Jeep and Ram could be spun off from FCA, says Marchionne

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Jeep is surely the biggest single feather left in the cap of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles portfolio. Under Sergio Marchionne’s leadership, Jeep went from fewer than 500,000 annual sales in 2008 to 1.4 million in 2016, and is on track for 2 million by 2018. Add in the brand’s legacy, status as one of the most recognizable nameplates in the world, and rabid fan base, and Jeep has extraordinary monetary value to its parent company.

Investors and analysts have certainly noticed Jeep’s inherent value. According to The Detroit Free Press, Morgan Stanley’s Adam Jonas asked FCA chief Sergio Marchionne if he would ever consider spinning Jeep and Ram, FCA’s dedicated truck brand, into a separate corporate entity, and he responded with a simple “Yes.”

Jonas estimated Jeep’s worth in January of this year at $22 billion. Ram was valued at $11.2 billion.

Marchionne has a history of spinning off brands while keeping them part of FCA’s corporate umbrella. The most noteworthy example of this value maximization was with Ferrari, which now trades on the New York Stock Exchange and rakes in $3.4 billion in annual revenue and close to $435 million in net income, reports the Free Press. Marchionne still serves as chairman and CEO of Ferrari, and Fiat heir John Elkann owns 22 percent of the Italian marque’s shares.

Even if the offloading of Jeep and Ram into a separate entity would amount to little more than a profit-driven ownership change on paper, it would be huge news to the brands’ loyal fanbases. In any case, such a move would likely take years to actually happen and probably wouldn’t mean much at all to the products that Jeep and Ram produce. In other words, Jeep fans can keep the pitchforks in the shed … for now.

[Source: Autoblog]

Watch as driver is ejected from tumbling Jeep – and then the remarkable happens

A motorist with a dashcam has captured the kind of crash you simply do not walk away from. But somehow, somebody did – a driver who was ejected from a careening, tumbling, disintegrating Jeep.

The crash was on I-65 in Mobile, Ala., earlier this week.

“A Mustang came flying by, and then a few seconds later a white Jeep came flying by, and I said to myself somebody’s going to get in a wreck – I see that happening right now,” AJ Calvin told Fox 10 TV.

Calvin captured the video in his work truck.

It shows the speeding vehicles clip, which sends the Jeep tumbling. It rolls over five or six times, flinging debris as it goes. Also sent flying – the driver.

But then the remarkable happens.

The man stands up, almost as if nothing had happened, then walks to the shoulder. Calvin said the Jeep’s passenger was still in his seat.

The two went to a hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. Presumably the driver was not wearing his seat belt, as, incredibly, many people still do not. But state troopers had not confirmed that.

“It was a miracle,” Calvin said. “If that doesn’t tell you to wear your seatbelt, I mean… I don’t know.

“Speed kills and seat belts save lives!”

Amen.

Jeep Grand One and Quicksand Concepts lead the charge to Moab

cn017-003jp-2.jpgJeep’s past, present, and future all share equal billing at the 51st annual Easter Jeep Safari in Moab. We’re suckers for vintage Jeeps, so the all-new Grand One Concept really stands out among the seven vehicles that make up Jeep’s conceptual take on the off-road event. It’s based on a 1993 Grand Cherokee in a slightly early celebration of the model’s 25th anniversary. Exterior mods include custom fender flares for clearance over 18-inch wheels and 33-inch BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain KM2 tires, trimmed front and rear fascias and what FCA is calling a “subtle wood grain” splashed on the vehicle’s bodysides. An extended wheelbase ought to offer a bit more room inside, and a two-inch suspension lift will help when the going gets tough. No alterations are mentioned to the vehicle’s 5.2-liter V8 or 4-speed automatic transmission.

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The second most interesting concept for Moab is the Jeep Quicksand. It’s clearly Wrangler-based, but instead of a traditional rock-climbing focus, this one’s built for the sand dunes. Power comes from a worked-over Mopar 392 Crate HEMI engine topped with an eight-stack fuel injection system that peeks through the hood. A six-speed manual sends the ponies to all four wheels, but with a unique twist: 32-inch BFGs in the front and 37s in the rear in what Jeep says is its first application of staggered tire sizes on a concept vehicle. A Warn winch concealed in a vintage-style Moon tank at the front is the finishing touch.

