DETROIT — The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel was the featured vehicle at this month’s meeting of the SAE Detroit Section, which was held inside Cobo Center during the annual SAE World Congress.
Dr. Ben Winter (pictured above), Chrysler Vice President of Vehicle Engineering, was the first speaker and announced that Jeep can’t make the Grand Cherokee fast enough to meet demand. The automaker’s 2012 net profit was $1.7 billion.
“We are very strong with a mix of new and fresh products,” he said. “The right people and the right organizational structure is in place. We have a lean and efficient product development team. We have established a new Chrysler Product Creation process. We keep our team and product management in sync. Currently we have 20 million lines of software code. We learn from our manufacturing colleagues. Jefferson North assembly plant is home of the Jeep Grand Cherokee. It employs over 4,000 people. We have incorporated WCM Principles in the Engineering process.”
Mr. Jim Morrison, Director of Jeep Brand Product Manufacturing (picture above), says the Jeep brand yearly sales group was up 19 percent in 2012. “We have a solid plan and a great vehicle to continue the momentum in 2014,” he explained. “Jeep is more friendly to the environment. EcoDiesel is the cleanest diesel amongst its competitive set. It is also the number one request by Jeep enthusiasts. There is also a financial appeal: fuel cost savings, extra performance and lowest priced diesel amongst its competitive set. Diesel sales surpassed hybrid sales in SUV/CUV segments in 2012. The Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel improves 4×4 capability with 30 mpg fuel economy, driving range and towing.”
Morrison added: “People think SUV’s are hard on gasoline, but you can get 30 mpg in the Jeep Grand Cherokee with a 730 mile driving range. It is the cleanest diesel with the lowest CO2 emissions. The cost of the Limited diesel is $40,000, the Overland diesel is $49,190 and the Summit diesel is $52,495. The EcoDiesel name and badge create different attention for diesel by suggesting something new and different. EcoDiesel also receives positive media feedback.”
Ray Durham (pictured above), Jeep’s Vehicle Line Executive for SUV Vehicles, says that the 4×4 is intelligent enough to select terrains with driver-selectable settings to coordinate power train, braking and suspension systems. It has snow, sand, mud, auto and rock settings. Uconnect has voice control of audio and climate systems. It can also receive text messages, identify the sender and has an option to read that message aloud. EcoDiesel has specific features such as a unique 4-low engine calibration. The tank holds 8.5 gallons with a 10,000-mile range.
Larry Nowak (pictured above), Chrysler’s Diesel Engine Platform Manager, noted that the 3.0-liter, EcoDiesel model has a 240-hp engine at 3600 rpm, with 7400 lbs. towing, 730 miles driving range with 30 mpg highway. “It has low CO2 and low emissions and is certified in all 50 states,” he said. “It has engine and exhaust technologies which means it is extremely clean so you can expect a smooth, quiet ride with good engine response. It also has a 29k-psi common-rail fuel injection system. Eco mode optimizes on improving fuel economy.”
Mircea Gradu, Jeep’s Vice President of Powertrain, Transmission and Driveline Engineering, talked about the TorqueFlite 8 Transmission design, which has a wide gear ratio spread (7.3) to cover towing, acceleration and highway cruising. “With small ratio steps (less than 1.5) for improved quality and efficiency for smoother and quicker gear changes,” he explained. “The 2014 Grand Cherokee with the eight-speed transmission and Selec-terrain seamlessly combine features to enhance vehicle performance. Selec-terrain has nine different settings (four high and four low) maximizing capability. A key feature for off-road performance is Selec-speed control. It also has a 10,000-mile maintenance interval.”
Jeremy Goddard, 2013 SAE Detroit Section Chair opened the meeting by thanking ZF for sponsoring the social hour. He also thanked Bosch, Kautex, and Mayco for being sponsors. “You and your company’s participation drives this Section,” says Goddard. He noted the upcoming events and announced that this morning we had our Innovation Competition. All of our events are posted on www.sae-detroit.org and on our social media websites.
