Jeep’s fifth generation Grand Cherokee strives to deliver the comfort and capabilities customers know and love – powered by plug-in hybrid technology.
The Stellantis NV brand recently unveiled the brand new two-row model of their best-selling SUV that is being built in their Detroit Assembly Complex. With the new 4xe hybrid model, which will be available in the US after the New Year and worldwide thereafter, the vehicles will be available from dealers by the end of the year. The price was not announced immediately.
Jeep announced the seven-trim range, which includes the all-terrain Trailhawk as the top performing version of its most award-winning SUV. Based on the same architecture as the new three-row Grand Cherokee L that Jeep launched earlier this year, the two-row vehicle’s wheelbase is 5 inches shorter at 116.7 inches.
“It’s the whole package,” said Jim Morrison, head of the Jeep brand in North America. “It’s a combination of four-wheel drive, performance, technology, luxury and safety. It’s everything our customers want us to do in a Grand Cherokee.”
The range includes Laredo, Altitude, Limited, Overland, Trailhawk, Summit and Summit Reserve. The 3.6 liter Pentastar V-6 engines come standard with rated 293 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque with a towing capacity of 6,200 pounds and an estimated range of more than 800 miles. The 5.7 liter V-8 engine is available from the Overland and offers up to 7,200 pounds of pulling power.
The 4xe variant from Jeep is equipped with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder I-4 turbo engine from the Limited. The brand is aiming for an all-electric range of 25 miles, 47 miles per gallon equivalent, and a combined range of more than 440 miles. The system includes regenerative braking. The 4xe models offer 375 horsepower, 470 pound-feet of torque, and a maximum pull of 6,000 pounds, says Jeep.
It is the latest step on the way to being able to offer Jeep a fully electric vehicle in each of its segments by 2025. The Wrangler 4xe was launched earlier this year and was the brand’s top-selling plug-in hybrid according to data in the second quarter. The Grand Cherokee 4xe will compete with hybrid versions of the Kia Sorento and Toyota Highlander.
“Some people see a limitation in electrification – we see it as a great opportunity for Jeep because it is an opportunity to strengthen our DNA,” said Jeep CEO Christian Meunier. “They can drive silently in nature and have a lot of torque, so driving is a lot of fun.”
The drive system combines two electric motors and a TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission. A 400 volt battery pack with 17 kilowatts consists of 96 lithium-ion cells in chemistry with lithium-nickel-manganese-cobalt oxides. Samsung supplies the batteries.
The driver can select his desired drive mode with buttons on the instrument panel. The batteries and controls are mounted under the vehicle and are packed in steel underrun protection plates to protect them. Jeep has also redesigned the exhaust system for sound quality.
“For the fifth generation, we knew electrification was a requirement,” said Tom Seel, chief vehicle engineer for the Grand Cherokee, in a taped briefing. “But not only that, it was a requirement not to compromise on either the customer package or the comfort.”
According to Jeep, the Trailhawk 4xe conquered the Californian Rubicon Trail in silent, fully electric mode. It offers 10.9 inches of ground clearance, 24 inches of water resistance and a creep ratio of 47.4: 1.
The new model features a stabilizer separation for improved stability, agility and traction over rocks and uneven terrain, offering a 20 percent improvement in the ramp path index score. The Quadra-Drive II system can transfer 100% of the torque between the left and right sides of the vehicle. The Trailhawk has 18-inch all-terrain tires.
To improve aerodynamics, the vehicle has a slightly lowered, tapered roof. A lower waistline provides better outdoor visibility. A wider and larger seven-slot grille and new front bezel conceal a long-range radar system and other technology. For the first time, a glossy black roof is available for Overland models. Up to 21-inch wheels are available.
The 2022 model is the first Grand Cherokee with front-axle separation that automatically switches between two-wheel and four-wheel drive based on road conditions the system detects to reduce drag and improve fuel economy.
Production of the Grand Cherokee begins at the new Mack Jeep assembly plant in Detroit. It is also slated to be assembled at the neighboring Jefferson North Assembly Plant after a $ 900 million update. The company sold nearly 108,000 Grand Cherokees in the U.S. in the first half of 2021, up 12% year over year.
“It’s an integral part of the Jeep lineup,” said Stephanie Brinley, Principal Auto Analyst for the Americas at IHS Markit Ltd. “We have already seen the long wheelbase. We know the technology is great, the interior is strong, and it’s good. ”- Elaborated and well refined. The expectations were set. They have to keep doing what they are doing and doing well as they did with the Grand Cherokee. “
A global shortage of semiconductors this year made this difficult. Jefferson North, who builds the previous generation Grand Cherokees, has been idling for the past two weeks. The sudden shortage caused by the pandemic did not offer the time to make semiconductor-related adjustments to the next generation, said Meunier.
Still, he said: “We were able to start the …, as well.”
The new Grand Cherokee also gets the five times faster infotainment system Uconnect 5. There is a 10.1-inch digital cluster and a touchscreen radio as well as an available 10-inch head-up display that is projected onto the windshield. The center console can accommodate two wireless devices and a wireless charger. A 19 speaker McIntosh audio system is available.
The driver isn’t the only occupant with the technology. The Grand Cherokee has a 10.25-inch front passenger screen in the first segment and an entertainment system for the rear seats with FireTV from Amazon.com Inc.
The 110 advanced safety functions available include Stellantis’ level 2 active driver assistant for practical automated driving. The more advanced “Level 2+” hands-free option – similar to General Motors Co.’s Super Cruise offering or Ford Motor Co.’s BlueCruise technology – will be available in the first half of next year, Morrison said.
Eleven safety functions, including an advanced brake assistant and adaptive cruise control, are standard. A new night vision camera with pedestrian and animal recognition is available.
The 2022 model offers nearly 144.6 cubic feet of interior passenger volume and 37.7 cubic feet of cargo space – enough to house a set of golf clubs diagonally, according to Jeep.
The brand originally teased the 4xe model during their EV Day in July. The vehicle was supposed to be unveiled during the New York Auto Show last month, but the event has been canceled due to rising cases of COVID-19.
The newly revealed lineup of the 2022 Grand Cherokee does not include a Trackhawk version with the 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V-8 engine.
“There are a lot of things we can do with this platform,” said Meunier. “We’ll have a few more things up our sleeves during the life cycle.”
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