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by Tim Beissmann

The Jeep Grand Cherokee CRD will be unveiled at next week’s Geneva Motor Show ahead of its Australian launch around the middle of the year.

The engine, designed and built by Fiat Powertrain and VM Motori, is a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel unit with 177kW of power and 550Nm of torque (available between 1800 and 2800rpm). The outgoing diesel engine produced 160kW and 510Nm.

Despite the power increases, combined cycle fuel consumption is 8.3 litres/100km and CO2 emissions have dropped to 218g/km. Both represent efficiency improvements of 17 percent over the old model.

Jeep Australia’s Dean Bonthorne told CarAdvice the local branch was still getting together firm specifications of the vehicles, but admitted the Grand Cherokee CRD models would arrive either late in the second quarter or early in the third quarter. Its first appearance will not be at the 2011 Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne, as Jeep does not have a stand there this year.

Mr Bonthorne confirmed the 3.0-litre diesel engine would be offered across all three models lines: Laredo, Limited and Overland. He said the engine would carry a price premium over the V6 petrol engines, with official pricing to be confirmed closer to the launch.

Mr Bonthorne said Jeep was very much playing a game of “wait and see” over which engine type – petrol or diesel – would be the most popular in the new model line.

“The diesel was historically the best selling model, but the Pentastar V6 now offers a genuine alternative, Mr Bonthorne said.

“The diesel’s 3.5 tonne towing capacity and extra torque makes it the ideal towing vehicle, but the V6 will be the one for economy and price.”

The 3.0-litre turbo-diesel engine features a compressed graphite iron block with aluminium cylinder heads and a two-piece structural aluminium oil pan. Its compact and lightweight construction leads to a total weight of 230kg.

Jeep says the stiffened crankcase architecture has led to improvements in noise, vibration and harshness, while the cast-aluminium pistons have been redesigned to provide minimal friction. The compression ratio of the diesel engine is now 16.5:1, down from 18.1:1, leading to cleaner combustion and more power.

CarAdvice expects more information on the Australian-specification 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee CRD over the coming days. We’ll bring you all the news as it comes to hand.

Read CarAdvice’s full drive review of the Jeep Grand Cherokee.




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