The Cadillac ATS will be the featured vehicle at next month’s meeting of the SAE Detroit Section on Tuesday, May 14 at The San Marino Club in Troy, Mich
“Jeep® raises the bar with legendary benchmark capability, world-class on-road dynamics, fuel economy up to 31 mpg, revolutionary Jeep design with world-class craftsmanship inside and out, and an array of advanced safety and technology features
o Three new four-wheel-drive systems that raise the standard for mid-size SUVs:
Jeep® Active Drive I with one-speed power transfer unit (PTU)
Jeep Active Drive II with two-speed PTU and low rangeJeep Active Drive Lock with two-speed PTU, low range and locking rear differential
o New Jeep Selec-Terrain traction control system with up to five customized modes – Auto, Snow, Sport, Sand/Mud and Rock
o Best-in-class V-6 towing capability – 4,500 pounds
o Jeep Trail Rated capability
o Up to a 56:1 crawl ratio, a 90-percent improvement versus the outgoing model
Copyright Comparison Table Above: (C) Allpar.com
Vastly improved fuel economy – up to 31 mpg
o First SUV with nine-speed automatic transmission
o Industry-first rear-axle disconnect resulting in reduced energy loss when 4×4 capability isn’t needed; improving fuel efficiency
o 2.4-liter TigersharkMultiAir I-4 delivers a more than 45 percent fuel economy improvement versus outgoing model and nearly 500-mile range
o First use of Chrysler Group’s new 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 engine
Superior on-road ride and handling
o First Jeep vehicle to utilize Chrysler Group’s Compact U.S. Wide (CUS-wide) platform
o New independent front and rear suspension
o Increased torsional stiffness
o Exceptionally quiet cabin
New Jeep design with world-class craftsmanship
o New aerodynamic design cues combine Jeep heritage with advanced technology
o Aggressive approach and departure angles contribute to leading capability
o Advanced LED lighting technology with distinctive daytime running lights
o Premium, well-crafted interior with extensive use of soft-touch materials
o Class-exclusive all-new CommandView panoramic sunroof and Sky Slider roof
Array of advanced, cutting edge technology features
o Full-color 7-inch reconfigurable LED instrument cluster
o Uconnect 8.4-inch color touchscreen media center
o Uconnect Access Via Mobile
More than 70 advanced safety and security features
o First Chrysler Group use of ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist System aids the driver in parallel/perpendicular parking
Clever functionality and versatility
o Second-row 60/40 split folding seat moves fore and aft for passenger comfort and cargo flexibility
o Fold-flat front passenger seat with covered in-seat storage
o Useful, clever storage features throughout the Cherokee cabin
o Innovative Jeep Cargo Management System
***Jeep® Cherokee 2014: specs apply only to the US market***
There is a new king of the hill in the mid-size sport-utility vehicle (SUV) segment: the all-new 2014 Jeep® Cherokee.
The renowned Cherokee name returns to the Jeep® vehicle lineup for the 2014 model year. The result – the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee completely redefines the mid-size SUV segment, delivering legendary Jeep 4×4 capability, a segment-first nine-speed automatic transmission, fuel economy improvements of more than 45 percent (versus the outgoing Liberty model), superior on-road ride and handling, a cutting-edge, revolutionary design, world-class craftsmanship, class-exclusive technology and more than 70 advanced safety and security features. The Jeep Cherokee is set to delight consumers both on the road and on the trail.
“The all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee will be the benchmark for mid-size SUVs with a new level of on-road driving dynamics and fuel economy, while at the same time improving the 4×4 capability that customers expect from Jeep,” said Mike Manley, President and CEO – Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “Jeep Cherokee boasts a new design, a nine-speed automatic transmission and two advanced engines, class-leading capability from three innovative 4×4 systems, more than 70 safety features, and a host of new technology features.”
Jeep 4×4 capability
The all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee provides a choice of three innovative 4×4 systems for best-in-class 4×4 capability in all weather conditions. The Jeep Cherokee is the first mid-size SUV to feature rear-axle disconnect, resulting in reduced energy loss when 4×4 capability isn’t needed, improving fuel efficiency. The rear-axle disconnect seamlessly switches between two- and four-wheel drive for full-time torque management and does not require input from the driver.
The Jeep Cherokee offers best-in-class V-6 towing capability of 4,500 pounds.
Copyright Table Above: (C) Allpar.com
Jeep Active Drive I
Available on the Cherokee Sport, Latitude and Limited models, Jeep Active Drive I features a single power transfer unit (PTU) which is fully automatic and delivers seamless operation in and out of four-wheel drive at any speed. The system does not require any driver intervention or feedback, delivers yaw correction during dynamic events and improves both understeer and oversteer conditions.
Jeep Active Drive II
Available on the Cherokee Sport, Latitude and Limited models, Jeep Active Drive II includes a two-speed PTU with torque management and low range. 4-Low mode locks the front and rear drive shafts for low-speed power or towing. Low range provides a 2.92:1 gear reduction. The gear reduction allows for enhanced climbing ability as well outstanding crawl ratios for severe off-road conditions. The 2014 Jeep Cherokee with Jeep Active Drive II gives the off-road adventurer a ride height that is increased by an inch, a crawl ratio of 56:1 when powered by the 2.4-liter MultiAir2 Tigershark I-4 engine, and 47.8:1 when powered by the new 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 engine – up to a 90-percent improvement versus the outgoing model.
Jeep Active Drive Lock
Jeep Active Drive Lock includes all the features of Jeep Active Drive II and adds a locking rear differential for superior low-speed power for severe off-road conditions. Jeep Active Drive Lock is standard on all Trailhawk models.
All 4×4 systems feature the Jeep brand’s renowned Selec-Terrain traction control system, which allows the driver to choose the on- and off-road setting for optimum performance. Five customized settings are offered: Auto, Snow, Sport, Sand/Mud and Rock. Through the use of algorithms that enable unsurpassed control and capability, Selec-Terrain electronically coordinates and optimizes up to 12 systems on any terrain providing enhanced vehicle control including: drivetrain control module, electronic brake controller, electronic stability control (ESC), transmission controller, powertrain controller and Selec-Speed Control (Hill-ascent and Hill-descent Control).
Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk: Trail Rated
The all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk model exemplifies Jeep 4×4 capability with a distinctive, aggressive look, backed up by Jeep Trail Rated hardware, for the most capable Jeep Cherokee model and the most capable mid-size SUV in the segment. The Trailhawk includes as standard equipment aggressive approach and departure angles, complements of the unique front and rear fascias, one-inch factory lift, Jeep Active Drive Lock with locking rear differential, skid plates and signature red tow hooks. The locking rear differential is selectable in any low range terrain mode, but will lock automatically when in certain modes, such as “Rock,” to maximize tractive effort at the tire patch that can support it.
The Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk boasts an approach angle of 29.8 degrees, a departure angle of 32.1 degrees and breakover angle of 23.3 degrees. Running ground clearance is 8.7 inches.
The all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk model with the standard off-road package is Trail Rated. The “Trail Rated” badge on the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk indicates that the vehicle is designed to perform in a variety of challenging off-road conditions identified by five key consumer-oriented performance categories: traction, ground clearance, maneuverability, articulation and water fording.
FIAT Group architecture is the basis for the underpinnings of the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee. The Compact U.S. Wide (CUS-wide) platform’s proven modular architecture means many models can be built using the same basic underpinnings. The result is better quality and reliability, as well as lower costs, less development time and tooling. The architecture Cherokee is built on is comprised of common, modular and interchangeable components and allows for modularity of the wheelbase, front track, rear track, front overhang, length and width across vehicle lines.
The 2014 Jeep Cherokee’s body structure has a high-strength steel content of roughly 65 percent. Hot stamped-, high-strength- and ultra-high-strength steel are used to construct a strong, lightweight, solid vehicle architecture.
Superior on-road performance and fuel efficiency
The 2014 Jeep Cherokee premium on-road manners and fuel efficiency are a result of a number of efforts by Jeep engineers.
Powered by the choice of two new engines mated to a segment-first nine-speed automatic transmission, the all-new Cherokee delivers the power drivers appreciate on the road with fuel economy improvements of more than 45 percent compared with the outgoing model. With expected highway fuel economy ratings of up to 31 miles per gallon (mpg) and a driving range on a tank of gasoline of nearly 500 miles, the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee delivers drivers a no-compromise ownership experience.
The all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee features Chrysler Group’s 948TE nine-speed automatic transmission, the first time a nine-speed automatic transmission has been used in the segment and is standard equipment in all models of the new Cherokee. The nine-speed transmission delivers numerous benefits customers will appreciate, including aggressive launches, smooth power delivery at highway speeds and improved fuel efficiency versus a six-speed automatic transmission.
Efficiency and refinement also are hallmarks of Chrysler Group’s 16-valve, 2.4-liter TigersharkMultiAir 2 I-4 engine, which comes standard in the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee. The 2.4-liter Tigershark engine offers up to an estimated 31 mpg highway fuel economy rating, a more than 45-percent improvement versus the outgoing model, and a driving range on a tank of gasoline of nearly 500 miles. The 2.4-liter MultiAir 2 Tigershark I-4 engine produces 184 horsepower and 171 lb.-ft. of torque. The acclaimed electro-hydraulic fully variable valve-lift system uses a column of oil in place of the traditional mechanical link between the camshaft and intake valves. As a result, it delivers precise control of the intake-valve events – beginning and end – delivering reductions in engine-pumping losses and increases in volumetric efficiency.
In addition to reducing carbon-dioxide emissions, MultiAir accounts for a fuel-economy boost of up to 7.5 percent, compared with engines with conventional valve trains.
The 2.4-liter is the third engine to feature MultiAir technology from Chrysler Group and features the second generation “MultiAir 2” system that further enhances combustion control, improves fuel efficiency and reduces exhaust emissions.
Performance ratings for the 2.4-liter engine are 184 horsepower (137 kW) and 171 lb.-ft. (232 Nm) of torque.
The available new 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 engine is the first derivative of the celebrated 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6, named one of Ward’s 10 Best Engines three years running. The available new 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 engine benefits from the same innovations that earned its larger displacement predecessor industry-wide acclaim for efficiency, power and refinement. For the driver, that means a refined driving experience with reduced noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) and an exceptional balance of higher specific power output (84.2 horsepower per liter) while delivering fuel economy improvements of 30 percent versus the outgoing V-6 engine. The 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 engine produces 271 horsepower, 239 lb.-ft. of torque and delivers best-in-class V-6 towing of 4,500 pounds.
The all new Jeep Cherokee mid-size SUV sports a new front independent suspension with MacPherson struts and a new rear independent multi-link suspension. The front suspension provides 6.7 inches of travel while the rear suspension provides up to 7.8 inches of travel for better articulation. The isolated rear cradle, aluminum front crossmember and superior torsional rigidity all contribute to the quieter, smoother ride and superior handling characteristics drivers will experience in the Cherokee.
The 2014 Jeep Cherokee is equipped with an electronic power steering system (EPS) that improves fuel efficiency and contributes to the Jeep Cherokee’s nimbleness with a turn circle radius of approximately 36 feet in 4×2 models, approximately 38 feet in 4×4 models and roughly 39 feet in the Trailhawk off-road model. With EPS all of the power assist is provided via an electric motor system rather than a traditional hydraulic system. Because the system is fully electronic, the driver experiences optimal steering effort at all vehicle speeds, and there is less noise and better fuel efficiency since there is no parasitic loss from a power steering pump.
