Redesigned Jeep Grand Cherokee makes New York Auto Show debut

Delays in Chrysler’s bankruptcy proceeding led to fears that key models like the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee may be delayed

Delays in Chrysler’s bankruptcy proceeding led to fears that key models like the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee may be delayed

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Chrysler has given us an early look at its redesigned Jeep Grand Cherokee at this week's New York Auto Show, despite the new SUV not going on sale until sometime next year. Coming in as a 2011 model, the redesigned Jeep Grand Cherokee will ride on an advanced car-like unibody platform and feature the company’s upcoming Phoenix V6, renamed Pentastar, or a HEMI V8 as engine options.

The 3.6L Pentastar V6 offers flex-fuel capability and variable valve timing, and in the new Grand Cherokee outputs 280hp (209kW) and 260lb-ft (353Nm) of torque. The engine is also claimed to offer 11% better fuel-economy than the current V6 Cherokee, but it won’t be as efficient as an upcoming diesel that’s planned for overseas markets. Joining the V6 is a range-topping 5.7L HEMI V8, which is good for 360hp (268kW) and 390lb-ft (520Nm) of torque.

Also new is Chrysler’s Quadra Lift air-suspension system, which provides height control and lifts the vehicle up to 4.5in from park mode to a maximum ride height of 11.1in when off-roading. Chrysler also offers up to three different AWD modes, including Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II and Quadra-Drive II with an electronic limited slip differential. The different modes offer varying levels of slip protection, smoothly distributing engine torque to individual tires depending of the level of traction.

The vehicle also features new independent suspension systems with isolated front and rear suspension cradles and variable-rate rear springs that combine to enhance on-road character and ride comfort. Furthermore, the body structure’s torsional stiffness is 146% stiffer than current model and stiffer than the BMW X5 and Toyota Highlander as well. This was achieved with more than 5,400 welds in the body alone.

Inside, Chrysler has fitted its uconnect connectivity and entertainment system and a 506-watt premium Alpine stereo system.

In preparation for the new SUV, Chrysler will refit its Jefferson assembly plant in North Detroit, which will also be responsible for several yet-to-be revealed models based on the same platform. This platform, incidentally, was developed jointly with Mercedes Benz for its next-generation ML-Class SUV prior to the split of DaimlerChrysler. This means there is a strong chance that the Grand Cherokee may eventually feature a two-mode hybrid powertrain, which was developed together with Daimler, General Motors and BMW.
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Comments (17)
  1. All I want to know is this: will the new Cherokee have those COMPLETELY OUT OF PLACE round headlights in an otherwise perfectly square car?

  2. I'm hoping the next gen JGC will look alot like the trailhawk concept, but have better ground clearence, have a great on road ride but still be very capable offroad, and the terrain selector in the trailhawk concept was pretty cool (however landroverish, I still liked the idea). oh and i heard rumors of a choice between 7 or 5 passenger variations of the vehicle.

  3. The new Trail Hawk is far more inovative.

  4. I hope they take out those ugly headlights... It would be nice to see the new model with a 2002 Grand Cherokee influence...
    I totally agree with Steve and Kinsman... something like the trailhawk wuld be a good option too...

  5. I agree with steve and kinsman too, i also think they should throw in an airbag suspenison like landrover and vw use in their suvs, it would be a great plan to increase ground clearence without sacrificing onroad ride, and give it at least a max setting of 12inches of ground clearence like mercedes benz does with the gl-class off road package!

  6. I like all those ideas,and if they play their cards right this suv could save chrysler and beat out the competition in all catigories, that would be amazing!

  7. Bout time we get a good look at the Phoenix engine

  8. This look great! I'm a little curious about the tail-end...from here it looks quite similar to the GC that's currently out. The interior shots look very appealing with dark brown leather and a reorganized dash. I've had a 2006 GC and it was nice...had it's quirks like the powertrain kept slipping and I wouldn't exactly call it a comfortable car, but it did the job...especially in the snow up here in the Northeast. Chysler really needs this to sell in order to stay viable or even in business.

    My suggestion Chrysler...listen to the commentators and listen to the public...we know what we want in a SUV, and you've brought it to us you just need to blow us away!

  9. Way better then the current one

  10. wow,.. it already comes with hydraulics?

    gangstas of the world, rejoice.

  11. What about the interior? After all you spend most of your time behind the wheel, no?

  12. What about the interior? After all you spend most of your time behind the wheel, no?

    Seen the interior on some other sites, it is pretty amazing, lot of soft touch materials. Including leather on the dash.

  13. I have a 2005 Grand Cherokee with 5.7 Hemi. The interior is awesome ...when Mercedes left Jeep alot of class went with it. The interiors are so cheap looking now its disappointing. I really like the new Trail Hawk. Just compare a 2005 interior to the 2007 and 08's there really is a difference!

  14. Why have they stuck to the square wheel well openings when tires are round, looks like hell!

  15. From the pics it looks a lot like the Journey, I own a GC 2006, and been waiting for the new redesigned GC, hope it looks better then the pics

  16. My 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo with Up-Country suspension is still going strong with 245,000 miles. I love it and have held out hoping that Jeep will someday reinvent something that carries over the best styling features of that model (ZJ series) -- one of their best selling. Also, Chrysler really needs to spend a little extra time and money in offering an option for a very nicely textured FABRIC interior. They need to look back at the interior FABRIC offerings from the ZJ series for ideas and also look at the classy textured two-tone fabric offerings that the Nissan Pathfinder has had for the last 2 years (2009-10). I don't like leather in the hot sticky South and keep waiting for a nice textured fabric offering! Come on, Chrysler, pay attention.

  17. Honestly, I find the 98-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee model to look the finest. We own a 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee Leredo. It's not a bulging SUV, but has room--and is very sporty looking. Plenty of power, too. This year's model looks more like a retired couple's lexus.

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