a unique steering wheel for the Grand Cherokee that they claim offers the best possible grip. The steering wheel can be personalized to the customer’s preference if requested and is wrapped with a similar Alcantara/leather combination.
For the exterior, Vilner modified the headlights with daytime LEDs and halogen diodes.
GALLERY: Vilner Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT 600
Chrysler has just released the pricing for the high performance 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 starting from $55,295. As one of the most powerful SUVs on the market, this Jeep packs a 6.4-liter HEMI V8 mated to a five-speed automatic transmission, cranking out 465-hp and 465 lb-ft of torque. This is by far the most powerful Jeep ever offered. It will rip of a 0-62 mph time in 4.8 seconds with a top speed limited to 155 mph.
The Jeep features new steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters and has the new Selec-Track traction-enhancing system. This new system interacts with the stability control, adaptive damping, transmission shift strategy, transfer case torque proportioning, electronic limited slip differential, throttle control and cylinder de-activation. This new system offers five modes- Auto, Sport, Tow, Track and Snow making this next-gen SRT8 model user friendly all year round.
GALLERY: Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8
Should Maserati build an SUV? Well, that doesn’t really matter because they will and it won’t be what you’re expecting. One would imagine the SUV would be dripping in fine Italian materials but the underpinnings of this truck will be very American. The vehicle will be based on the brand-new Jeep Grand Cherokee, but insiders have said it will be hard to spot the resemblance. The interior will be fitted with plush Italian leather as well as wood accents throughout the inside.
Under the hood will be a Chrysler HEMI 6.4-liter V8 producing 465-hp. While Maserati already has their own 4.7L V8, the reality is that the HEMI already fits in the platform quite well and will help keep the cost of the vehicle down. The well regarded Fiat V6 diesel will also be available on the Cherokee platform.
The SUV will be the fourth model to join the Maserati lineup, and production will begin in 2013 at the Jefferson North assembly plant in Detroit.
[Source: Top Gear]
A rather scary recall is creeping up for owners of Jeep‘s Grand Cherokee sold between 1993-2004. The recall is being demanded by The Center for Auto Safety, stating that a defective fuel tank design can cause the gas tank to rupture in the event of a rear-end collision. Adding fuel to the fire (sorry, we couldn’t resist) is Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety stating that those affected Grand Cherokees are “the most dangerous vehicle[s] on the road today”.
Chrysler is putting up a fight though, stating that the Center for Auto Safety’s test was three times as severe as the government standard. The culprit is the fact that the gas tank is housed behind the rear-axle, something that was changed in the 2005 Grand Cherokee when Chrysler moved it in front of the rear-axle. Chrysler stated that it wasn’t for safety reasons but rather to increase the cargo space.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is currently investigating the claims.
[Source: Motor Trend]
The diesel will be a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6, sourced from the Fiat mothership and built by VM Motori. It’ll come in two forms: one with 188 horsepower and 324 lb-ft of torque, and the other with 237 horsepower and 406 lb-ft, which also gets around 28 miles per gallon.
Meanwhile at Geneva, Jeep will introduce 70th Anniversary Editions of all its models, including the Wrangler, Wrangler Unlimited, Patriot, and Compass. The package includes exterior trim packages, brushed-aluminum door sills, 18-inch wheels, and some nifty badges; the interior will get Dark Olive perforated leather seats, shiny trim, and Berber floor mats.
Jeep chose the New York Auto Show to unveil the all-new 2011 Grand Cherokee, the latest version of the what Jeep calls, “the original premium SUV.”
With a pleasant and masculine exterior, the real big difference is inside where the cabin gets a significant update. In fact, the leather on the model shown at the New York Auto Show looked so good it had people asking if the vehicle was a concept. As well as leather seats, the interior of the Grand Cherokee will get leather door inserts and a leather on the dash as well as well as genuine wood accents.
Other interior amenities includes heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, power lumbar, a back-up camera and a power tilt and telescopic steering wheel with a memory function.
The cabin is also more spacious with 4 more inches of rear-seat leg room. Surprisingly, cargo room is also up with 36.3 cubic feet.
In terms of performance, the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee will come with a choice of two engines. The first is a 3.6-liter V6 with 280hp and 260 ft-lbs of torque. This engine makes 33 percent more hp than the old V6 and 11 percent more torque, while at the same time averaging 11 percent better fuel economy.
Of course, a 5.7-liter HEMI V8 is also offered with 360hp and 390 ft-lbs of torque and a maximum towing capability of 7,400 lbs.
Several different drivetrain options are available with a Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II and Quadra-Drive II with a limited slip differential offered. The latter two layouts come with Jeep’s Select-Terrain system with five different terrain settings for ideal control. The settings are: Auto, Sand/Mud, Sport, Snow and Rock.
One of the most exciting innovations on this new model is the Quadra Lift air suspension, which can lift the vehicle by 4.5-inches to acheive a maximum off-road clearance of 11.1-inches.