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Enthusiasts have wanted them for a while—a low-revving torque monster under the hood of our Jeep Wranglers or clean-burning Grand Cherokees. Now Jeep executives are actively considering the idea of importing diesel models to the United States.
“Diesel in some of our models makes absolute sense,” said Michael Manley, president and CEO of Jeep, who was showcasing the six new Mopar Jeeps at Moab. “But I still have to make sure there is a sufficient marketplace here to make it make sense from a business perspective.”
Jeep already outfits their European models with diesels, which accounts for 80 percent of their sales. Manley suggests that the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee would be the first in America to receive oil-swillers, and the new Grand Cherokee, which is set to debut in Europe next week, would be first. It would give Jeep some much-needed enviro-friendly cred, among both outdoor enthusiasts and the government.
“When you look at the U.S. market, diesel applications in the larger vehicles probably make more sense then they do in the smaller ones, purely because of the cost of the powertrains and the treatments that are required.”
[Source: Detroit Free Press]
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.