Amazon Alexa Will Talk Directly To Your 2018 Jeep Cherokee
The world is getting more techie every day. Jeep and Amazon have partnered together to make home-to-car voice communications possible, basically allowing customers to remotely control their 2018 Cherokee from inside their home or business via their Amazon Alexa enabled devices. The Jeep can be remotely started, the doors locked or unlocked, and directions sent to the GPS navigation system. Conversely, the Jeep will also report vitals like tire pressure and fuel level when asked through Alexa.
“The introduction of Amazon Alexa to the Jeep Cherokee allows us to meet consumers’ increasing desire for innovation of information,” said Mike Manley, Head of Jeep Brand – FCA Global. “Jeep Cherokee’s new Tech Connect Package allows customers to minimize the everyday stresses of busy lifestyles by providing them with a variety of ways to stay conveniently connected to their vehicles while making every drive exceptionally informative, entertaining and unique.”
But, not just any Jeep Cherokee will communicate with Alexa. It has to be a 2018 Cherokee with the mid-grade Latitude trim level and the new Tech Connect Package. Such Cherokees will actually include an Amazon Echo Dot, which normally costs around $50 by itself. Owners will also get a three-month subscription to the Amazon Music Unlimited Family Plan and Audible. Of course, the Cherokee Latitude comes standard with the 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment system with navigation. Interestingly, Jeep is dropping the price slightly for the 2018 Cherokee. The 2017 Cherokee Latitude in FWD starts at $26,740. Even with the Tech Connect Package, the 2018 Cherokee Latitude FWD has an MSRP of $26,190. The 4WD model starts at $27,690 – a drop of $1,050 from the 2017 model. Of course, you won’t hear any complaints from us or prospective Cherokee customers.
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Are You Ready For the 2019 Jeep Wrangler JL?
The 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL might not last long. In fact, the all-new Wrangler might only enjoy one month of production. But that’s not because Jeep is canning its multi-million dollar makeover of its bread-n-butter SUV, rather, Jeep will begin manufacturing 2019 model year Wranglers on January 2, 2018. Yep, only one month after the Wrangler JL arrives in showrooms; the 2018 model will make way for the upcoming model year – at least that’s according to an insider source for Allpar who is said to be reliable.
This is an unprecedented move by Jeep to begin production of the next model year so early within the calendar year. Generally, automakers wait until mid-summer to release the next model year, with the first big waves of stock hitting dealership showrooms in August and September. So why January 2? Well, January 1 is a holiday, making the 2nd the earliest legal date Jeep can build a 2019 production vehicle.
Putting the pieces from several rumors together, this could mean all 2018 Jeep Wrangler JLs will be the four-door Unlimited version. A past report suggested the two-door Wrangler wouldn’t arrive until February 2018. It also means the Wrangler JL-based pickup truck, the Scrambler, could begin production within the same 2019 model year.
That same insider source for Allpar had also broke news the current Jeep Wrangler JK will remain in production through March 2018. It was later confirmed by Jeep that the JK would overlap production of the JL into the 2018 calendar year. That will likely give Jeep the chance to deplete its stockpile of JK parts while smoothly transitioning into JL production and supplies for dealerships across North America and around the world.
Jeep Says “Nope” to 368-horse Wrangler JL
Just days ago a leaked document from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggested the next-generation, 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL would have a 368-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. The world gasped and Jeep fans melted at the thought of a Wrangler having more power than a Ford Focus RS. Sadly, it seems FCA either had a type-o or is now trying to cover up this leaked information. Those same documents regarding VIN identification have now been resubmitted with edited information. The 2.0-liter’s horsepower is now listed as “Not Rated.”
The way I see it, there are three possibilities. First, some engineer or clerical worker deep inside Chrysler’s headquarters didn’t have their morning cup of Joe and fudged the numbers. Perhaps it was an honest mistake and it was supposed to read 268 horsepower or something. That’s a likely scenario. Second, some engineer or clerical worker forgot to censor the horsepower specs for Jeep’s new 2.0-liter “Hurricane” four-cylinder and is now in hot water with Sergio Marchionne and Mike Manley. Oops. Third, FCA is playing us – and hard. It’s very possible Jeep is leaving clues for us to find just like Dodge did with the SRT Demon. And if the Hurricane truly makes 368 horsepower, who could blame them? That’s a massive amount of power from such a small engine. Only the Mercedes-AMG GLA45 and CLA45’s 2.0-liter turbo-four makes more horsepower (375) from the factory.
