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2018 Jeep Wrangler

2018 Jeep Wrangler

The icon lives on

The 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL is the successor to the wildly successful Wrangler JK – a vehicle that lasted from 2007 until the early parts of 2018. The new Wrangler JL picks up where the JK left off by offering an open-air driving experience on both paved roads and where no roads exist. The Wrangler continues to stay true to the Jeep legacy of all-terrain travel while offering more creature comforts and the least-compromised on-road driving experience of any vehicle in the lineage of the Willy MB from 1941.

For 2018, the Wrangler’s appearance is an evolved take on the previous JK, adding in better aerodynamics, more roof options, and improved safety, especially in the rollover department. New details bring the JL into modern times. Things like LED headlights, fender-mounted daytime running lights, and an interior that doesn’t look made by Little Tikes. New powertrain options bring more power and added fuel efficiency, while a manual transmission and manually operated transfer case keep ties to the Jeep heritage alive.

Update 11/01/2017: Jeep has released photos of the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL amid the SEMA Show and ahead of the Wrangler’s full debut at the L.A. Auto Show on November 29.

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Is the 2018 Jeep Wrangler Windshield Crooked or Wicked?

Is the 2018 Jeep Wrangler Windshield Crooked or Wicked?

Rejoice Jeep fans! It has a removable top and doors!

Just leaked on WranglerForums.com is what’s believed to be the next-generation Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. Codenamed the JL, this four-door wrangler will replace the current Jeep Wrangler JL for the 2018 model year. Until now, details have been rather spread out, with hardly any information on the Wrangler’s overall appearance and functionality. But thanks to two grainy images, we’re getting a first look.

Much to the angst of Jeep fans, the 2018 Wrangler will indeed come with hard top that’s completely removable. The doors are also completely removable, just like the past Wranglers. The overall design is more evolutionary than revolutionary, sharing much of the overall appearance with the current Wrangler JK.

Of course, the devil is in the details. The grille has a rearward bend, just as we’ve seen in spy shots and other leaked images. The front quarter panels feature some sort of heat extractor or vent just behind the fender. The hood also features vents, much like the optional Heat Extraction hood offered on some Wrangler models. The greenhouse seems taller, with more height to the glass. The doors have a strong character line just under the window, possibly carving out where the half-metal doors will end.

And even more interesting, the windshield seems to have two hinges. Perhaps Jeep won’t kill the folding windshield design after all! As for the roll cage, it shares a similar layout to the current Wrangler JK, but it looks to be better integrated for stronger roll-over protection.

Around back the tailgate is now hinged on the driver side, making curb-side loading much easier. The spare tire is missing, but we do expect the production model will feature it in this traditional location. The bumpers have a familiar style, shaped like those found on special edition Wranglers like the 75th Anniversary, Rubicon Hard Rock, and Rubicon Recon.

All told, this is a huge relief for Jeep enthusiast worried about a watered-down, mall-rated Wrangler JL. Those fears can be set aside knowing Jeep has kept all the lovable aspects of the Wrangler in place. Let’s just hope this isn’t some fake news rendering crap designed to scam us all…

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Is FCA Bringing Back the Straight-Six?

Is FCA Bringing Back the Straight-Six?

Rumors suggest new powertrains on the horizon

News out of Auburn Hills regarding powertrain changes is becoming regular these days. First is was a rumor suggesting the venerable and widely used 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 will soon end production. Now sources are telling Allpar that FCA is toying with the idea of inline six-cylinder engines.

Chrysler has a long history of using inline six-cylinder engines. Major players include the AMC straight-six found in everything from sedans and budget muscle cars to Jeeps and pickups between 1964 and 2006. The iconic 4.0-liter I-6 found in Jeep products is perhaps the pentacle of Chrysler I-6 design and one of the most legendary Chrysler engines of all time. Sadly that engine met its demise with the introduction of the Jeep Wrangler JK in 2007.

Allpar speculates the new inline six-cylinder would be based on FCA’s current Global Medium Engine four-cylinder. Currently displacing 2.0 liters and found in the Alfa Romeo Giulia, the turbo-four makes 280 horsepower and 306 pound-feet of torque thanks to an intercooler, 16 valves operated by dual overhead cams, and direct fuel injection. Adding two extra cylinder to the GME could result in horsepower levels over 400 and torque levels beyond 450 pound-feet. That is, if power levels grow at the same percentage as the cylinder count.

So, could a 3.0-liter inline-six be on the horizon for FCA vehicles, including Ram, Dodge, and Jeep? Only time will tell, but the path to that end seems oddly clear. Consider the resurgence of rear-wheel drive vehicles, like the Alfa Romeo Giulia, along with new versions of current rear-wheel drive models like the Jeep Wrangler, Ram 1500, and even Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger.

