2019 Jeep Cherokee finally reveals its all-new nose


We’ve known for a while that the refreshed Jeep Cherokee was going under the knife in order to ditch its controversial face. While the crossover’s looks have grown over time, it was still a little too weird and awkward for some buyers. Now, thanks to our trusty spy photographers, we have a really good look at the Cherokee’s new mug. Surprise! It looks like every other product in Jeep’s lineup.

The current model has a split lighting setup that places the main headlights down low, almost below the grille. The turn signals/parking lights are way up high, nearly on top of the fender. This new model has those two meet in the middle. The shape is generally what you would find on both the new Compass and Jeep Grand Cherokee. It’s handsome, even if it does lose a bit of character.

The rear, too, has been changed. The license plate moves up and into the tailgate, giving it a more muscular, less flabby look. The smaller rear reflectors have been moved upward. The taillights look different, but it’s hard to say if those are just temporary units. Either way, expect a new design that once again cribs from the 2017 Jeep Compass.

Since this is a refresh, don’t expect to wait too much longer until we see the new model’s debut. We could see it as soon as the Detroit motor show next month. Expect current powertrains to carry over with a slight boost in fuel economy.

[Source: Autoblog]


Jeep Wrangler pickup’s rear suspension is inspired by Ram


Although we’ve learned about all there is to know about the new Jeep Wrangler, there is still more to discover about its upcoming truck sibling, such as the rear suspension. We knew it would be coil-sprung, but these new spy shots also indicate that the suspension is more similar to what’s under a Ram 1500 than the Wrangler SUV.

In the gallery above, the first two images compare the rear suspension of a new-generation 2018 Wrangler (left) and the Wrangler pickup (right). Immediately obvious is that the shocks on the Wrangler SUV are mounted at the back of the axle, while the truck’s shocks are mounted at the front. It’s also possible to see that the anti-roll bar on the SUV is mounted quite high up, while the truck’s bar sits much lower, near the base of the rear axle.

The third image shows a Ram 1500 on the left and the Wrangler pickup on the right. Here we can see that the Ram shares the same sort of low-mounted anti-roll bars and forward-mounted shocks, along with a Panhard rod. The two aren’t quite the same, though. For one thing, the Wrangler pickup’s rear axle looks more like the Wrangler SUV’s than the one on the Ram.

It’s possible that these suspension changes were made in an effort to boost the Wrangler truck’s payload capabilities. It’s also possible that there are some handling quirks to the long truck body style for which a Ram-style suspension was better suited. We’ll look forward to learning more about the differences when the truck is revealed, likely in early 2019.

[Source: Autoblog]

Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk joins ‘Forza Motorsport 7’ in Doritos car pack

In the past, Forza Motorsport car packs have been sponsored by automotive-related companies such as Alpinestars or Hot Wheels. But this latest car pack for Forza Motorsport 7 has a really bizarre sponsorship: Doritos. Even more so that there aren’t any rotary-powered cars (rotors are triangles, thus they look like Doritos). But we can’t complain too much, because the cars included are pretty great.

Leading the charge is the absurd Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk with its 707-horsepower supercharged V8 and all-wheel drive. It also comes with competition in the form of the new Porsche Cayenne Turbo with its 550-horsepower twin-turbo V8. Both of these super SUVs should be great to pit against the game’s existing Bentley Bentayga and Range Rover Sport SVR.

Besides these fast people haulers, the Doritos pack (still sounds weird), comes with a selection of classic road and race cars. The road cars include the 1955 Chevrolet 150, the more plain version of the Bel Air, the 1939 BMW 328, and the 1985 Nissan Safari diesel. The race cars include the spindly blue 1926 Bugatti Type 35, and the 1962 Porsche 804, an F1 car from the famous sports car builder.

The car pack is available now and comes with either the Forza Motorsport 7 Ultimate Edition, which retails for $99.99, or with the separate car pass, which can be downloaded from the Xbox store for $29.99. Both of these products include additional car packs besides the Doritos pack.

[Source: Autoblog]

2019 Jeep Cherokee revealed with new, more conservative look


Just as it did with the new Wrangler, Jeep is showing off images of a new product before its debut. In this case it’s the 2019 Jeep Cherokee. Jeep hasn’t released all the details on it, but we can see a number of exterior changes from the official images.

The biggest change is one we’ve been expecting: the merging of the current Cherokee’s split headlights into single units on each side. The result is a more conventional nose that has a closer familial resemblance to other Jeeps such as the Compass and Grand Cherokee. The rest of the front bumper and grille also look a bit softer and rounder, but there’s still a hint of the wedge-y pointy look of the previous generation that helps keep the crossover immediately identifiable as a Cherokee.

The other major change is at the rear. The big slab of a rear hatch is broken up now with the license plate mounting position, which makes the tail look much less bulky. Naturally the bumper was also redesigned with a faux skid plate to fill up the space left by the license plate.

As for the middle of the crossover and the interior, there are no noticeable changes. Jeep hasn’t revealed anything other than these images, so we’ll have to wait until the full debut in January to find out about any mechanical changes. Jeep’s press release does hint at more efficient powertrain options, so there could be some updates to the transmissions or engines.

[Source: Autoblog]


Jeep patent filing in China show plans for 3-row Grand Commander


Back in October, we brought you spy shots of a Jeep crossover mule driving around Fiat-Chrysler’s headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich. They appeared to show a prototype version of the Yuntu Concept, a three-row utility vehicle unveiled at the Shanghai Auto Show and designed for China.

Now, new patent filings submitted to China’s trademark office and originally reported by Chinese-language website AutoHome appear to back that up. They suggest that Jeep will call the model the Grand Commander, add a seventh seat (the Yuntu had six) and will debut it next April in Beijing.