The good news is we won’t have to wait long. Jeep is scheduled to debut the new 2018 Wrangler JL at the 2017 L.A. Auto Show in late November with vehicles arriving in dealerships in December. The initial launch will consist only of the four-door Wrangler Unlimited, with the classic two-door Wrangler following in February of 2018.
What scenario do you think is going on? Did someone make a type-o? Was the info accidentally leaked? Is Jeep trolling us by teasing high-horsepower specs only to redact the information? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
2018 Jeep Wrangler JL Will Have 368-HP Four-Cylinder!
News of the next-generation Jeep Wrangler is still trickling in, but thanks to an official document sent by Fiat Chrysler to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, we now know the horsepower rating for the new 2.0-liter “Hurricane” turbocharged four-cylinder. Turns out, the Hurricane isn’t some lowly four-banger nobody will want. Actually, the engine kicks out 368 horsepower, making it one of the most potent turbo-fours on the market.
That’s right; the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL will have an optional 2.0-liter turbo-four with more horsepower than a Ford Focus RS and Porsche 718 Boxster S. In fact, only the Mercedes-AMG CLA45 and GLA45’s 2.0-liter turbo-four with 375 horsepower is more powerful. Unfortunately, FCA’s document didn’t divulge the Hurricane’s torque figure, but we’d bet on at least 320 pound-feet. Also unfortunate, is the rumor suggesting the Hurricane will be limited to an automatic transmission, preventing Jeep folks who row their own from having high-horsepower fun. Then again, we’ve never had a complaint with FCA’s use and programming of the ZF eight-speed automatic, so even the automatic Wrangler JL should be fun to drive.
The other bit of powertrain news is the confirmed return of the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 but slotted as the base engine. The same documents show the V-6 producing the same 285 horsepower. While that’s a bit disappointing, Jeep could be saving an update for the V-6 until after the current-generation Wrangler JK ends production sometime late in 2018. Jeep will keep the JK in production, likely named the Wrangler Classic or something, in order to supplement sales of the JL. At launch, the new JL will only be available in the four-door Unlimited trim, with two-door models coming in February of 2018. Retaining the current V-6 would be more cost-effective than updating the outgoing JK to use the updated V-6. Jeep could then position an updated V-6 as a mid-cycle perk sometime towards 2020. Of course, that’s just speculation.
What do you think? Would you buy a 368-horsepower Wrangler JL? Let us know in the comments below.
Is This The next Jeep Wrangler Two-Door?
The next-generation Jeep Wrangler is nearing its debut date and the anticipation is nearing pandemonium. But before its unveiling expected at the 2017 L.A. Auto Show in late November, the sleuths at JLWranglerForums have rendered what they think the two-door Wrangler will look like. Codenamed JL, the 2018 Wrangler won’t be a dramatic departure from the current, 2007-2017 Wrangler JK, but rather an evolution of the iconic design that dates back to the 1941 Willys MB general purpose military vehicle. Nevertheless, the new Jeep will be brimming with updated technology, new powertrains, and tons of user-friendly features.
The Wrangler JL two-door rendering matches up quite well with the camouflaged test mules seen slogging around in different parts of the country. The short-wheelbase Jeep uses all the same design elements as its four-door brother, but with no rear doors. The two-door sill can seat five, though three across in the rear bench is a pinch and getting back there isn’t as easy without dedicated doors. But the plus side: the two-door Wrangler will be the off-roading champ of the JL lineup thanks to its shorter wheelbase (and therefore better break-over angle) and slightly lighter weight. Speaking of weight, a few of the Wrangler’s body panels are expected to be aluminum, though most of the body will be stamped from steel. And of course, the Wrangler will continue to use solid axles at each end, ride on coil springs, and have a body-on-frame construction – just as God intended.
The 2018 Wrangler JL does have a few exterior features worth mentioning. First, the front bumper has a new, more functional design. It might be limited to upper trim levels, but hopefully not. The daytime running lights and turn signals are incorporated into the front fenders. While it looks cool, the aftermarket will have to overcome this when designing stubby fenders for large-diameter tires. The engine bay vent is expected here, as well, nestled neatly behind the front fenders. A strong character line below the windows helps divide the Wrangler’s top and bottom halves. Last but not least, the rear bumper now holds the license plate – a big departure from the body-mounted plate on the CJs and Wranglers that have come before. And of course, those taillights are designed to look like Jerry Cans, a design feature Jeep first incorporated into the Renegade.
