Jeep has put elements of its bold Grand Wagoneer concept into production with the new Grand Cherokee L, which will arrive in Europe in its smaller standard form later this year.
The fifth generation of the American brand’s flagship SUV was unveiled in its largest form initially, and although this model is intended exclusively for its home market, it serves as a preview of the new European market Grand Cherokee, of which the current generation is more than 10 years.
Design cues drawn from the Grand Wagoneer concept form the basis for a dramatic stylistic evolution of the Grand Cherokee, which comes with promises of enhanced off-road capability, an improved interior, and improved ride refinement.
Jeep President Christian Meunier said the new Grand Cherokee L has been redesigned to honor “its iconic Jeep heritage”. A more clearly defined two-box shape bears similarities to the original model, launched in 1992, while the influence of the Grand Wagoneer extends to its slim lights, projecting front bumper and new seven-slat grille. .
As with all previous iterations of the Grand Cherokee, the L relies on a unibody architecture, but one which has been greatly improved “to optimize ride, handling and quiet sound, while reducing weight and improving fuel economy. “.
The SUV can be specified with a choice of three separate four-wheel drive systems: Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II and Quadra-Drive II. An optional Quadra-Lift air suspension package can raise the ride height up to 60mm for increased ground clearance or lower it by 46mm in park mode for easier entry and exit.
Meanwhile, the increased use of aluminum for the bodywork and a series of chassis revisions would improve handling on the road. The front axle is bolted directly to the engine, for example, reducing noise in the cabin, and new active engine mounts soften and stiffen with engine speed to reduce vibration.
The interior of the Grand Cherokee is described as “one of the most exquisite and technically advanced” on sale. Clearly inspired by that of the Grand Wagoneer concept, it does away with many physical switches and buttons from its predecessor in favor of a predominantly tactile business.
The dashboard is dominated by a 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen that runs Jeep’s latest Uconnect 5 operating system, while a new 10.25-inch digital gauge cluster can be configured to display. “Almost two dozen” different screens.
The old car’s conventional shifter has been replaced with a rotating element (gearshift paddles are also fitted), and there are new spaces for storing smartphones and an optional wireless charger.
The L is offered with six or seven seats. It won’t be an option for the European two-row model, but we can expect largely similar technology and cabin styling.
In the United States, the Grand Cherokee L will be offered with a 3.6-liter gasoline V6 and the flagship 5.7-liter Hemi V8, but the standard car in the European market will likely be sold with a range of more engines. small capacity, including a 4xe plug-in hybrid variant which will be available from launch.
The smaller car will likely share the new arrival’s economy boosting technology, including a disconnectable front axle for reduced fuel consumption at cruising speeds. Electronic driving aids will likely be shared by the two cars as well, so the upcoming Grand Cherokee will optionally offer a head-up display, night vision camera, drowsiness detection, digital rear view camera, and vehicle recognition. traffic signs.
U.S. pricing for the new model has yet to be detailed, but the standard Grand Cherokee will likely command a significant premium over the current aging car when it arrives later this year.