The guys over Teknikens Värld recently got a little more than they bargained for when they performed a Moose test (or Elk test) with the brand-spanking new 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee. The Moose test determines how a vehicle acts when the driver evades a suddenly appearing obstacle, such as an animal or a child, and the Grand Cherokee didn’t exactly get to the top of the class.
The purpose of this test - done at very low speeds - was to determine how well the SUV’s active safety system would work. At only 39.5 mph, the Jeep Grand Cherokee went up on two wheels, in the middle of the maneuver. If it wasn’t for the professional driver behind the wheel, it would have easily rolled over. As many can imagine, not everyone that purchases vehicles have professional driving skills, so at the hands of probably most Jeep Grand Cherokee owners, the result could be deadly. According to Teknikens Värld’s Linus Pröjtz, this is an unacceptable result for a 2012 SUV, and we would have to 100% agree with this.
By comparison, SUVs like the Volkswagen Touareg and the Volvo XC90 did well at even greater speeds of 43.5 mph. To make matters worse, when Teknikens Värld performed the Moose Test on the previous generation of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, it passed the test with no problems at all.
This information should certainly not fall on deaf ears, especially the ears of Chrysler heads.
UPDATE 07/09/2012: Teknikens Varld’s tough review of the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee immediately caught the attention of Chrysler heads and the company is none too pleased with the results. Their displeasure doesn’t stem from the Grand Cherokee’s failure, though. According to Chrysler, several attempts were made by Chrysler Group engineers to recreate the two-wheeled escapade of Varld’s test, to no avail. Chrysler then joined Teknikens Varld’s team to see if they could recreate the terrible result and they also could not. Turns out, the Jeep used in Varld’s first Moose test was loaded beyond its weight specifications. The Grand Cherokee’s weight limitations are clearly stated on the vehicle and in the owner’s manual.
All is good in our world again.
Hit the jump to read the full statement from Chrysler.
UPDATE 07/10/2012: It looks like Teknikens Varld is not going to give up. After Chrysler attacked them and said their test was not accurate, the Swedish magazine posted a second part to their test in which they explained how the Grand Cherokee failed the evasive maneuver test. According to them, the car they tested was loaded according to the specifications for the maximum load in the Swedish registration certificate and was riding on standard equipment tires. Also, all systems, such as chassis settings, air suspension, and similar, were in normal mode. Even so, in each test they performed, the car either went up on two wheels or was close to overturning. We’re assuming Chrysler is going to have something to say about this as well. The drama continues!!
UPDATE 07/13/2012: The guys from Teknikens Varld are seriously not going to give up! Today they have posted a new part to their Grand Cherokee moose test in which they advise customers not to buy the new Jeep Grand Cherokee until Jeep/Chrysler solves the problems. We are pretty curious to find out what Jeep has to say about this.
The Jeep Wagoneer disappeared from existence following the 1991 model year, as the Grand Cherokee took over for it in the 1993 model year. This was the beginning of the softening of the Jeep brand, as even its once rugged Wrangler eventually morphed into more of an on-road vehicle capable of light off-roading through the 1990s and 2000s. According to a statement by Fiat – parent company of Chrysler and Jeep – CEO Sergio Marchionne, the Wagoneer will bow in shortly and sit on the same underpinnings as the current Durango.
The details are still very slim on this rebirth of the Wagoneer, but being it is going to ride on the same underpinnings as the Durango, we can make some pretty safe assumptions. We will use our knowledge of the current automotive world to give you the best idea possible of what to expect from this new Wagoneer. Unfortunately, all we have to go off of is the CEO’s words, so we will continuously update you as details come to the surface.
Click past the jump to read our full review and keep on the lookout for updates.
Image note: All images are of the 2012 Dodge Durango, not the Wagoneer.
The USA is celebrating its independence and Jeep is rolling out a special edition Wrangler to commemorate the occasion.
The special Wrangler is called the Freedom Edition and it’s being released as a limited-run model that’s based on the Wrangler Sport. In line with its "tribute to the military" theme, the Wrangler Freedom Edition will be made available in three special color finishes involving the three shades that make up the US flag: Deep Cherry Red, Bright White, or True Blue.