So, what do you think of this rendering of the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL two-door? Will it be a big success? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Driver Gets Ticket For Allegedly Being 1 KMH Over The Speed Limit
I’ve seen my fair share of traffic violations over the many years of driving. Some of these violations are warranted, some are even necessary. But like everything else, there are violations that border on the ridiculous. One such incident recently occurred north of the border in Alberta, Canada.
Let’s set the scene, thanks to the story reported by CTV News in Canada. A man named Mathieu Gagne tells CTV that he made a legal pass on a slow-moving police officer north of Edmonton. The officer, apparently ticked off that he got overtaken even if the move was legal, decided to exercise his authority on the driver, citing him for going 1 kph over the posted speed limit. One kilometer per hour! Fortunately, the Gagne’s girlfriend was with him during the incident and promptly posted the ticket online where, somewhat predictably, it turned viral. You can likely guess what happened next. The Sturgeon County called Gagne a few days later to tell him that the fine rescinded, although it did say that it wasn’t because the officer was being petty, but because he listed the speed on the ticket as being radar/laser verified when in fact it wasn’t. And if the story couldn’t get any stranger, CTV also reported that the erring officer has yet to be disciplined for his actions. Seems like one of those stories where it’s unclear what kind of ending should have happened here. It’s definitely strange times we’re living in right now when Canada, home to some of the nicest people we know, has its own share of rogue police officers.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
2018 Jeep Scrambler
The Jeep Wrangler Pickup has been confirmed for some time now, but Jeep has been quiet on the details. Between spy shots and insider information, we know the pickup will use the upcoming 2018 Wrangler JL’s frame, front styling, cab, interior, and powertrains. The mystery still remains as to what the cargo bed looks like and the materials its constructional from. What’s more, Jeep has yet to define the exact target audience for the Wrangler pickup, otherwise known as the JT. Will it offer class-leading payload and towing or will it be more focused on off-road performance? While we can’t say for sure, we’ve got some strong indications of Jeep’s intentions with its 2019-model-year pickup.
The Wrangler Pickup will ride on a lengthened version of the Wrangler Unlimited JL’s frame to accommodate the extra length needed for the bed. This means a longer, more stable Wrangler for on-road driving and trailer towing, but a slightly less maneuverable and (dare I say) capable Wrangler for off-roading adventures. It’s the break-over angle that will suffer the most, making the Wrangler pickup more vulnerable to high centering. Still, expect the JT to come standard with 4WD and Jeep’s Trail Rated rating.
Update 08/22/2017: A report from JeepScramblerForum.com shows confirmation the Jeep Wrangler pickup will be called the Jeep Scrambler, a name already associated with Jeep pickups of the 1980s. What’s more, CAD drawings show the extended frame and upgraded Dana axles. Also confirmed is the pickup’s use of the 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6.
Holy Toledo! 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL Breaks Cover
Well, it’s finally happened – the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL has been spotted without camouflage. The next-generation Jeep was reportedly spotted inside Jeep’s Toledo assembly plant and sent to our friends at JLWranglerForums. The grainy photo was undoubtedly not supposed to be taken, as evidenced by the limited view it affords of the new Wrangler Unlimited. Still, there are plenty of details to pour over.
First, it’s clear this is a four-door Wrangler Unlimited, otherwise known as the JLU. It’s lack of badging, knobby tires, and rock rails suggests this is a Sport model, though its hood features vents – a previous sign of an upper-class model or special edition. The windshield bump-stops on the hood have been redesigned, too. Also visible is the side vent integrated just behind the front fender. It’s smaller than anticipated, but thankfully doesn’t distract from the Wrangler’s classic lines. And speaking of lines, the cowling panel and doors have strong creases, helping break up the flat, vertical sides seen on the previous Wrangler JK. New side mirrors are present, too, with integrated turn signals. Gone are the push-button door handles, replaced with pull-style handles in black. The front fenders carry a new shape and appear molded from richer, higher-quality plastic. This particular Jeep has the soft top option, which we’re glad still exists. Unfortunately, the photos don’t show much of the interior, beyond the black seats covered in protective plastic. Of course, at this rate, we’ll have a full view of the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL long before its official debut at the 2017 LA Auto Show in November.
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FCA Could Be Bought by a Chinese Automaker
Formed in 2014, the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) alliance has been doing very good these past three years, which is why Sergio Marchionne is on the lookout to either sell the company or make another merger with a big brand. FCA was refused by General Motors back in 2015 and Marchionne’s attempts to find a new collaboration have been unsuccessful so far. However, it seems that FCA is actually on the brink of finding a new owner. According to new reports, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has received at least one offer in August from a "well-known Chinese automaker."