The 2014 Jeep Cherokee mid-size SUV debuts a new exterior designed for the future with a global appeal. Jeep designers were inspired to create a vehicle that moves Jeep into the next era with a shape that is efficient without losing Jeep DNA and design heritage. The all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee is a vehicle that not only looks efficient and capable, but is efficient and capable – in all on-road, trail and weather conditions.
Fluid, sleek exterior lines highlight the efficient, wind-splitting upper body of the all-new Cherokee. The rugged, protective lower body conveys the legendary capability that is characteristic of every Jeep.
The 2014 Jeep Cherokee has a powerful stance, an aggressive wheel-to-body proportion and a commanding road presence. The aggressive approach and departure angles contribute to the best-in-class capability. The first key feature in the front of the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee is the waterfall hood with the iconic peaked, seven-slotted grille which includes a crisp, horizontal snap – a feature in many classic Jeep vehicles. The hood is clearly defined and separated from the front fenders in a modern twist of Jeep heritage. The one-piece hood and grille assembly ensures a precise build.
Advanced LED lighting technology is used throughout the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee. Forward lighting features a unique daytime running lamp (DRL) shape that plays a dominant role in the fresh front-end proportion, giving the impression of a slim headlamp. Contemporary full LED tail lamps are an integral part of the rear backlight graphic, making the vehicle look stronger yet harmonious. This graphic is the connection between the upper and lower rear and brings a unique presence specific to this all-new Cherokee.
The Trail Rated 2014 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk model takes rugged design and capability to a whole new level. With exclusive exterior and interior colors, functional differences such as Jeep signature red front tow hooks, skid plates underneath and aggressive front and rear fascias add to the rugged exterior appearance and deliver exemplary approach and departure angles for class-leading 4×4 capability, resulting in the most capable mid-size SUV in the market. The 2014 Jeep Cherokee offers customers two industry-exclusive open-air options – the new CommandView panoramic sunroof or the Sky Slider full-length open canvas roof.
The interior of the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee is modern, inviting and comfortable. A sophisticated, refined design, hand-sculpted forms, signature Jeep design cues, high-quality materials, precision craftsmanship and attention-to-detail raise the bar in the mid-size SUV segment. A driver-oriented cockpit loaded with easy-to-use, useful technology, clever, thoughtful storage features and more than 70 available safety and security features including 10 standard air bags give the driver and passengers everything they want for any adventure they undertake.
Inspiration for the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee mid-size SUV interior included countries and terrain around the world that brought beautiful imagery to mind. The Cherokee interior is a sophisticated blend of hand-sculpted fluid shapes, high-quality materials, innovative color and material choices, precision craftsmanship, state-of-the-art technology and features that drivers and passengers appreciate.
Premium materials abound wherever the customer touches the vehicle – the door uppers and armrests, the center armrest, the upper instrument panel. Interior trim that is soft to the touch and pleasing to the eye is found throughout the cabin.
Seats in the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee are ergonomically designed to support the contour of the body, are trimmed with premium cloth or quality Nappa leather and available as power adjustable, heated/ventilated seats with memory. Premium cloth fabrics include a unique interlocking graphic. The 60/40 split second-row seats adjust fore and aft for increased passenger comfort and cargo flexibility.
Unique features such as the available heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, an available wireless charging pad and many more will delight both drivers and passengers alike.
The all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee was designed with thoughtful, state-of-the-art, high-tech features and amenities that are intuitive, easy-to-use.
The world-class thin-film transistor (TFT) LED 3.5-inch grayscale or 7-inch full-color reconfigurable instrument cluster allows the driver to enjoy a customized user experience and receive information and vehicle feedback in the format they prefer while keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
The easy-to-use instrument cluster displays the basic information a driver needs at his or her fingertips but also allows the driver to add information they desire, similar to an iPhone.
The driver can select from a multitude of information that can be displayed in the center of the gauge cluster including turn-by-turn navigation, speed, real-time fuel economy, safety warnings, available Adaptive Cruise Control-Plus, audio information and Jeep-specific features including Selec-Terrain.
The available ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist System (first Chrysler Group availability) is displayed in the center of the gauge cluster and operated with buttons on the steering wheel and the shifter. The graphic walks the driver through the steps necessary to utilize the park assist system. Jeep designer’s passion for the brand shines through in the park assist screen, which features a 1941 Jeep Willys graphic on each side of the open parking space.
An available award-winning 8.4-inch touchscreen multimedia command center – the largest in the segment – or the standard 5-inch touchscreen multimedia command center are attractive, intuitive and easy-to-use, and located in the center stack. The 2014 Cherokee equipped with the Uconnect system allows the driver to control the audio, climate, heated/ventilated seats and much more from the touchscreen, redundant controls located on the center stack below the touchscreen or with voice commands. The touchscreen buttons are large and easy-to-see at a glance. The 8.4-inch color touchscreen Uconnect Access is user-friendly and includes Bluetooth connectivity, SiriusXM Radio, navigation, music, apps (Pandora, Aha, iHeart Radio and more), voice-to-text messaging and streaming audio capability.
The class-exclusive Jeep Cargo Management System makes the most of the cargo space in the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee. A universal module rack is mounted on the side in the rear cargo area and provides for hooks and a removable grocery bag. Other optional accessories compatible with the system are available through Mopar and include an off-road accessory kit for Trailhawk models that features a tow rope, gloves and more; cargo bin, cargo mat, foldable cooler and first aid/emergency kit are just some of the accessories available that mount securely to the rack for secure storage solutions the adventurous customer desires.
