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2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk Will Get The Hellcat Engine

2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk Will Get The Hellcat Engine

Rumors have been flying ever since the Hellcat powertrain arrived in the Challenger and Charger that FCA would use the 707-horsepower V-8 in other products across its lineup, with the Jeep Grand Cherokee leading the list. Well the rumors are growing in intensity.

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2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk Will Get The Hellcat Engine

2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk Will Get The Hellcat Engine

Rumors have been flying ever since the Hellcat powertrain arrived in the Challenger and Charger that FCA would use the 707-horsepower V-8 in other products across its lineup, with the Jeep Grand Cherokee leading the list. Well the rumors are growing in intensity.

You’ll likely recall FCA trademarking the Trackhawk name, a moniker that complements Jeep’s Trailhawk name. Like the Trailhawk is off-road, the Trackhawk will be specially built for handling the track and devouring its competition in waves of tire smoke.

The Grand Cherokee is no stranger to powerful engines. It currently offers a naturally aspirated 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 that kicks out 475 horsepower. Badged with the SRT name, the Jeep combines plenty of power with room for the whole family and their luggage. The Grand Cherokee makes the transition from off-roader to track beast quite well thanks to its platform, which it’s shared with the Mercedes-Benz M-Class.

Rumors also suggest FCA will strip the Jeep of its SRT badges since Dodge has exclusive rights to the Street and Racing Technology brand. That’s where the Trackhawk name comes into play.

There will likely be two version of the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk – the halo model will be the Hellcat-powered version that will feature that same 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 making 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. Below that will be the 475-horse version that is currently the SRT. The Hellcat version will certainly receive upgraded powertrain components, including a revised AWD system that’s rated for such abuse.

Expect the Grand Cherokee Hellcat to hit 60 mph in roughly four seconds with the quarter mile passing in the 12-second range. Though nothing is confirmed from FCA, the Hellcat’s third iteration should hit dealers by mid-2016.

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Jeep Beach Breaks Guinness World Record with Longest Jeep Parade

Jeep Beach Breaks Guinness World Record with Longest Jeep Parade

Jeep owners from across the country gathered in Daytona, Florida this past weekend for the annual Jeep Beach, and in doing so, set the Guinness World Record for the longest Jeep vehicle parade at 1,846 Jeeps.

The record easily surpasses the last Jeep-held record of its kind, set in 2011 at the Bantam Jeep Festival with 1,106 Jeeps. This also marks the second recent record-breaking parade for FCA, with the Ram Truck brand taking home a trophy after having a 3.2-mile-long parade filled with 438 Ram trucks.

The Jeep Beach parade record took place April 26 at the hallowed Daytona International Speedway’s 2.5 mile-long oval track, with Jeeps packed nearly bumper to bumper. Though the Wrangler dominated the numbers, other Jeep vehicles participated in the event, including the new 2015 Renegade; the Cherokee, both old and new; the Grand Cherokee; and even several of the 2015 Easter Jeep Safari Concepts, including the Staff Car, Chief, Wrangler Africa, Cherokee Canyon Trail, and the Renegade Desert Hawk.

Thought he parade steals the headlines, the Jeep Beach event lasted all week long, and involved thousands of participants, more than 2,400 vehicles, and countless venders selling Jeep gear. An obstacle course was erected within the Speedway’s infield, consisting of challenges from mild dirt tracks to fierce concrete rubble rocks.

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2015 Easter Jeep Safari Concepts tackle Moab: Video

2015 Easter Jeep Safari Concepts tackle Moab: Video

The 2015 Easter Jeep Safari is still going strong through this weekend, coming to a close on April 5th. Already several days into the annual off-roading event, Jeep is showing off its crop of EJS concept vehicles in this B-roll video.