While the Yuntu was a plug-in hybrid, the Grand Commander will reportedly be powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine that makes 270 horsepower, which sounds like the same four-cylinder engine that powers the 2018 Wrangler. But since Jeep has confirmed a plug-in hybrid version of the Wrangler coming for 2020, it’s not unreasonable to expect that configuration could come later for the Grand Commander, too, especially considering the Chinese government’s push to ramp up production of electric vehicles.

The patent filings also list names for other Jeep models in China, including the concept-sounding names Portal and Hyperspace. The Portal was the name Chrysler gave to a pretty nifty electric minivan concept with double sliding bay doors at this year’s CES in Las Vegas.

[Source: Autoblog]


2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk Drivers’ Notes | Haulin’ the groceries


Powered by the same supercharged Hemi at the heart of Dodge’s Hellcat cars, the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is the sort of vehicle that comes from a “Why not?” attitude from the maniacs at SRT. It’s not for the faint of heart, nor for the cash-strapped. With 707 horsepower and 645 pound-feet of torque, it’s capable of a 0-60 sprint of just 3.5 seconds. Its base price, however, is $86,995, though our tester’s sticker totaled just a few bucks shy of $100,000.

Senior Editor, Green, John Beltz Snyder: “What business does a Jeep have going 0-60 in 3.5 seconds?” This was my thought as I merged into rainy rush-hour traffic on Woodward Avenue in the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. “Why does an SUV need to have ‘Track’ in the name?” I thought as I unintentionally broke the tires loose pulling away from a stoplight. I hit the “Eco” button, but the Jeep still roared with every toe-tap, and still managed to gulp down nearly a quarter of a tank of gas on my ride home.

That sound, though, is amazing, and surely more unsettling to other drivers coming from such a big beast of a ute.

Anyway, this Jeep feels more grown-up than other Hemi-powered vehicles I’ve driven. The fit and finish in this $99,000 Jeep is far nicer than, say, the Dodge Durango SRT (though at a much higher cost). If another driver didn’t pay close attention to the badging, they might see this and think it just another Jeep. The sound, though, will give it away every time.

Associate Editor Joel Stocksdale: If Fiat-Chrysler knows how to do anything, it’s making fast SUVs, and the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is further proof of that. And by that I mean, they know how to make them fast, and they know how to make them pleasant to drive.

The Trackhawk definitely handles the fast part better than its SRT Durango and SRT Grand Cherokee cousins, what with its extra 230-odd horsepower. This big beast seriously rockets when you punch the throttle. The nose rises up, the supercharger screams, the exhaust rumbles and the speedometer ticks up much faster than you’d ever think. And it feels strong at all revs. Also impressive is that you don’t have to really think when flooring it. The all-wheel-drive and fat tires offer so much grip the Jeep simply goes.

The pleasant to drive part comes in the fact that the Trackhawk is very comfortable. The suspension has plenty of give, providing a good ride over pockmarked Motown roads. But it still handles well, if perhaps not quite up to the standards of European super SUVs. But the thing is, no SUV is going to have sports car handling, so the tradeoff toward a bit more comfort is welcomed. Adding to the good suspension are wide, bolstered, well-padded seats that should be excellent for long-trips. The UConnect is easy to use, and there’s plenty of space inside. It’s a great all-around SUV, and it just happens to go extremely fast.

Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore: I was psyched to drive the Trackhawk. It’s one of the most anticipated Jeeps ever — and it totally lived up to the hype. Obviously, the Hellcat engine is the spotlight feature, and it’s well-suited to the Grand Cherokee. That was the part I was curious about. It didn’t seem like a logical fit, but everything is well-tuned and sorted. It sounds good, yet not overdone. It’s also a sleeper vehicle. Yes, something is up with this Jeep. You can tell that at first glance. But Hellcat power isn’t immediately obvious. I like that. It’s also pretty chill when you’re cruising at steady speeds.

Inside, I wasn’t a fan of this maroon leather. Otherwise, the FCA U.S. controls and infotainment remain among the best in the industry. The touchscreens work, and the knobs and buttons are intuitive. Can’t ask for more. Also, many years into its lifecycle, the Grand Cherokee remains a strong, attractive player in its segment. Giving it the Trackhawk treatment wasn’t necessary, but I’m sure glad FCA did.


2018 Jeep Wrangler JL order guide leaks, ordering open Portland Jeep dealer

It’s been a big day for Jeep news. Earlier today, a leaked timeline revealed that the new 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL will make its debut sometime in November, likely at either SEMA or the Los Angeles Auto Show. Now, thanks to our friends at JL Wrangler Forums, we have news that an order guide has leaked and order banks are open. That means you should be able to go to a Jeep dealer and place an order for a new Wrangler now. This order guide only covers the four-door Wrangler Unlimited, but it gives us a pretty clear look at the new model.

At launch, the Wrangler Unlimited will come in three trims – Sport, Sahara and Rubicon. The only available engine will be FCA’s 3.6-liter Pentastar V6. Those hoping for a diesel will have to wait a little while longer. All three models will offer both a manual and automatic transmission. While the current model is available in a wide range of colors, initially only five – Billet Silver, Black, Bright White, Firecracker Red and Granite Crystal – will be offered.

Poring over the guide shows that features line-up pretty closely with the current model. Hardtops are still optional, as is leather on the Sahara and Rubicon. It doesn’t look like you’ll be able to get a Sport with a body-color top and the dual-top option for the Rubicon is only listed on the order banks with a black hardtop. The Sahara and Rubicon both have optional trailer hitches and the Rubicon has an optional steel bumper.

There’s lots we still don’t know, but look for more news in the next month or so after the new Wrangler finally debuts.