2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee to be cut short by 2014 models
The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee is expected to arrive shortly after making its public debut at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, ushering in a new 8-speed automatic transmission with the 3.6L Pentastar V6 along with a new diesel engine option. There is currently no diesel option for the American Grand Cherokee and the models fitted with the Pentastar V6 feature an outdated 5-speed automatic transmission. There is no definite, official timeline from Chrysler but according to the folks at Automotive News, but the 8-speed transmission will arrive very early in the 2013 calendar year with the new diesel Jeep coming shortly after. Supposing that they arrive during the 1st quarter of 2013, the 2014 model year Jeep Grand Cherokee will be on sale as much as 9 months ahead of the calendar year that matches the model year.
For comparison, the 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee went on sale earlier this month with production for the new model year expected to begin in August. That gives the 2013 model year halo Jeep five months lead time ahead of the 2013 calendar year but the refreshed Grand Cherokee will have almost double that. This means that the Chrysler Group will likely be expecting massive model year sales for the 2014 Grand Cherokee, especially when considering the planned improvements in fuel economy thanks to the new diesel engine option and the new automatic transmission.
The new 8-speed transmission coming to the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee is designed by German transmission experts ZF Friedrichshafen AG but this new gearbox will be built at the Chrysler Group’s Kokomo Indiana plant. A similar 8-speed transmission is available in the Chrysler 300 and the Dodge Charger and compared to the previous 5-speed transmission for those two vehicles (when equipped with the V6 option), fuel economy improved by 1mpg around town and 4mpg on the open road.
We would expect that the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee will continue to offer the 5.7L Hemi V8 along with the new diesel and the Pentastar V6. Discussions with Chrysler insiders who prefer to remain nameless have indicated that he 5.7L Hemi could soon see a bump in power but with so little real competition (in terms of power), the Chrysler Group may leave the Hemi alone to focus on the other two engine options.
Little is known about the diesel coming to the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee but we expect that it will be very similar to the 3.6L Common Rail Diesel currently used in a variety of foreign markets. That engine packs 241 horsepower and 406lb-ft of torque while achieving 23 miles per gallon in the city and 33mpg on the open road – all of which are figures that could make the diesel powered Grand Cherokee a popular option in the US market. The torque output would give the 2014 Grand Cherokee enough power to offer improved towing capacities compared to the Pentastar V6 while offering better fuel economy than the Hemi V8. The diesel Grand Cherokee has proven to be quite popular in the foreign markets but those are markets that are naturally more comfortable with diesel technology where some Americans still avoid what they (incorrectly) consider to be noisy, smokey, polluting engines.
It is unclear whether there will be any physical changes for the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee but based on the current popularity of the Grand Cherokee, the Chrysler Group very well could leave the outside alone and save an exterior refresh for another model year.
Source: Automotive News