That’s the word from Automotive News, which claims that the over was slightly higher than FCA’s current market value, but the Italian-American alliance rejected it for not being enough. There’s no detailed information as to what Chinese automaker made the offer, but speculation has it that FCA is negotiating with more than one company. Also, a source close to FCA said that company executives have traveled to China to meet with Great Wall Motor Co., while different sources claim talks with Dongfeng Motor Corp., Zhejiang Geely, and Guangzhou Automobile Group.
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2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk
The 840-horspower Dodge Challenger SRT Demon stole the show at the 2017 New York Auto Show, but the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk certainly garnered a ton of attention. The highly anticipated an long-rumored Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is everything we hoped for and more, including that 707-horspower 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V-8, beefed-up TorqFlite eight-speed automatic transmission and reinforced full-time 4WD system. The Jeep even gets the Demon’s Torque Reserve system, helping launch five-passenger SUV to 60 mph in an astonishing 3.5 seconds!
Yeah, the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk isn’t the most practical vehicle debuting at New York this year, but it’s by far the most practical Hellcat ever produced. Sure, the Charger Hellcat is a usable sedan with little draw-backs, but the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk offers 68.3 cubic feet of cargo volume and a respectable 7,200 pounds of towing capacity. Not to mention, this Jeep will likely do well in wintertime conditions with a set of proper tires, especially since its drive modes include a setting for snow.
Jeep engineers didn’t just shoehorn a Hellcat V-8 under the hood of an ordinary Grand Cherokee, however. The Trackhawk is heavily modified, sharing nearly no common powertrain parts with the standard Grand Cherokees. Even the 6.4-liter V-8-powered Grand Cherokee SRT version comes with less whiz-bang engineering.
Update 08/08/2017: Jeep has announced pricing for the 2018 Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. It will start at $86,995, including the destination fee. Read more in the Pricing section below.
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Juicy Jeep Wrangler JL Details Leaked, Including Full-Time 4WD!
Fiat Chrysler can’t keep the cat in the bag with its upcoming 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL. The latest leak is massive in scale, unloading details of trim packages, paint colors, and order codes, complete with all their corresponding options. The info comes straight from FCA’s online dealership ordering system via the fan forum JLWranglerForums. Image screenshots confirm the authenticity while giving an unprecedented glimpse at what Jeep’s internal operations. This leaves only the final design, engine output specs, and MSRP to speculation. But with the Wrangler’s debut scheduled for the LA Auto Show in November, there’s still plenty of time for more leaks.
Leading this batch of leaks is the addition of a power-retractable soft top, the conformation of the 2.0-liter four-cylinder and 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6, the axing of the luxury-minded Sahara trim for the two-door Wrangler, and the debut of a full-time 4WD system reserved exclusively for the four-door Sahara. Jeep purists shouldn’t fret, though – the Sport and Rubicon trims return, along with an optional Heavy Duty Electrical Group (supposedly for running extra lights and a CB radio), and something called the “Trail Rail Management System.” Six tire and four wheel options are present, too, with wheels sized at 17 and 18 inches. Seven color choices will be offered, along with the return of a tan soft top. The AEK Electronic Infotainment System Group includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and Alpine returns as the premium audio system.
Continue reading for a ton more information on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL.
The “Autobiography of a Jeep” Is 10 Minutes Of Glory
In light of the impending debut of the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL and Wrangler-based pickup truck – not to mention my recent time spent with the 2017 Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon Hard Rock – the Jeep brand has consumed much of my recent time and writings. In the course of perusing Jeep history and year-specific factoids, I ran across this lovely documentary. As the name suggests, the film is narrated in first-person, allowing the Willy MB to tell its own story.
It might be a bit cheeky by today’s standards, but the 1943 documentary details how the original Willy MB came to be. As most know, it was the outbreak of World War II that spurred the U.S. Department of War to find a suitable troop transport that could serve a variety of roles. Some roles were quite dare-devilish, too, like floating in water by being wrapped in a canvas tarp and crossing deep valleys via a wire cable. Adaptations of the MB included a more dedicated amphibious model with a boat-like hull surrounding he body. The MB began mass production only eight months after the War Department’s open request for prototypes. To keep up with production requirements, Ford joined in with its near-exact replica of the Willys MB, the Ford GPW. Combined, a new Jeep rolled off the assembly line every two minutes at the height of the war. Of course, the video has plenty more tid-bits of information and shows tons of Jeeps in action.