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The Jeep Safari Concept is all about letting the outdoors in while keeping the elements out. A translucent hardtop and four aluminum and clear vinyl doors are the most obvious changes from stock, and two rear seats have been angled outward so that their occupants get a better view outside. Dana 44 axles and a two-inch suspension lift come from the Mopar parts catalog, but the roof-rack-mounted drone and dash-mounted iPad are custom one-off touches. Power comes from a stock 3.6-liter V6 and five-speed automatic transmission.

Perhaps more intriguing than all the custom bits and baubles, though, are what appears to be next-gen Wrangler bodywork. Take a look at the kinked grille, the outer slats of which are pinched by the headlights, and the shape of the rocker panel between the front and rear door. No, this isn’t exactly a 2018 Wrangler hiding in plain sight, but it’s certainly a nod toward the future.

CN017_011JP.jpgJeep’s Switchback Concept looks to be a rolling Mopar parts catalog. Its front and rear Dana 44 axles, 4-inch lift with Remote Reservoir Fox shocks, heavy-duty cast differential covers, 10th Anniversary steel front and rear bumpers, Rubicon winch, grille, winch guard and cold air intake are all available from your nearest Jeep dealer. Most of the exterior bits, including the fender flares and rear spare tire carrier, are also off-the-shelf parts. The concept’s hood, cutout-style half doors, hard top, roof rack, and LED lighting package are conceptual, for now at least. Power again comes from a 3.6-liter V6 and automatic transmission.

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The Jeep Luminator Concept will be nice to have around when the lights go out at night. It’s plastered in LEDs head to toe, including some cool seven-inch projectors in place of the standard headlights. The magnetic underbody rock lights are a cool touch, but the lighted drone landing pad on top seems mostly for show, and the rooftop solar panel can’t possibly be powerful enough to provide any meaningful battery life for all those LEDs.

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Rounding out the new Jeep concepts is the Trailpass. It’s based on the new Compass Trailhawk, but gets a 1.5-inch lift kit and 18-inch wheels shod with Continental TerrainContact all-terrain tires. A Mopar/Thule roof basket holding some traction mats ought to come in handy if the Trailpass can’t pass a trail. A 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and nine-speed automatic are unchanged from stock.

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The final vehicle Jeep is bringing to Moab is the CJ66 Concept that was first shown off at the 2016 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. A Mopar 345 Crate 5.7-liter Hemi engine sends 383 horsepower through a six-speed manual transmission to all four wheels. A narrowed body hearkens back to the time when Wranglers were actually CJs. Take a look at the instrument panel and its single centrally located gauge.

[Source: Autoblog]

2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee in Portland at Dick’s Country in Hillsboro

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Jeep Grand Cherokee, for sale in Portland at Dick’s Country Dodge Chrysler Jeep in Hillsboro, is the most awarded SUV ever and the vehicle that has long defined what a premium SUV should be. A refined exterior design — complete with available bi-xenon headlamps with signature LED daytime running lamps (DRL) — provides a premium appearance. For more information, please call us at (866) 817-9034.

Grand Cherokee SRT models feature new, distinctive front fascia, grille and fog lamps that build upon the SRT exclusive stealth-like exterior appearance. Interior luxury is achieved with premium amenities, including Natura leather, exotic open-pore wood trim and unique color offerings. Legendary Jeep capability comes courtesy of four available 4×4 systems, Jeep’s Quadra-Lift air suspension system and class-leading Selec-Terrain traction management system. Grand Cherokee boasts best-in-class towing of 7,400 pounds and a crawl ratio of 44.1:1.