Safety and Security
The new Cherokee was engineered with more than 70 available safety and security features. The Jeep Cherokee starts with a strong foundation constructed with 65 percent high-strength steel. Engineers then added both active and passive safety and security features, including: Chrysler Group vehicle firsts ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control-Plus, Forward Collision Warning-Plus, and Lane Departure Warning-Plus; 9-1-1 assist call; ESC; Electronic Roll Mitigation; Blind-spot Monitoring; Rear Cross Path detection; ParkView rear backup camera with dynamic grid lines and 10 standard air bags.
The ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist feature in the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee is a first in a Chrysler Group vehicle. Using ultrasonic parking sensors on the bumper the system will find and guide customer into an available parking space when the driver initiates parking maneuver. The parking guidance system controls the steering angle automatically, the driver controls the gear position, brake, and accelerator. Parallel parking is possible on either side of the car; during perpendicular parking, the vehicle is backed into the space.
Adaptive Cruise Control-Plus, a first for a Chrysler Group vehicle, is significant for its capacity to bring the vehicle to a complete stop without driver intervention in certain conditions. Radar and video sensors identify the locations of vehicles traveling ahead of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee. The sensors also help ensure the vehicles are separated by a gap determined by the driver. If the gap is dramatically breached, the ESC system can aggressively deploy the vehicle’s brakes to affect a full stop, even if the driver never touches the brake pedal. To resume travel, the driver need only press a button on the steering wheel or tap the accelerator pedal.
Forward Collision Warning-Plus, another Chrysler Group first, addresses traffic-gap changes when Adaptive Cruise Control-Plus is inactive. When radar and video sensors detect a fast-closing obstacle ahead, the system pre-fills the brakes to prepare for emergency driver intervention. If collision risk remains, Forward Collision Warning-Plus correspondingly ratchets up the response with:
audible and visual warnings
a brief brake deployment to alert the driver
a 1.5-second brake deployment to quicken the driver’s reaction time
deployment of Advanced Brake Assist (ABA) if the driver is not braking aggressively enough
Lane Departure Warning-Plus, which is offered for the first time in a Chrysler Group vehicle, uses a camera-based vision sensor to establish the Jeep Cherokee’s position on the road. If there occurs an unintentional lane drift, determined by trajectory change and the absence of turn-signal activation, the system will deliver a visual warning and a haptic warning – the subtle introduction of torque from the electric power steering (EPS) system. If the driver unintentionally drifts too far, the system provides a secondary visual warning.
The 2014 Jeep Cherokee boasts numbers that make the difference for the SUV customer that cares about fuel economy and capability in all weather conditions – fuel economy improvements of more than 45 percent, more than 70 safety and security features, numerous industry and segment “firsts,” a nine-speed automatic transmission, a 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 engine with 271 horsepower and 239 lb.-ft. of torque, a 2.4-liter MultiAir2 Tigershark I-4 engine with 184 horsepower and 171 lb.-ft. of torque, nearly 500 miles driving range on a tank of gasoline and three new, innovative 4×4 systems that deliver legendary Jeep capability including crawl ratios of 56:1 with the 2.4-liter engine and 47.8:1 with the 3.2-liter engine, an improvement of up to 90 percent versus the outgoing model.
The 2014 Jeep Cherokee competes in the mid-size SUV segment, the largest SUV segment in North America, with roughly 2 million sales in 2012.
The all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee is available in four different models in the United States and will arrive in volume in dealer showrooms in the third quarter 2013. Customers can choose from the 2014 Jeep Cherokee Sport, Cherokee Latitude, Cherokee Limited and the rugged, Trail Rated Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk.
The Jeep Cherokee mid-size SUV will offer consumers 11 different exterior colors from which to choose: Bright White Clear Coat, Brilliant Black Crystal Metallic Clear Coat, Billet Silver Metallic Clear Coat, Deep Cherry Red Crystal Pearl Coat, Eco Green Pearl Coat, Mango Tango Pearl Coat, Auburn Pearl Coat, Cashmere Pearl Coat, Granite Crystal Metallic Clear Coat, True Blue Pearl Coat, and Anvil Clear Coat.
The Cherokee is built in the United States at Chrysler Group’s Toledo (Ohio) Assembly Plant.
“Try to look at the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk II concept as a visual proposal of what the (slightly…off) minds at Jeep’s skunk-works would like to build. Thank god for that. If this vehicle comes to pass, expect smaller tires, less fender flare and, perhaps, a less flamboyant paint scheme. If the aforementioned comes to pass, it will be an update of the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk from 2012.
The old Trailhawk had a few additions that made the old Grand Cherokee a little more off road ready. Rock sliders, beefier tires, special cladding and a unique paint job adorned the old model. The package was simple and comprehensive. It gave Grand Cherokee owners a taste of the eminently transformable Wrangler without being too radical.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk II is more radical. I know because I have sampled its manly magnificence. Yep, Jeep tossed me the keys and let me have some fun. This was to film a video that will take a week or so to process and put up on the net. It’s a pity as I want you to have a taste of this fun machine.