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2015 Easter Jeep Safari Concepts tackle Moab: Video

2015 Easter Jeep Safari Concepts tackle Moab: Video

The 2015 Easter Jeep Safari is still going strong through this weekend, coming to a close on April 5th. Already several days into the annual off-roading event, Jeep is showing off its crop of EJS concept vehicles in this B-roll video.

The video contains a full 12 minutes of awesome scenes showing all seven concepts having fun on the desert rocks of Moab, Utah. Never mind the fact there’s no talking head giving you a play-by-play or dubstep music making things more dramatic – this video captures the Jeeps in their natural habitats making all their natural noises. They speak for themselves.

Towards the end, Jeep brass including Mark Allen, Mark Trostle, and Pietro Gorlier talk about what the EJS concepts mean to the brand and how Moab is a proving ground for developing prototype parts.

Be sure to check out our full coverage of the seven Easter Jeep Safari concepts on TopSpeed Trucks. It’s there that we have full reviews of the Jeep Chief, Jeep Staff Car, Wrangler Africa, Wrangler Red Rock Responder, Grand Cherokee Overlander, Renegade Desert Hawk, and Cherokee Canyon Trail.

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2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overlander

2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overlander

Proving that the Easter Jeep Safari is about more than just the iconic Wrangler, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Overlander shows what kind of potential Jeep’s popular SUV could have in store for the adventurous types. While most of these Easter Jeep Safari concept vehicles tend to focus on the rigorous trails of Moab, the Grand Cherokee Overlander was built with a broader focus in mind: a perfect vehicle for any wilderness expedition regardless of terrain.

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2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overlander

2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overlander

Proving that the Easter Jeep Safari is about more than just the iconic Wrangler, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Overlander shows what kind of potential Jeep’s popular SUV could have in store for the adventurous types. While most of these Easter Jeep Safari concept vehicles tend to focus on the rigorous trails of Moab, the Grand Cherokee Overlander was built with a broader focus in mind: a perfect vehicle for any wilderness expedition regardless of terrain.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee Overlander gets the obvious suspension and styling upgrades to look the part as it parades through the Easter Jeep Safari, but the highlight of this vehicle is the two-person, hard-shell pop-up tent mounted to the roof. It might not be Four Seasons accommodations up there, but it keeps out the bugs and the high position (accessible by a ladder) is better protection from wildlife – both important whether you’re going on a long outback safari or just a typical weekend of camping and off-road driving.

Continue reading to learn more about the Jeep Grand Cherokee Overlander.

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Jeep Reveals Seven Concepts For 2015 Moab Easter Jeep Safari

Jeep Reveals Seven Concepts For 2015 Moab Easter Jeep Safari

Every year Jeep pulls the covers off several concept vehicles just ahead of the Easter Jeep Safari held in Moab, Utah, and 2015 is no different. This year’s crop includes seven, fully custom Jeep vehicles from the new Renegade to the trusty Cherokee and Grand Cherokee siblings and of course the rough and tumble Wrangler.

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Jeep Reveals Seven Concepts For 2015 Moab Easter Jeep Safari

Jeep Reveals Seven Concepts For 2015 Moab Easter Jeep Safari

Every year Jeep pulls the covers off several concept vehicles just ahead of the Easter Jeep Safari held in Moab, Utah, and 2015 is no different. This year’s crop includes seven, fully custom Jeep vehicles from the new Renegade to the trusty Cherokee and Grand Cherokee siblings and of course the rough and tumble Wrangler.

The Wrangler-based concepts include the Jeep Chief – a throwback to the 1970s full-size Cherokee; the Jeep Staff Car – a WWII-era inspired troop carrier; the Wrangler Africa – a true overland vehicle capable of exploration; and the Wrangler Red Rock Responder – a support vehicle complete with a utility bed full of spare parts.

Additionally Jeep built thee other vehicles that include the Grand Cherokee Overland – the perfect camping rig; the Renegade Desert Hawk – a good-looking desert trekker; and the Cherokee Canyon Trail – a matching companion to the Renegade Desert Hawk complete with extra skidplating and rock rails.