Ford has already proved that turbocharged engines with smaller displacements can generate quite the kick, while providing impressively reliability despite outrageous payload and towing demands. Should FCA follow in the EcoBoost’s footsteps, we could see an impressively powerful yet butter-smooth straight-six under the hood of the next generation of FCA vehicles.

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Jeep Skipping Detroit Auto Show Means no 2018 Wrangler JL Debut

Jeep Skipping Detroit Auto Show Means no 2018 Wrangler JL Debut

When will Jeep debut its long-awaited next-generation Wrangler?

If you were excited about Jeep debuting its next-generation Wrangler JL at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit come January, we’ve got bad news. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has elected not to debut any of its new models at the Detroit Auto Show. Rather FCA will attend the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas the week prior. According to an industry analyst, FCA will debut a new vehicle there, but don’t expect it to be a Wrangler.

The news comes from AutoTrader analyst Michelle Krebs who spoke to The Blade about FCA’s unusual strategy. Krebs believes the move is a smart one, since FCA is likely debuting tech-heavy vehicle.

“FCA needs to show the world it is in the advanced technology game,” Krebs said. “CES is a good locale for such a debut. Fiat Chrysler has not ventured to CES before, while its competitors have.”

Rumors have surfaced about what vehicle FCA will bring to the tech-savvy crowd in Sin City. Most center on an autonomous version of the Chrysler Pacifica minivan. Still, that begs the question regarding the 2018 Jeep Wrangler’s debut.

Jeep could opt to make the announcement at any time – electing to release photos and videos of the Wrangler JL in action. More plausible is the 2017 Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah come April. The annual even has been a huge highpoint for Jeep debuts in the recent years, with the automaker building a handful of one-off concept models for the enthusiast-driven expo and off-road festival. We’re betting on the latter.

Regardless, it seems we’re in for a few more months before Jeep pulls the covers off its next Wrangler.

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Jeep Grand Wagoneer “Placed on Hold,” Sources Say

Jeep Grand Wagoneer “Placed on Hold,” Sources Say

At least FCA has not canceled its Range Rover competitor… Yet.

News about the future Jeep Grand Wagoneer has gone from promising to problem-ridden over the last month. Reports have suggested Jeep is canceling the high-end SUV for good, while others suggest nothing is wrong. Well, word has just surfaced from two different third-party parts suppliers that Jeep in putting the Grand Wagoneer project on hold.

The news comes from Larry Vellequette, a reporter with Automotive News whose dedicated beat for the last decade has been Chrysler and now FCA. He reports the luxo-Jeep isn’t officially dead, but it isn’t alive and well. The major problem, according to Vellequette, is FCA’s very limited cash reserves. FCA is currently funding a company-wide game of musical chairs and retooling with its assembly plants. Vehicles are being moved around, plans are getting refurbished, and this is eating into cash reserves.

Also a major factor is the limited size of vehicle that’s capable of being produced at FCA’s Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit. It currently builds the Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango, but anything larger, say like a three-row Range Rover competitor, simply wouldn’t fit down the assembly line.

Vellequette makes an interesting observation though. Why retool Jefferson at great expense for a low-volume SUV rather than build a high-volume, body-on-frame SUV that competes with the Chevrolet Suburban and Ford Expedition? Why not base that SUV on the upcoming refreshed Ram 1500? It’s certainly an idea worth exploring.

Ram has never made a three-row SUV based on its pickup despite GM and Ford having outstand success with the concept. Should Jeep choose to pursue this, the Grand Wagoneer name would likely drop the “Grand” portion, recalling the more utilitarian Jeep Wagoneer of 1974 through 1983.

Should Jeep go this route, it could even create a heavy-duty version, competing where the Suburban 2500 and Ford Excursion once did. What’s more, it could even create a Rubicon or Trailhawk version based on the Ram 2500 Power Wagon. Best of all, FCA would need far less cash to pull this off. The Ram’s Warren Truck Assembly Plant could accommodate the 1500-series Wagoneer, while FCA’s Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Mexico could accommodate the heavy-duty and Power Wagon versions.

Of course, this is pure speculation on our part based on speculation by Vellequette. One thing is for sure though – Jeep will not be getting its Grand Wagoneer by 2018 or 2019.