Four standout features stand out on the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk II concept. This baby comes with the outstanding 3.0-liter, turbodiesel V6 that makes 420 lbs-feet of torque hooked up to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Mopar tow hooks, rock rails, skid plates and beefy 35-inch Micky Thompsons mounted to Mopar Wrangler wheels complete most of the package. Jeep cut larger wheel openings and lifted the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk II to squeeze the rubber underneath. As cool as they look, they rub a bit when the steering is angled at full tilt.
I think 33-inch would rock on a production Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk II.
Jeep opted to use metal springs on the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk II rather than mess with the air suspension for the time being. With that said, it laughed at any obstacle I threw at it. To add a muscly exclamation point to the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk II concept, Jeep added a bulging SRT hood. This package could make the modern Jeep Grand Cherokee an off road animal.
Check out this video of the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk concept for a taste of what the Jeep brain-trust is chewing on.”
“It’s almost that time of year again – and we can already taste the red rock dust on our tongues. So, what better way to quench that thirst than by showing off these six new Jeep® brand vehicles designed and engineered with new Jeep Performance Parts for the Moab Easter Jeep Safari.
That’s right, the 47th Annual Moab Easter Jeep Safari is just a few days away. The Jeep Blog will be there to take part in the action (again), but here’s your chance to check out the special vehicles that will roll into Moab and take it by storm, made in conjunction with Mopar®’s new Jeep Performance Parts division.
Enjoy the eye candy for now but be sure to check back on the Jeep Blog in the coming weeks as we bring you some very special coverage (and some amazing photos) from one of the biggest Jeep enthusiast events of the year!
Teaser: [youtube id=”i9thzWtfplg”]
Jeep® Wrangler Stitch
One of the past Easter Jeep® Safari concepts still loved today by enthusiasts is the light weight Pork Chop. For this year’s Safari, Jeep has created its first follow-up vehicle with the new Jeep Wrangler Stitch. Based on the 2013 Wrangler Rubicon, the Stitch has been lightened to a parse 3,000-lb. curb weight, giving it a power-to-weight ratio similar to that of the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT.
Jeep designers shaved weight where ever possible: the frame, axles, body and interior. The audio system and all heating and air conditioning components have been removed. The front seats are taken from the new 2013 SRT Viper and the rear seats have been removed. Sections of the body have been cut out, the doors have been removed, and the hood is a custom carbon fiber version of the one found on the Jeep Wrangler 10th Anniversary Rubicon. The standard roll cage has been replaced with a chrome moly unit, and the Full-Traction lower control arms, floor pan and GenRight fuel tank are made of aluminum. Even the frame and axles were modified to remove weight.
Off-road hardware consists of a Mopar® cold-air intake and Mopar exhaust kit, Mickey Thompson 35-inch off-road tires on lightweight 17-inch aluminum wheels, custom DynaTrac Pro Rock 44 axles with 4.88 gears and ARB front and rear lockers, King shocks with pneumatic bump stops and Tom Woods drive shafts .
Unique design details include a windshield that has been chopped two inches, a clear yellow vinyl soft top, black leather SRT Viper seats and center console with a yellow instrument panel and seat backs, Truck-Lite LED headlamps and the previously mentioned carbon fiber hood. The black body panels are wrapped in a unique, see-through silver architectural fabric that hides the cut panels at some angles, and makes them visible at others.
Jeep® Grand Cherokee Trailhawk Concept
The recently introduced new 2014 Jeep® Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel V-6 has instantly delighted off-road enthusiasts across North America. With the introduction of the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk Concept, Jeep designers have taken the most awarded SUV ever and created the most extreme Grand Cherokee yet. Powered by the new clean EcoDiesel engine, this Grand Cherokee has mountains of low-end torque to power over any obstacle. From its blood-orange paint, to its massive 35-inch off-road tires, there’s no mistaking this Grand Cherokee and its off-road prowess.
The 2014 Grand Cherokee Trailhawk Concept – the third Grand Cherokee created for Easter Jeep since 2011 – features 35-inch Mickey Thompson off-road tires on Wrangler Rubicon 17-inch aluminum wheels, enlarged wheel openings with custom fender flares, custom front and rear skid plates, dual rear tow hooks and modified Mopar® rock rails.
Custom design cues include a Grand Cherokee SRT hood, SRT front and rear fascias that have been modified for extra ground clearance, a black front grille, a matte black roof and one-off custom roof rails. The body is finished in a vibrant, non-metallic blood-orange hue that also manages to draw attention to the larger wheel openings and off-road tires.
Mopar slush mats and rear cargo liner enhance Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk Concept’s interior.
Jeep® Wrangler Mopar® Recon
The Jeep® Wrangler Mopar® Recon features a gray exterior and a little extra firepower with a 6.4-liter HEMI® V-8 crate engine from Mopar. The 470 horsepower engine is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission and Dana 60 front and rear axles with 4.10 gearing. The axles are suspended by a 4.5-inch prototype long-arm lift kit and roll on Jeep Performance Parts prototype forged eight-lug beadlock wheels with 39-inch off-road tires.
The Jeep Wrangler Mopar Recon includes a number of Mopar applications externally, including front and rear half-door and window kits, front and rear off-road modified “Stinger” bumpers, Warn winch, high-clearance flat fenders, rock rails, Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary hood, prototype LED headlamps, a canvas soft top, swing-away rear tire carrier and body-color rear corner guards, taillamp guards, locking fuel door, and a Jeep Performance Parts badge.
