Detroit Auto Show: 2010 Jeep Wrangler Mountain

February 5th, 2010

The other half of the Jeep Wrangler limited edition series released at the Detroit Auto Show or the 2010 North American International Auto Show is the 2010 Jeep Wrangler Mountain.

Based on the Wrangler Sport S package, the 2010 Jeep Wrangler Mountain is armed with a remarkable rugged mountain look and great features that Jeep fans will surely be excited about. It has a “Mountain” decal on the hood with latitude and longitude coordinates of the Andes Mountains in Chile. It’s also painted with a Rescue Green Metallic Clear Coat, although you can also get it in a Brilliant Black Crystal Pearl Coat and Deep Water Blue Pearl Coat.

To complement its rugged mountain theme, it will feature high gloss Mineral Gray-painted 17-inch Moab wheels wearing 32-inch tires, grille and bumper appliqués, tubular side steps, black tail lamp guards and a Mopar fuel-filler door.

The 2010 Jeep Wrangler Mountain’s interior features include an embossed seat insert with an embroidered “Mountain logo” stitched to it and anodized graphite heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) rings.

The Jeep Wrangler Mountain option package is available for the Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited 4×4 models for the US Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $1,820.

Detroit Auto Show: 2010 Jeep Wrangler Islander

February 2nd, 2010

Jeep unveiled a couple of limited edition models at the Detroit Auto Show last month. Along with the Jeep Wrangler Mountain and the Jeep Liberty Renegade, the beach-themed Wrangler Islander limited edition graced the 2010 North American International Auto Show or NAIAS.

Jeep showed the iconic open-top Wrangler Islander after over 20 years in a Surf Blue Pearl Coat, but it will also be available in Stone White Clear Coat, Bright Silver Metallic Clear Coat, Brilliant Black Crystal Clear Coat. It had a “Tiki Bob” decal on the hood along with latitude and longitude coordinates of Hawaii to relate to the vehicle’s “Islander” theme.

Its other exterior styling features include black side steps and 32-inch tires wrapped around Moab 17-inch wheels. On the inside, the Islander has Dark Gray seats with Surf Blue inserts along with blue stitching and a “Tiki Bob” logo embroidery attached to it.

For a US Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $1,120 over the sticker price, buyers can get the Islander option package for both the Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited 4×4 models.

Diesel Jeep Wrangler may not be released in the USA

February 2nd, 2010

If you’re one of those people anxiously waiting for that Diesel Jeep Wrangler, I hate to break it to you but it might not come to US shores at all.

“We have no plans at the moment for diesel Jeeps in North America, although one of the things I’ve learned in this business is to never say never… I wouldn’t rule it out, but specifically on November 4, we were commenting on diesel in Europe,” said Michael Manley, Jeep President and CEO.

It would be a huge shame if the Diesel Jeep Wrangler is not made available in North America, but if there’s one thing worth celebrating about in Manley statement, it’s that there still might be a chance of us seeing it in our showrooms.

For the mean time, the Jeep Wrangler will be having a powertrain upgrade and might be using the Pentastar V6 on the next model year according to a report by the Toledo Blade. We also might see more limited-production special editions of the Jeep Wrangler in addition to the Islander and the Mountain throughout 2010.

The all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Crossover

February 2nd, 2010

The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee wowed the audience when it was revealed at the New York Auto Show and it’s not just because of how attractive it looked both inside and out. The crossover vehicle replacing the WK model released in 2005 had a huge challenge to overcome. The 2011 Grand Cherokee had to offer the best of both worlds: impressive off-road ability and a look that will appeal to a larger, mainstream audience.

On the looks department, it’s difficult not to be impressed with the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee. It retains the WK’s seven-slot grille, but it also has an all-new sculpted profile that features a pronounced door panel indent that allows it to keep its athleticism despite its increased size and weight. It also has a wider body emphasized by horizontally-oriented tail lamps at the back and a sculpted hood and new headlamps in front.

The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee also features world-class interiors that rival its high end luxury SUV competitors: the Cadillac SRX and the Lexus RX. The extra space caused by the 4-inch increase in wheelbase went to the rear seat. The rear seats can now be reclined and the second row will also get over 4” of knee and leg room than before.

If Jeep accomplished half of its goal with its styling enhancements, how will the 2011 Grand Cherokee appeal to the off-roaders? Its base model features the new flex-fuel 3.6-liter V6 that can run on up to 280 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. That’s 33% more horsepower and 11% additional torque than the previous engine. Jeep also offers the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 that generates up to 360 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque. To complement all that power, Jeep has vastly improved the torsional stiffness in the chassis and along with its new Mercedes-Benz ML-based structure, Jeep bravely says its 146% stiffer chassis rivals the Toyota Highlander and the BMW X5.

Improved fuel economy is expected on both powertrains because of Variable Valve Timing and Multi-Displacement System technologies. Also, the 2011 Grand Cherokee will also have a longer range thanks to the 24.6-gallon fuel tank with the V6 running on over 500 miles. Its maximum tow rating will also allow as much as 7,400 pounds.

Finally, Jeep offers the new Quadra Lift air suspension system that can lift it up 4.5 inches from park mode up to 11.1 inches maximum ride height for optimum off-road capability. Furthermore, the new Selec-Terrain system allows users to configure features such as electronic limited-slip differential, traction control, stability control, two-speed hill-descent control, anti-lock braking system and others depending on ground conditions particularly Sand/Mud, Sport, Snow and Rock for the best performance.

On paper, the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee has the makings of being a great crossover vehicle. Sign me up for a test drive.

Diesel Jeep Wrangler with start-stop expected on Q4 2010

February 2nd, 2010

One thing I know a lot of Jeep fans are waiting to get their hands on is the Diesel Jeep Wrangler. With the Fiat and Chrysler alliance in place, the installation of Fiat’s clean turbo diesels in Chrysler vehicles seems like the logical next step.

During Chrysler’s business plan meeting in Auburn Hills back in November, Paolo Ferrero, the new SVP of Powertrain Engineering at Chrysler said they will indeed be reinforcing the clean diesel image and adapt Fiat engines to their vehicles in a move to reduce fuel consumption. Chrysler will also be applying advanced after-treatment technologies to be able to comply with next generation 2015 European and American emission standards.

In addition, Ferrero said that the much-awaited Diesel Jeep Wrangler with the 2.0-Liter 4-cylinder Fiat turbo diesel engine is scheduled for introduction on the fourth quarter of 2010. The 2011 Jeep Wrangler will also feature automatic start-stop, which would increase its already very good fuel economy and reduce 5% of its CO₂ emissions annually.