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by Tim Beissmann

The Jeep Cherokee Blackhawk and Jeep Grand Cherokee Blackhawk special editions have arrived in Australia, bringing a host of sinister styling enhancements to the American brand’s top-selling SUVs.

The Cherokee gets the Blackhawk treatment for the first time in Australia, while the Grand Cherokee Blackhawk returns for 2015 after previously proving popular with local buyers.

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At $41,000 plus on-road costs, the Jeep Cherokee Blackhawk costs just $2000 more than the Longitude on which it’s based. Powered by the same 200kW/316Nm 3.2-litre V6 petrol engine, the Blackhawk gains larger 18-inch gloss black alloy wheels (up from 17s) and a larger 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen media system (up from 5.0-inch) with DAB+ digital radio.

Exclusive gloss black trim is used extensively inside and out, embracing the front and rear fascia surrounds, seven-slot Jeep grille surrounds, roof rails, side window surrounds, side sill cladding, Jeep badging on the bonnet and tailgate, Cherokee front door and 4×4 tailgate badges, and interior upholstery. It also scores a Blackhawk boot badge.

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The Cherokee Blackhawk is joined by two Grand Cherokee Blackhawk variants: the $50,500 petrol (210kW/347Nm 3.6-litre V6) and the $56,500 diesel (184kW/550Nm 3.0-litre V6). Each also adds $2000 to the price of the Laredo variant on which it’s based.

Blackhawk upgrades include 20-inch gloss black alloys (up from 18s) and black leather and perforated suede upholstery (up from cloth) with front seat heaters, while style enhancements include gloss black and body colour exterior finishes, dark tinted glass, chrome vents and exhaust tips, and Blackhawk badging, among others.

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Fiat Chrysler Australia president and CEO Pat Dougherty said local Jeep customers loved to personalise their vehicles and said the Blackhawk range bundled some of the most popular options into high-value packages to make that process simpler and more affordable.

The Jeep Cherokee Blackhawk and Grand Cherokee Blackhawk are available now in limited numbers at Jeep dealerships across the country.

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