There was an unscheduled sneak preview of the all-new, range-topping, Jeep Grand Cherokee in documents presented by Chrysler LLC to the US Congress earlier this year, but now the vehicle has been revealed at the New York Motor Show.
Built on a brand-new Mercedes-Benz ML-based monococque chassis and developed before the split between Chrysler and Daimler-Benz 19 months ago the Grand Cherokee promises some class leading innovations.
Chrysler says the Grand Cherokee brings greater design, quality and refinement over the current Grand Cherokee, released in Australia four years ago in 2005, and delivers premium on-road performance while maintaining the brand legendary off-road skills.
Chrysler says the all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee delivers premium on-road performance while maintaining the Jeep brand’s legendary four-wheel-drive, torque-on-demand two-speed transfer case and towing capability. It also offers improved fuel economy (up to 11 percent) and a world-class interior cabin.
“We listened carefully to our customers and the market,” said Scott Kunselman, Vice President – Jeep/Truck Product Team, Chrysler LLC. “Our all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee hits the sweet spot of premium on-road performance and legendary class-leading Jeep capability.”
The all-new Quadra-Lift air suspension system delivers legendary Jeep off-road capability along with the new Selec-Terrain system that allows the driver to choose the drive system that best matches on- or off-road driving conditions. New front and rear independent suspension systems deliver premium on-road handling and comfort.
The all-new 2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee is built on a proven rear-wheel-drive unibody platform sharing the same underpinnings as the Mercedes-Benz ML.
“Jeep invented the SUV segment and our all-new Grand Cherokee is the next step in the evolution of the SUV,” said Mike Accavitti, Director – Jeep, Chrysler and Dodge Brands.
“Jeep innovations including Quadra-Lift air suspension and Selec-Terrain traction control separate us from the crowd.”
Chrysler says the all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee offers the new Quadra-Lift air suspension system. The Quadra-Lift system features five height settings for optimum ride performance, changing the ride height from 205.7mm to a maximum of 281.9mm.
In addition the all-new Selec-Terrain™ traction control system lets customers choose the off-road setting for the optimum experience on all terrains.
This feature electronically coordinates up to 12 different powertrain, braking and suspension systems, including throttle control, transmission shift, transfer case, Traction Control and Electronic Stability Control (ESC).
In North America the new Grand Cherokee will be available with a 3.6-litre V6 or the legendary 5.7-;litre Hemi V8 petrol engines.
However Chrysler says that for international markets, and we assume that includes Australia, the Jeep Grand Cherokee will be available in left- or right-hand drive with either diesel or petrol powertrains.
Chrysler seems especially proud of the redesign work on the interior, which from the photographs looks an marked improvement and says; “the all-new interior is elevated to that of its European competition and features rich materials and elegant appointments, as well as more room for both passengers and cargo.”