All this is in conjunction with the 49th annual Easter Jeep Safari that is taking place March 28 through April 5th where thousands of Jeep fans will gather with their own Jeeps for a week of off-roading on some of America’s roughest trails.

Be sure to stay tuned as we bring you in-depth reviews on each Jeep concept.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2015 Moab Easter Jeep Safari.

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Chrysler Recalling Almost Half A Million SUVs

Chrysler Recalling Almost Half A Million SUVs

Every former relationship has its baggage, and leaves its scars. For some of us, given our taste in females, that’s pretty literal. For others, like Chrysler, there was never any leaving Mercedes without at least a few black eyes. Some have questioned whether Chrysler’s trade-up to Italian Fiat was a trade-up at all — but after this, those questions should be pretty well settled.

Last year, Chrysler issues a recall for 189,000 SUVs in the Dodge Durango and Jeep Cherokee lines for the 2011 to 2013 model years. As of Friday of this week, that recall has expanded to a whopping 656,000 vehicles worldwide. The core of the problem is a bad fuel pump relay in the Totally Integrated Power Module; the relay is subject to getting hot, deforming and failing, which cuts off the fuel pump and causes the vehicle to stall. Originally, they assumed the problem was limited to gas-engine models; however, further testing has shown that a further half-million or so foreign-market diesels could experience the same failure.

Still, all things considered, a bad relay isn’t that big a deal. Worse things have happened. So, why does it matter? Read on.

Continue reading to learn more about Chrysler’s new recalling.

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I Tortured Cooper Winter Tires

I Tortured Cooper Winter Tires

I am testing a set of winter tires from Cooper Tire to see how much benefit a driver in the snow belt will receive, and so far I have learned a lot. With lots of ice, slush and just plain freezing temps on clear roads, I have discovered why winter tires are a smart purchase. That said, I really can’t give a full review of these tires unless I get a chance to test them in real heavy winter conditions. As it happens, Cooper was holding a winter-tire testing event in Canada, and our tires were on the list of included products.

I asked if I could follow the team up to Canada to give the tires a good flogging on ice and snow, and they were more than happy to oblige. As a bonus I got a chance to test out a new all-season tire that is supposed to be nearly as good as winter rubber in the snow, I was able to test a more performance-oriented SUV winter tire, and I even learned how to drift a BMW on ice. If you remember the mayhem that happened the last time I got to be a tire tester, well, it happened again. This time we killed a Jeep though, not a Corvette.

Continue reading to find out more about the Cooper Tire Winter Tire Testing Program

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Jeep Cherokee Gets Software Update For Problems With The Nine-Speed Automatic Transmission

Jeep Cherokee Gets Software Update For Problems With The Nine-Speed Automatic Transmission

Jeep has had continuing trouble with its new-for-2014, nine-speed automatic transmission found in the Cherokee and other Fiat Chrysler vehicles including the 2015 Chrysler 200 sedan. Now the automaker is offering a solution by way of software updates. The reprogramming of vehicle computers is said to cure issues of “hard shifts, lunging, unexpected disengagement of the transmission, and repeated illumination of malfunction lights.” Those complaints come directly from customers filing reports on the safecar.gov website.

FCA U.S. will begin to notify owners of 2014 and 2015 Jeep Cherokees along with owners of some 2015 Chrysler 200s powered by the 2.4-liter four-cylinder that the reprogrammed software is available at dealerships. In an interview with Automotive News, an FCA U.S. spokeswoman said the updated transmission software is “intended to keep the vehicle performing as intended, and to prevent durability issues from occurring in the future.”

This is hardly the first issue Chrysler has had with the nine-speed unit. The Cherokee’s original launch was delayed three months due to poor programming of the transmission shift module.

For Cherokee and 200 owners, the software update is already at dealerships. Of course, the issue will be fixed free of charge.

Click past the jump to read more about Cherokee’s software problems.

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