Highlights

  • The standard Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6-powered Grand Cherokee, rated up to 295 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque, tows up to 6,200 pounds while the available 5.7-liter V-8 packs 360 horsepower and 390 lb.-ft. of torque with best-in-class towing capacity of 7,400 lbs.
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee delivers best-in-class 30 miles per gallon (mpg) highway courtesy of an available 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 engine and standard TorqueFlite eight-speed transmission. The 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 boasts an unmatched driving range of more than 730 miles
  • Best performing on-road Jeep vehicle ever returns with SRT model and its proven and powerful 6.4-liter V-8 with Fuel Saver Technology that delivers 475 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque. Performance includes 0-60 mph acceleration in 4.8 seconds, 0-100-0 mph in 16.3 seconds, quarter mile in the mid-13 second range and a top speed of 160 mph
  • Grand Cherokee SRT features eight drive modes that allow owners the ability to personalize their drive experience whether its on-road or on-track. The drive modes separately control the all-wheel drive system, transmission, paddle shifters, stability control, suspension and steering. Drive modes are pre-configured for Auto, Sport, Track, Snow and Tow settings via a switch on the center console, while the Custom setting lets the driver customize the drive experience to their favorite settings
    • Auto — Activates automatically when starting the vehicle
    • Sport — Delivers increased vehicle performance capability over the Auto Mode
    • Track — Delivers maximum vehicle performance capability on smooth, dry surfaces
    • Snow – Delivers optimized snow and ice performance
    • Tow – Delivers maximum towing performance
    • Custom — Allows driver to personalize the vehicle’s performance
    • Eco — Maximizes fuel economy with a revised shift schedule, pedal map and second-gear starts (Available in Auto, Sport and Track)
    • Valet — Limits engine to 4,000 rpm to significantly reduce horsepower and torque, reworks transmission to upshift earlier while traction, steering and suspension settings remain locked in Auto mode
  • Standard launch control mimics a professional driver’s inputs to optimize Grand Cherokee SRT’s performance by bringing engine, transmission, driveline, stability control and suspension in line for a textbook launch. Controlled by a button on the center console, the result is improved and more consistent straight-line acceleration
  • All Jeep Grand Cherokee engines are mated to the TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission. In addition to enhancing fuel economy, the robust and durable eight-speed transmission delivers quick acceleration and precise, smooth shifting, enhancing ride quality to luxury car levels
  • All Grand Cherokee models equipped with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine features Engine Stop-Start (ESS) technology to improve fuel efficiency by shutting the engine off when the vehicle comes to a complete stop. Amenities (radio, gauges, heating or air conditioning, etc.) continue to operate and the engine restarts automatically when the driver releases the brake, allowing seamless acceleration
  • Quadra-Drive II, with a rear Electronic Limited-slip Differential (ELSD), delivers industry-leading tractive capability. The system instantly detects tire slip and smoothly distributes engine torque to tires with traction. In some cases, the vehicle will anticipate low traction and adjust in order to proactively limit or eliminate slip
  • Selec-Speed Control with Hill-ascent and Hill-descent Control allows drivers to control Grand Cherokee’s speed both up and down steep, rugged grades with the steering wheel paddle shifters – without the need for throttle or brake input. Unique to its segment, Grand Cherokee Hill-descent Control also works when the vehicle is in Reverse
  • The Jeep Grand Cherokee includes more than 70 safety and security features as well as an array of advanced user-friendly technology features, such as the award-winning Uconnect  8.4-inch touchscreen radio with integrated climate and infotainment controls and a 7-inch customer configurable multiview display cluster

Model Lineup 
For 2017, the Jeep Grand Cherokee lineup consists of six models:

  • Laredo
  • Limited
  • Trailhawk
  • Overland
  • Summit
  • SRT

Exterior Colors

  • Diamond Black (NEW)
  • Rhino (NEW)
  • Walnut Brown (NEW)
  • Velvet Red
  • Redline (Trailhawk and SRT only)
  • Luxury Brown
  • True Blue
  • Granite Crystal
  • Billet Silver
  • Ivory Pearl Tri-Coat
  • Bright White

Interior Colors

  • Black
  • Black/Light Frost Beige
  • Black/Ruby Red (Trailhawk)
  • Black/Garnet Red (SRT)
  • Brown
  • Indigo Blue/Brown
  • Dark Sienna Brown/Black
  • Indigo/ Ski Gray

2017 Jeep Compass in Oregon at Dick’s Country in Hillsboro

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It’s baaaaaackkkkkkk! The 2017 Jeep Compass, for sale in Portland at Dick’s Country Dodge in Hillsboro, is back and better than ever! For further information, please call your Beaverton Jeep dealer at (866) 817-9034.

