Jeep adds a new model to its Grand Cherokee lineup, and it’s designed for those who like to play off-road

The doors of the 2016 New York Auto Show are open, and there are lots of things to look and talk about. Remember the “Trailhawk” concept that Jeep introduced back at the 2012 Easter Jeep Safari? Well, that concept was so widely accepted, Jeep made it a trim level for the 2014 model year of the Jeep Cherokee. The following year, it was brought back as a trim level for the Jeep Renegade. Now, Jeep is bringing the "Trailhawk" name to the 2017 Grand Cherokee, promising it will be the “most capable factory-produced Grand Cherokee ever.”

Mike Manley, Head of the Jeep Brand for FCA Global, said, “Our Cherokee and Renegade Trailhawk models are among our fastest selling and most sought-after models, and we are following that successful formula to provide consumers even more legendary Jeep 4x4 capability for Grand Cherokee – the most awarded SUV ever.”

The Grand Cherokee Trailhawk will be on display at the New York Auto Show until April 3rd, and, according to Jeep, it’s slated to arrive in Jeep showrooms toward the end of the summer, which means you’ll be able to get your hands on one just in time for some fall off-roading. Until then, however, let’s take a look at the new Grand Cherokee Trailhawk and why you’ll probably want to buy one if you’re a Jeep guy.

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

0What makes the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk special0

2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk is available in a number of exterior colors, including Redline Red, Billet Silver, Bright White, Rhino, Granite Crystal, Diamond Black Crystal, and Velvet Red. The approach angle of the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk is 29.8 degrees, but the lower front fascia can be removed, increasing that angle to 36.1 degrees for more intense off-roading. The breakover angle is 27.1 degrees, and the departure angle is 22.8 degrees. Ground clearance is 10.8-inches. Up front, you’ll find the same front fascia and seven-slot grille that debuted on the Grand Cherokee 75th Anniversary Edition.

2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk High Resolution Exterior
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According to Jeep, there are bright red tow hooks built into the front and rear of the vehicle. You can see the front tow hooks protruding from the front fascia on each side of the air dam, but the rear hooks aren’t visible in the photos. The other major feature up front is the anti-glare decal that has been applied to the hood. Moving to the sides, the Grand Cherokee badge has been accented with red. The mirror caps and roof rails have been finished in Natural Gray, and Mopar rock rails are available as an option. The Trailhawk and Trail Rated badges on the rear are also accented in red.

The Grand Cherokee Trailhawk comes standard with rugged 18-inch Goodyear Adventure off-road tires, but for a premium, it can be optioned with 20-inch rollers and tires. To round out the exterior, Skid plates also come standard to help protect the Trailhawk when you undoubtedly push it a little too hard.

2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk High Resolution Interior
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The interior is primarily black. The black leather seats have suede inserts in the middle of the backrest and seat cushion. The seats have a red “Trailhawk” emblem embossed onto the backrest, and there is red accent stitching on the seats, doors, and center console. Another Trailhawk emblem can be found on the steering wheel. A gun metal finish has been applied to all painted interior parts, such as the vent surrounds, center console insert, and the ring around the door handles. As you would expect, the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk comes standard with an 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment system, which has been updated specifically for the Trailhawk to provide information like wheel articulation, suspension height, and which four-wheel-drive mode the vehicle is in.

2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk High Resolution Exterior
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Jeep didn’t elaborate on the drivetrain hidden below the decal-covered hood, but it’s safe to assume the 3.6-liter V-6 is the standard engine. If I had to guess, I would say the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 and the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 will both be available as optional equipment for the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk. We do know the Trailhawk comes with Jeep’s Quadra-Drive II 4x4 system with a rear electronic limited-slip differential “for all powertrains.” The Grand Cherokee’s Quadra-Lift air suspension system has been modified specifically for the Trailhawk to offer improved articulation and total suspension travel, further increasing its off-road ability. The model is also equipped with Selec-Speed Control and Hill Ascent Control.