The interior of the Jeep Wrangler Mopar Recon includes Mopar slush mats, black door-sill guards, a locking below-floor storage box, side sun visors, grab handles, trailside winch kit and a custom seat made from Navy blankets and Navy camouflage material.
Jeep® Wrangler Sand Trooper II from Mopar®
After the popular Sand Trooper made its debut at SEMA in 2012, Mopar® upped the ante with the Sand Trooper II to get it ready to take on Moab. The Sand Trooper II features a legendary 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 to give it 375 horsepower and 400 ft.-lb. of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission sends the HEMI power to Mopar eight-lug front and rear Portal axles for added ground clearance. Jeep®Performance Parts prototype forged beadlock wheels carry 40-inch off-road tires, giving Sand Trooper II its menacing stance.
Mopar exterior enhancements include a satin black grille, hood lock, front and rear half-door and window kits, front and rear off-road “Shorty” modified bumpers, Warn winch, Mopar flat fenders, rock rails, a vented hood, LED off-road lights and headlamps, Rubicon 10th Anniversary swing away rear tire carrier, trailer-tow hitch receiver, black taillamp guards and locking fuel door, and a Jeep Performance Parts badge.
The interior features a rear back-up camera display, Mopar slush mats, black door-sill guards, under-seat and center-console locking storage, locking below-floor storage box, trunk storage box, side sun visors, grab handles, Trailside winch kit and leather seats.
Jeep® Wrangler Flattop
The Jeep® Wrangler Flattop is a paradox of sorts. Its highly styled and refined body and interior completely belies its phenomenal off-road capability. Jeep designers took special care to give the Wrangler Flattop an upscale appearance inside and out, but bolted some of the most hard-core off-road gear available to Flattop’s chassis.
Featuring a custom one-piece, windowless hard top, the body is finished in a metallic sandstone with copper and brown accents. The top and windshield were chopped two inches, and the b-pillar was removed creating a massive opening from front to rear. The door and hood hinges, tow hooks, grille slats and headlamp surrounds are finished in a copper tone, and the bumpers, side rails, side mirrors and hood decal are dark brown. The bumpers are customized versions from the Wrangle Rubicon 10th Anniversary model, as is the hood. Custom high line fender flares, Truck-Lite LED headlamps, LED rear taillamps and side markers, a massive Warn Zeon winch and TeraFlex spare tire carrier round off the exterior enhancements.
The interior features dark saddle Katzkin leather seating, copper accents on the steering wheel spokes, vent rings and passenger grab handle and Mopar® slush mats.
Under Flattop’s rich exterior is some serious off-road gear such as a Mopar cold-air intake, Mopar exhaust kit, aluminum five-spoke wheels that carry 37-inch Mickey Thompson off-road tires, the DynaTrac Pro Rock 44 front and Dana 60 rear axles feature ARB air lockers and TeraFlex sway bars, and Full-Traction control arms. All of this is hardware is bolted to King shocks with pneumatic bump stops.
Jeep® Wrangler Slim
The Jeep® Wrangler Slim offers maximum performance that is significantly lighter in weight. The Rock Lobster color exterior of the two-door Jeep Wrangler Slim features full doors and a hard top. Powered by a 3.6-liter V-6, the Jeep Wrangler Slim has a 3:73 anti-spin axle. Rolling on prototype 17-inch Jeep Performance Parts forged beadlock wheels with Rock Lobster beauty rings, the Jeep Wrangler Slim features a special 10th Anniversary Rubicon front bumper, which complements the rear bumper, and is the lightest weight rear bumper that Mopar® offers. The Jeep Wrangler Slim also sports lightweight rock rails, black grille, black hood decal, LED headlights, locking gas cap and Rubicon tires.
The black interior features leather seat covers and a CB radio, as well as Mopar all-weather slush mats and a hard-top headliner.
Jeep Performance Parts on the Jeep Wrangler Slim include a prototype Mopar 2-inch lift kit. A Mopar cold-air intake is also featured on the Jeep Wrangler Slim.”
Ten years ago, Jeep raised the bar in off-road capability with the 2013 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. Named after a grueling off-road trail, the Rubicon models were the most extreme Wranglers ever produced. Over the last decade, the Wrangler Rubicon has won numerous awards, including Four Wheeler’s “4×4 of the Decade.”
To celebrate the Rubicon’s tenth anniversary, Jeep created a limited-production 2013 Wrangler Rubicon Tenth Anniversary Edition, claiming it is the most capable factory-produced Jeep Wrangler ever. Jeep Chief Mike Manley wrote, “It is a unique vehicle that we expect will long be sought after, a Wrangler that offers an unprecedented level of capability once only attainable by long hours of custom aftermarket preparation crafted in the garages of the most avid Jeep enthusiasts in the world… [with] standard off- road equipment seen for the first time on a production vehicle.”
Set to arrive in showrooms in the spring of 2013 in both two-door and four-door versions, it is based on the normal Wrangler Rubicon / Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon. It will be sold with a six-speed manual or optional five-speed automatic transmission.