The all-new 2017 Jeep Compass, for sale in Oregon, expands the brand’s global reach with an unmatched combination of attributes that includes legendary and best-in-class 4×4 off-road capability, advanced fuel-efficient powertrains, premium and authentic Jeep design, superior on-road driving dynamics, open-air freedom, and a host of innovative safety and advanced technology offerings.

A truly global all-new compact SUV, the 2017 Jeep Compass will be manufactured in Brazil, China, Mexico and India, for consumers in more than 100 countries around the world.

“Our all-new 2017 Jeep Compass enters an extremely important and growing segment worldwide, and does so with an unmatched list of attributes that includes benchmark 4×4 off-road capability, exceptional on-road driving dynamics, fuel-efficient powertrains, countless advanced technology and safety features, all wrapped in a premium, authentic Jeep design,” said Mike Manley, Head of Jeep Brand – FCA Global. “Built around the world for customers everywhere, Jeep Compass raises the bar in the compact-SUV segment.”

The 2017 Jeep Compass is available in four different trim configurations: Sport, Latitude, Limited and Trailhawk.

Best-in-class off-road capability with two leading 4×4 systems
The all-new 2017 Jeep Compass delivers best-in-class off-road capability, courtesy of two advanced, intelligent 4×4 systems, each of which can send 100 percent of available torque to any one wheel:

  • Jeep Active Drive – full-time 4×4 system
  • Jeep Active Drive Low – class-exclusive full-time 4×4 system with 20:1 crawl ratio

Both Jeep Active Drive and Active Drive Low 4×4 systems include the Jeep Selec-Terrain system, providing up to five modes (Auto, Snow, Sand and Mud modes, plus exclusive Rock mode on the Trailhawk model) for the best four-wheel-drive performance on- or off-road and in any weather condition. For even greater Trail Rated off-road capability, Selec-Terrain includes Selec-Speed Control with Hill-descent Control on Trailhawk models.

Compass features a disconnecting rear axle and power take-off unit (PTU), in order to provide 4×4 models with enhanced fuel economy. Jeep Active Drive and Active Drive Low 4×4 systems instantly engage when 4×4 traction is needed.

Trail Rated Jeep Compass Trailhawk
For those who seek adventure off the beaten path, the Compass Trailhawk model delivers best-in-class Trail Rated 4×4 capability with:

  • Standard Jeep Active Drive Low 4×4 20:1 crawl ratio
  • Selec-Terrain with exclusive Rock mode
  • Increased ride height of almost one inch, skid plates and Jeep signature red front and rear tow hooks
  • Unique fascias with 30-degree approach angle, 24-degree breakover angle and a 34-degree departure angle
  • Hill-descent Control
  • Aggressive 17-inch off-road tires
  • Up to 19 inches of water fording
  • Up to 2,000-lbs. towing capability

Superior on-road driving dynamics
FCA’s “small wide architecture,” a fully independent suspension, segment-exclusive frequency damping front-and-rear-strut system, and precise electric power steering combine to deliver superior on-road driving dynamics in the all-new 2017 Jeep Compass.

Compass boasts a rigid foundation. The upper body structure and frame are engineered as a single unit for a stiff and more mass-efficient structure, and it is designed and built with an extensive use of high-strength steel and liberal use of structural adhesives. More than 65 percent high-strength steel is used for maximizing vehicle dynamics and crash performance while optimizing weight efficiency.

Advanced fuel-efficient powertrains
A total of five engines – three gasoline and two diesel – will be offered, depending on the market worldwide. In North America, the proven, fuel-efficient 2.4-liter Tigershark four-cylinder engine will power the Compass, delivering best-in-class 4×4 highway fuel economy of 31 mpg when paired with the six-speed manual transmission.

