The upcoming 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee will come to Australia with petrol and hybrid engines – with diesel power to be dropped for the new model.
This has been confirmed by Jeep global boss Christian Meunier, who told CarAdvice that Jeep is hellbent on becoming a market leader in electrified SUVs, both in Australia and around the world.
That means the new Grand Cherokee will launch – understood to occur in August or September 2021, in seven-seat L guise first – with a carryover 3.6-litre 'Pentastar' petrol V6, which in US-spec guise is good for 216kW of power and 350Nm of torque.
This will be followed by a plug-in hybrid Grand Cherokee '4xe' next year, although details of that driveline are yet to be confirmed by Jeep.
Jeep will also bring a two-row Grand Cherokee to Australia in 2022, after the three-row Grand Cherokee L.
The current 3.0-litre diesel V6, sourced from VM Motori and making 184kW (at 4000rpm) and 570Nm (at 2000rpm), won’t continue on in the next Grand Cherokee.
When asked whether the lack of a diesel will hurt the sales potential of the new Grand Cherokee in Australia, Mr Meunier admits that they will miss out on a few sales:
“I'm not saying we couldn't sell a few more units with diesel, but 40 per cent of the segment is petrol. I think the petrol is going to keep growing because the diesel engines of today are becoming more and more challenging because of emissions.”
“So, we're going for what belongs to the future, Including in Australia. We don't want to be followers in Australia; we're going to be leaders in electrification.
What about powertrains beyond the V6 and a hybrid; will the new Grand Cherokee get V8 variants like S-Limited, SRT and Trackhawk? Mr Meunier couldn’t confirm anything yet, but we think there is a good chance of them coming in the future.
‘Obviously, there's still a market in the world (for V8s), especially North America. But we're looking toward the future, and we believe that electrification really provides a lot of benefits torque-wise, acceleration-wise and when towing.
“Towing is core to Jeep, so we wouldn't compromise on it. But we've tested Wrangler and Grand Cherokee 4xe. And towing is at least as good as with an ICE engine.”
Above: The current generation Jeep Grand Cherokee, which is available with a 5.7-litre petrol V8 in S-Limited guise. Read the review here.
“And with electrification on products like Wrangler and Grand Cherokee, we're able to deliver more capability off-road, more fun to drive, strong towing capacity, strong torque, and eco-friendly technology. So we believe that's the perfect world for Jeep.”
“To also be able to drive on electric-only for commuting is a hell of an experience and we strongly believe in it. So we're very, very committed to electrification.”