Among the exclusive features attached to the Wrangler Freedom Edition include "Oscar Mike" badges, an homage to the military lexicon of "on the move." In addition, star badges can also be found on the front hood and the rear-quarter panel while star images have been embroidered on the setbacks, which is then visually complemented by silver stitching. Likewise, silver accents can also be found on the interior, particularly on the Mopar slush mats.
As far as performance, the Wrangler Freedom Edition will be powered by a 3.6-liter V6 Pentastar engine, one that produces 285 horsepower.
Anybody interested in this special edition, patriotism-inspired Wrangler will need to fork over $29,090 for the two-door model and $31,595 for the four-door model. Better yet, for every model sold by Jeep, the automaker is sending over $250 to a number of charities, including the Fisher House Foundation and the I Support Foundation.
Kahn Design has become a reliable tuning company as far as building programs for a wide variety of vehicles. Unlike other tuners that specialize on a specific automaker, Kahn just tunes anything and everything.
Their latest example involves the 2012 Jeep Wrangler, which they’ve bestowed as the Military Edition. The copper paintwork on the utility vehicle adds a rugged look while the set of 20-inch smoked black alloy wheels offers a nice complement to it. Other modifications on the Wrangler include the addition of xenon crosshair headlamps, a black fuel filler cap, a rear wheel cover, tinted windows, mud flaps, brake calipers finished in the same copper color as the body paint, and a new sports exhaust system with twin tailpipes.
The British tuner is offering the Wrangler Military Edition for a wide variety of Wrangler models with the entire program priced at £41,875, which is around $65,100 based on current exchange rates.
After the Compass Black Look Concept unveiled in March at the Geneva Motor Show, Jeep has now unveiled the production version called the Compass Black Edition. As its name suggests, this special edition comes with a unique Black look that offers a more distinctive appearance and personality.
For the special edition model, Jeep has added black-gloss inserts, black-gloss headlamps and fog lamp surrounds, black roof rails and step pads, and a new set of 18-inch black-gloss aluminum wheels. Under the hood, the Compass Black Edition has received a 2.2-liter turbo diesel engine delivering a total of 163 hp and a peak torque of 236 lbs-ft.
This special edition will be offered with an active Freedom Drive I four-wheel-drive system featuring Lock mode. The system is designed to give drivers year-round assurance with the ability to handle rough weather and low-traction conditions as well as slick roads that come with rain and light snow.
If you liked the Jeep Grand Cherokee Sports Concept unveiled at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, you will be very happy to know that the company has finally decided to come out with a production version. Thanks to a very positive consumer response, Jeep has announced that the new Grand Cherokee S Limited will go on sale starting September 2012.
The new Grand Cherokee S Limited follows the same design language of the concept: distinctive styling cues and Black accents for the exterior, Nappa leather and carbon fiber elements for the interior, and a 241 HP 3.0-litre V-6 turbo-diesel engine under the hood.
This special edition will also be equipped with Quadra-Trac II 4x4 system with two-speed transfer case and Brake Traction Control System (BTCS), as well as lots of premium safety features, including: Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning, and Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross-path detection.
Hit the jump to read more about the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee S Limited.
The Dodge Durango has never really been one of the most popular SUVs in the market. Sometimes we automotive media even tend to forget it’s around. But the Durango certainly has its own group of enthusiasts that love them and buy a new one every few years, and rightfully so. The Durango has recently morphed into one of the better looking body-on-frame SUVs available, as well as one of the most utilitarian SUVs remaining on the market.
All of that aside, Dodge and parent company, Fiat, have decided that the Durango has run its course and it’s time for it to ride off into the sunset. There is no need to mourn its death, as its axing will bring about yet another cult classic that will don the same underpinnings of the outgoing Durango. This new model, according to an interview with Fiat CEO, Sergio Marchionne, by Automobile Magazine, will be dubbed the Jeep Wagoneer.
Yup, after nearly two decades have passed since the Grand Cherokee replaced it; the Wagoneer name is again being uttered by the brass at Jeep. With the Durango reportedly going the way of the dodo bird in 2016, we assume that the Wagoneer will arrive sometime in the 2015 model year to give it some time to catch on before cutting the Durango altogether.