2.4-liter Tigershark engine with MultiAir2
Efficiency and refinement also are hallmarks of FCA‘s 16-valve, 2.4-liter Tigershark I-4 engine with the MultiAir2 electro-hydraulic, fully variable valve-actuation system. The advanced technology engine produces 180 horsepower, 175 lb.-ft. of torque and is mated to the choice of three transmissions in North America:

  • Class-exclusive nine-speed automatic transmission for 4×4 models
  • Six-speed manual transmission (4×2 and 4×4 models)
  • Aisin six-speed automatic transmission for 4×2 Compass models

Class-exclusive nine-speed transmission
The all-new 2017 Jeep Compass is the only compact SUV to offer a nine-speed automatic transmission, enabling the vehicle to optimize engine output and for aggressive launches and smooth, efficient power delivery at highway speeds. The nine-speed transmission is standard on all Jeep Compass 4×4 models.

Six-speed manual transmission
All-new 2017 Jeep Compass 4×2 and 4×4 models are equipped with the standard six-speed manual transmission. This proven transmission features a 6.68 ratio spread and a 4.438 final-drive ratio for fuel efficiency at faster speeds. Thanks to its first-gear launch ratio of 18.4:1, the gearbox delivers quick acceleration with smooth, precise shift quality.

Six-speed automatic transmission
Available on Jeep Compass 4×2 models, the Gen III six-speed automatic transmission features a 6.635 ratio spread and a 3.502 final-drive ratio for a responsive, enjoyable drive.

Authentic Jeep design with premium features and open-air freedom
The all-new 2017 Jeep Compass features a premium, sculptural design aesthetic. The exterior design is expressive and emotional with a wide stance and exceptional glass-to-wheel proportions. The all-new compact SUV is immediately recognizable as a Jeep with its distinctive traditional Jeep design cues. Jeep designers gave the legendary seven-slot grille a fresh look by setting each of the individual chrome slots in a Gloss Black field. Headlamp bezels featuring a black outline add personality and attitude to the front of the all-new Jeep Compass.

The exterior of the 2017 Jeep Compass features a traditional clamshell hood with a double break line and center bulge.

A fast, dramatic roofline and muscular fenders and shoulders create a stunning profile. The available Gloss Black painted roof adds a unique, premium appearance in the compact SUV segment. An available dual-pane sunroof provides the largest opening possible, connecting Jeep drivers and passengers to the outdoors and open-air freedom.

A standout feature of the rear of the Compass is its unique LED tail lamps. Slim and rectangular in shape, the tail lamps flow into the liftgate for a commanding yet premium appearance instantly recognizable as a Jeep Compass on the road or trail.

For added consumer convenience, the 2017 Jeep Compass features a power liftgate helping ease cargo storage.

Upscale interior design boasts premium features and technology
The all-new 2017 Jeep Compass interior design showcases a premium interior highlighted by sculptural surface elements and precise technical detail.

The trapezoidal center stack bezel is a characteristic Jeep design cue and sports a color and finish that complements the interior choice. The center stack houses the 5.0-, 7.0- or 8.4-inch touchscreen displays. The center console neatly integrates the functional features of the Jeep Compass, including gear-shift selection, Selec-Terrain controls, electronic parking break, engine stop-start (ESS) controls, climate and volume control knobs, and easily accessible media charging and connectivity ports within the cubby bin.

The driver’s cockpit is thoughtfully designed and features a 3.5- or 7-inch LED driver information display (DID) instrument cluster. The available full-color 7-inch DID – the largest in the segment – displays information that the driver may configure for easier access while driving. The Jeep steering wheel with integrated audio, voice and speed controls enables drivers to keep their hands on the wheel and attention focused on the road ahead.

Clever and thoughtfully designed storage solutions are abound throughout the cabin, including a stylish mesh side pocket in the front passenger footwell that can hold a notebook or tablet device, and an inventive multi-level rear cargo floor.

Advanced technology that delivers thorough use of all-new infotainment systems
The all-new 2017 Jeep Compass offers four new Uconnect systems for North America (Uconnect 5.0, 7.0, 8.4 and 8.4NAV), delivering communication, entertainment and navigation features that drivers and passengers desire, including the segment’s largest full-color LED instrument cluster.

The new lineup includes easy-to-use features, enhanced processing power, faster startup times and touchscreens that display high-resolution graphics.

New Apple CarPlay and Android Auto features
The all-new 2017 Jeep Compass is equipped with the Uconnect 7.0, 8.4 or 8.4NAV systems and includes the new Apple CarPlay and Android Auto features.