The Jeep part-time four-wheel-drive system has electronic-locking front and rear Dana 44 axles that receive power through a Rock-Trac transfer case with a “4-Low” ratio of 4:1. The standard axle ratio, shared with Rubicon, is 4.10:1; Tru-Lok locking differentials are standard. With the manual transmission, the Wrangler Rubicon Tenth Anniversary Edition has an impressive crawl ratio of 73.1:1. (Jeep also lists a 2013 Wrangler Rubicon with the automatic and an axle ratio of 3.73:1; the 4.10 is available with the automatic and the only ratio with the manual.)
The 2013 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Tenth Anniversary increases the ride height by half an inch over the standard Rubicon, giving the BF Goodrich KM2 265/70R17 tires more room to claw at rugged terrain. 17-inch Rubicon aluminum wheels are painted satin black with polished faces, and a red Jeep Wrangler “icon” logo on the outside lip.
Black front and rear steel off-road bumpers toughen up the exterior; the front bumper has a winch-capable design. The removable front bumper end caps help the Wrangler climb obstacles without hindrance, and can prevent damage to the bumper system. A dual-intake Power Dome hood helps aid in engine cooling and appearance. Red tow hooks adorn the front and rear, and Mopar rock rails give added protection from trail damage (Mopar also supplied the black fuel filler door and tail lamp guards). The vehicle includes “10th Anniversary” badges on the fenders and a red-silhouette “Rubicon” decal on the sides of the hood.
The Wrangler Rubicon Tenth Anniversary Edition comes with a Premium Sunrider soft top; buyers can also get the optional black three-piece Freedom hardtop or body-color hardtop. Paint colors are limited Billet Silver, White, and the exclusive Anvil.
Striking red leather include “Rubicon 10th Anniversary” embroidery in the front seat backs. Red stitching adorns the leather-wrapped steering wheel and the center console. A special gauge cluster features a “10th Anniversary” signature and an information center (EVIC) with read-outs including as oil pressure, oil temperature and tire pressure. The passenger grab handle includes a “Rubicon 10th Anniversary” badge and Quick Silver accents that are also found on the vent rings, steering wheel spokes and door pulls.
Final design touches include Mopar slush mats, unique axle locker and sway-bar disconnect switches, and a plaque mounted in the dash tray with technical data, such as axle type and ratio, tire size, transfer case crawl ratio, and manufacturer location.
Brakes are discs (four-wheel antilock) with a drum-in-hat parking brake. Both front and rear axles are electronic-locking Dana 44s regardless of ratio. Rubicons come with an electronic sway-bar disconnect system for the link-coil front suspension (the rear suspension is also link-coil).”
Okay, you’ve read about the other Grand Cherokees. You’ve read about diesel engines and Eco modes and Trail Rated. Now forget all of that. The SRT may be a Grand Cherokee, but its aspirations tend more to the Viper side of life. Appropriately, Jeep took us to Austin, Texas, and the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) to sample the new track-rated aspects of its updated hot-rod SUV.
The major changes for the 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT are a new eight-speed automatic with paddles for shifting and, somewhat oddly, the same Eco button that has made its way to the other models. (To flip an old saying, the Eco button in the SRT looks like the lonely little onion in the petunia patch.) SRT did its share of speed hacking of the software to adapt the transmission to the nature of the vehicle, and the eight-speed’s brains hold more than 90 shift maps. Downshifts now include rev matching. Externally, the SRT is the nastiest-looking of the Grand Cherokees—more so with new squinting headlamps—and it sits much lower than the other models. Rolling stock consists of 20-inch wheels shod with 295/45 Pirelli P Zeros. Brembo brakes peek out through the wheel spokes.
Combine those upgrades with the 6.4-liter Hemi and its 470 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque—plus new launch control—and we figure it’ll hit 60 in 4.6 seconds. At COTA, we put the Selec-Track system in the Track mode (yes, SRT renamed Jeep’s long-running Selec-Trac 4WD system to emphasize the “track” aspects of its grander Grand Cherokee), which is the firmest of the five mode settings. Revised for 2014, each of those modes on the center-console-mounted rotary dial has its own damping and shift strategies, as well as transfer-case torque proportioning: Auto (40-percent front/60-percent rear), Sport (35/65), Tow (50/50), Track (30/70), and Snow (50/50). Helmet on, off we went.
A one-word review of COTA: “wonderful.” It’s not just a beautifully finished facility but truly a track worthy of Formula 1. We climb up the hill to Turn One, then quickly down the other side through esses that tighten up. Next, it’s downhill to the back straight, where we find 120 mph in the SRT, then back into the tight stuff, eventually twisting to the front straight and hitting 110-plus mph before rushing up the hill again. It’s all great fun, underlined by an exhaust rumble that almost rattles the windows.
It was about Turn Three when we forgot we were in an SUV. The comparably better balance of the SRT chassis versus the base Grand Cherokee setup was evident through the esses and while climbing the uphill portions. The Jeep’s all-wheel drive imparted a sense of stability as we clipped left in Turn 10 and down to the hairpin that leads to the back straight. The 8.4-inch touch screen’s software has performance pages that record such factors as acceleration and lateral g for the techno geeks out there. “Record” is the important word there, as you’d be too busy to check the screen when on-track, but it’s fun bar trivia for later. …. (continued via link below)”