In the same interview, Marchionne also let us know that Dodge will axe the Avenger for the second time, in 2014. This time around, the Avenger lasted only five model years, one year less than its original version. We were shocked to even see it return, so seeing it disappear is no surprise at all, despite that it was far less ugly than its original rendition.
As soon as we can get a hold of some info on the upcoming Wagoneer, we will update you further.
While everyone’s attention is focused over in China where the Beijing Auto Show is taking place, Jeep has decided to offer the US market a new special edition Wrangler Unlimited Altitude. The new model is based on the 2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara model and will go on sale in May 2012 at a price of $33,740.
The new Wrangler Unlimited Altitude will be distinguished by a body-color hardtop with matching painted center sections on the front and rear bumpers, as well as a new set of unique 18" five-spoke alloy wheels with black-painted spokes and polished wheel rings. For this special edition, Mopar has added a black fuel fill door, a matte black "Jeep" grille badge, and a black tone-on-tone hood graphic.
The interior gets red accent stitching on black leather seats, door panels, center arm rest, floor mats, and steering wheel. Vent rings, steering-wheel spokes, door pulls, passenger-side dashboard grab handle, and berber floor mats are all painted in black.
Customers can choose between Deep Cherry Red, Black, Bright White, and Bright Silver Metallic.
Now that Fiat and Chrysler have signed an alliance, the company hopes to make a great return to the Chinese market to take advantage of the fact that it will eventually become the biggest automotive market in the world. To mark this return, Chrysler has unveiled the Jeep Wrangler "Dragon" Design Concept at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show.
As its name suggests, the concept features design elements that have been inspired from Chinese culture. These elements start with bronze-gold details inside the front grille slats, headlamp surrounds, and Jeep badging in the front and rear. The same color has been used for a pad-printed engine cover, bolts for the fuel-filler door, and the tail lamp assembly, a Chinese dragon character side badge, and wheel center caps. The concept sits on a new set of 18" five-spoke alloy wheels in matte black with a bronze-gold high-gloss outer edge.
Exterior elements also include painted fenders, a gloss-black applique on the front bumper, and a tone-on-tone dragon decal that starts on the hood and runs down the driver’s side of the vehicle. A dragon motif on a unique carbon-fiber insulator has been mounted under the hood and on the gloss-black spare tire cover.
For the interior, the concept gets black leather seating surfaces with bronze-gold accent piping and stitching. The same dragon motif can be found on the head restraints, while bronze-gold leather covers the outside edges of the seats and front center arm rest.
UPDATE 04/24/2012: This review has been updated with the official details and images for the Jeep Wrangler Year of the Dragon Concept.
When Jeep revealed the Mighty FC Concept at the 2012 Easter Safari in Moab, Utah, we could really just think one thing, “bad-ass.” The Mighty FC is essentially a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon on ‘roids, as the designers hacked off the Wrangler’s hood and rear quarter, jacked it up into the sky a little, bolted an eight-foot bed onto it, and threw a set of nasty 40-inch tires under it.
Just the outward appearance of this thing is overwhelmingly awesome, but knowing that Jeep didn’t skimp out on it makes it even cooler. In the above video, you can actually witness the Mighty FC frolicking through the desert with the original Jeep forward control army vehicle, which features a two-cylinder two-stroke diesel engine, trailing it.
Watching this beast climb the rocks in Moab is awesome, but what really blew us away was the care that Jeep put into the interior. Unlike a lot of forward control vehicles, the Mighty FC has a regular old steering wheel, just like its donor Wrangler, and not that funny feeling bus-style steering wheel. It also features a carefully crafted plaid design that was actually one a part of a snowboard bag – some of the zippers and trimming are still on the fabric too.
Ultimately, the Mighty FC will likely never see production or it may be offered only as a fleet-type of vehicle, but it’s a sweet looking and performing concept nonetheless. Take a look at the video for yourself and also watch as one of the Mighty FC’s designers talks about this machine like a kid describing an awesome Christmas gift. We wouldn’t mind seeing this under the TopSpeed Christmas tree this year, that’s for sure.