Apple CarPlay
Seamlessly integrates an iPhone with the vehicle’s built-in display and controls in addition to featuring Siri Voice control. iPhone-equipped drivers can make phone calls, access music, send and receive messages, and receive voice-guided navigation optimized for traffic conditions and more, while staying focused on the road.

Android Auto
System shares useful information when driving and makes it easy to access the best of Google technology. Featuring Google Maps with free voice-guided navigation, live traffic information, lane guidance; on-demand access to 30 million songs with Google Play Music; plus the ability to place phone calls or send and receive messages while keeping hands on the wheel; and ask Google search any question. Android Auto also makes it easy to access popular apps and content from the Uconnect system’s touchscreen.

Drivers and passengers also have an abundance of infotainment features at their fingertips with SiriusXM Radio, Travel Link, Traffic and Guardian Connected Services that provide real-time information.

More than 70 available advanced safety and security features
Safety and security were paramount in the development of the all-new 2017 Jeep Compass, which offers more than 70 available active and passive safety and security features. Consumers can drive with confidence as Compass includes “safety cage” construction with more than 65 percent high-strength steel. Available features include Forward Collision Warning-Plus, LaneSense Departure Warning-Plus, Blind-spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Path detection, ParkView rear backup camera with dynamic grid lines, electronic stability control (ESC) with electronic roll mitigation and seven standard air bags.

Jeep burned down by new Samsung Galaxy Note 7

A Florida family is out a Jeep Cherokee and a brand new cell phone after a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 left on a charger allegedly burst into flames on Monday and destroyed both itself and the Jeep.

According to Fox 13, Nathan Dornacher and his wife Lydia were cruising garage sales in St. Petersburg, Florida on Labor Day with their daughter and their service dog. They stopped at home to unload a desk they’d purchased earlier. While they got the desk out of the Cherokee’s hatch Nathan left his shiny new Galaxy Note 7 charging in the Jeep’s center console. When the family went to leave again to run more errands, they were shocked to see that the Jeep’s interior was engulfed in flames and thick black smoke was pouring out of the panel gaps.

The St. Petersburg Fire department responded to the Dornachers’, but it was too late for the Cherokee. The fire destroyed the vehicle, which was dearly loved by Nathan and heavily modified with aftermarket equipment.

The Galaxy Note 7 has gained a nasty reputation for spontaneous combustion since its release in August. Samsung has recalled the phone in ten countries after thirty-five instances of Galaxy Note 7s catching fire or exploding for no good reason were confirmed.

Fox 13 received a statement from a Samsung spokesperson after they reported the story about the Dornachers’ poor jeep.

“We are aware of the incident and we are working with Mr. Dornacher to investigate his case and ensure we do everything we can for him. Consumer safety is Samsung’s highest priority. With regard to the Galaxy Note7, we are asking owners to take advantage of the Product Exchange Program announced on Friday of last week. The program offers Note7 owners the opportunity to exchange the phone for a new one.”

[Source: Autoblog]

The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk in Portland is pretty much good to go

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We’ve been stalking the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk for months, and now we’re getting our best look yet at the devilishly powerful sport utility vehicle.

From a distance, the JGC looks almost stately in black. Look closer and you see the SRT badges and the big brakes. Look past the wrappings and you see large air intakes in the lower fascia. All of this reinforces the Trackhawk’s performance pedigree, which will be anchored with the 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi Hellcat V8. It’s rated at 707 horsepower in the Charger and Challenger Hellcats. The Jeep will use four-wheel drive.

These up-close images show off the Trackhawk’s simple design. Like the Dodge Hellcats, Jeep appears to be letting the power and capability stand on their own. Previously, we’ve only seen the Trackhawk from a distance or in blurry video.

The Trackhawk’s arrival comes as Fiat Chrysler expands Jeep’s global presence. The company is increasingly looking to its venerable off-road brand for sales volume, image building, and profits as it re-aligns its car business and looks for potential partners.

The Trackhawk looks nearly production ready, and we expect it to go on sale in 2017. Also, don’t confuse it with the Trailhawk, which is a trim level you can buy on the 2017 Grand Cherokee.