All told, it isn’t a bad looking model at all. I think the Mopar rock rails should come as standard equipment, though, considering this model is designed specifically for off-roading. The suede seat inserts also seem a little out of place, considering an off-roader is traditionally more rugged than it is luxurious. I’m not sure if I would be able to take something so nice and beat on it off-road. Either way, this model should be seen as a welcome addition to the Grand Cherokee lineup by the Jeep-loving masses.

0Jeep Grand Cherokee0

2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The Jeep Grand Cherokee can trace its roots back to 1983, when AMC was working on a smaller successor to the XJ-generation Cherokee and was initially displayed as the 1989 Jeep Concept 1. When AMC was bought out by Chrysler in 1987, the Grand Cherokee was put on hold while the CEO at the time was pushing for the redesign of Chrysler Minivans. The Jeep Grand Cherokee eventually became the first Chrysler-badged Jeep product, making its debut for the 1993 model year. At the time, body-on-frame SUVs were pretty common, but the Grand Cherokee is one of the few SUVs out there that has always been underpinned by a unibody chassis. Since its initial debut in late 1992, the Grand Cherokee has seen four different generations, with the most recent taking place in 2011. A new generation is expected to debut in the next couple years. As of this writing, the Grand Cherokee starts out at $29,995 for the base-model Laredo with two-wheel drive, and $32,295 for the Laredo with four-wheel drive. The Grand Cherokee range-topping model in two-wheel drive form is the Summit, which starts out at $49,595 (it can be had in four-wheel drive for $52,595.) On the four-wheel drive front, the Grand Cherokee SRT is the range-topping model, sporting an SRT, 6.4-liter Hemi and a starting price of $65,495.

Read our full review on the Jeep Grand Cherokee here.

Press Release

The Jeep brand introduced the “Trailhawk” name on the Grand Cherokee concept vehicle that first appeared at the 2012 Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah. The idea was to deliver a unique and more rugged appearance, with a host of functional features that resulted in an increased level of off-road 4x4 capability.

2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk High Resolution Exterior
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The “Trailhawk” name moved to production with the introduction of the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee, as the most capable of four models (Sport, Latitude, Limited and Trailhawk), and continued with the all-new 2015 Renegade. It joins the Grand Cherokee lineup as a sixth model for 2017 (Laredo, Limited, Overland, Summit, SRT and Trailhawk).

Grand Cherokee Trailhawk models are equipped with a host of standard off-road capability features, including Jeep’s Quadra-Drive II 4x4 system with rear Electronic Limited Slip Differential (ELSD) for all powertrains, a unique version of Grand Cherokee’s Quadra-Lift air suspension – developed for Trailhawk – that offers improved articulation and total suspension travel, as well as Selec-Speed Control with Hill Ascent Control. Skid plates and a Trailhawk-specific anti-glare hood decal are also standard.

Approach angles on the Jeep Grand Cherokee are 29.8 degrees or 36.1 degrees when the lower front fascia is removed for severe off-roading, while the breakover angle is 27.1 degrees and the departure angle is 22.8 degrees. Grand Cherokee Trailhawk models offer up to 10.8 inches of ground clearance.

2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The Grand Cherokee Trailhawk exterior features a front fascia and seven-slot Jeep grille that debuted on the 2016 Grand Cherokee 75th Anniversary edition, Trailhawk-signature red tow hooks in the front and rear, standard rugged 18-inch or optional 20-inch Goodyear Adventure off-road tires with Kevlar reinforcement, new Trailhawk and Trail Rated badges with red accents, mirror caps and a roof rack with Neutral Gray accents, and optional Mopar rock rails for added protection.

Inside, Trailhawk models feature a unique black interior with leather and suede performance seats for comfort and control, red accent stitching, brushed Piano Black appliques, gun-metal finish on all painted interior parts, a Trailhawk badge on the Jeep steering wheel, and red accent stitching on the seats, doors and console. A standard 8.4-inch Uconnect touch screen includes updated off-road pages showing wheel articulation and other vehicle 4x4 capability features, such as suspension height and 4x4 and Selec-Terrain modes.

2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk High Resolution Exterior
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Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk models are available in Redline Red, Billet Silver, Bright White, Rhino, Granite Crystal, Velvet Red and Diamond Black Crystal exterior paints.

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