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2018 Jeep Wrangler Will Get Aluminum Parts

2018 Jeep Wrangler Will Get Aluminum Parts

A leaked Alcoa memo says it will supply aluminum for doors and hood

News about the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL’s construction materials is hot topic these days. FCA boss Sergio Marchionne said back in 2015 the upcoming Wrangler would partially use aluminum construction. Fast-forward to 2016, and a leaked internal memo from aluminum giant Alcoa suggests it will supply aluminum alloys for the Wrangler’s doors and hood.

The leaked internal memo was reported on JL Wrangler Forums by a user claiming to be an Alcoa employee.

It reads: “A team in the Farmington Hills (Michigan, USA) Aerospace and Automotive Products group is leading a new profitable growth opportunity with the 2018 Jeep Wrangler program. The next generation Jeep becomes the first to utilize our C6A1 high form alloy; we are currently the only supplier of this high form product.

Alcoa will also supply 6022 and A951, including front and rear door inners, hood outer and inner.”

From this we understand Alcoa will be providing three types of aluminum for the next-generation Wrangler’s construction. The first two types are 6022 and A951 for use in the inner parts of the front and rear doors and both inner and outer sections of the hood. The third aluminum type, the C6A1 high form alloy, isn’t listed to a specific part within the Wrangler, so it’s anyone’s guess as to where FCA will incorporate the proprietary Alcoa alloy.

This information is only conformation that Jeep engineers are diligently working to revamp the popular Wrangler with the latest technology. Still, the next-generation isn’t expected to deviate far from the current Wrangler JK in terms of overall styling and off-roading capability.

We expect to see Jeep debut the 2018 Wrangler within the coming months.

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Jeep Wrangler Pickup Truck Caught Testing For The First Time

Jeep Wrangler Pickup Truck Caught Testing For The First Time

It exists! Jeep is testing the Wrangler pickup at last!

After years – no, decades – of waiting, it seems Jeep is finally going to build a pickup version of the Wrangler. Rumors have held true and speculation regarding Jeep CEO Mike Manley’s many hints are seemingly coming to fruition. It’s been 30 years since Jeep last made a pickup version of its Wrangler, then called the CJ, but it seems the wait is coming to an end.

These detailed spy shots show a four-door Wrangler with a pickup bed. The camouflage is extremely thick, but the squared-off doors, flat windshield, seven-slot grille, and removable hard top are all clearly discernable. It seems this test mule is borrowing a Ram 1500 cargo bed, but expect a more unique, Jeep-only bed for production.

It’s clear this test mule is in the early stages of development. Inside the bed appear to be weights, tied down with ratchet straps. This indicates engineers are testing chassis, suspension, and powertrain tuning. Prevalent rumors suggest the Wrangler will have three choices in engines: a turbocharged four-cylinder making roughly 300 horsepower, a revised version of the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6, and the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6. The ZF eight-speed automatic will be optional each of the engines, with unknown manual transmission likely coming as standard.

The Wrangler pickup will be based on the conventional Wrangler, codenamed the JL. Expect the pickup version to come with an extended frame and wheelbase. We’d bet the Wrangler’s multi-link rear suspension with coil springs is present. After all, Ram has done will with a similar suspension setup. More to the fact, no leaf springs can be seen in these spy shots, despite the massive rear fender opening.

The Wrangler pickup will likely debut after the standard two-door and four-door Wrangler SUV. How much later is still unknown. We’d bed the Wrangler SUV will arrive for the 2018 model year, with the pickup following in 2019.

There’s tons more to discern from these spy shots, so keep reading for more information.

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2017 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

2017 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

Jeep to climb up-market with new flagship SUV

By now you’ve heard Sergio Marchionne’s battle cry against Range Rover, and know FCA has plans to revive the old Grand Wagoneer name for its upcoming ultra plush SUV, intended to compete with Land Rover’s finest. Well here is your first look at what we think FCA might build. Meet the 2017 Jeep Grand Wagoneer.

While Marchionne’s intent is well-known, details about styling and engineering are not. That left our artist to guess on many of the design cues, including the all-important seven-slot grille and iconic Grand Wagoneer hood. Behind the A-pillar, the SUV gets Suburban-sized dimensions with three rows of seats. Sadly, FCA isn’t likely to dive so deep in the retro styling that it nails on the woody sides from the original.

Under the skin, the Grand Wagoneer is sure to get big power. Expect FCA to offer its popular EcoDiesel option, along with a Hemi V-8. The usual ZF eight-speed auto will likely make its appearance as well.

In order to compete with Range Rover, Jeep will have to outdo itself with interior quality. Current models like the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee have surpassed anything Jeep has ever done in the past in terms of fit and finish, but the Grand Wagoneer will have to push the bar even further. Expect open-pore wood trim, supple leather on nearly ever surface, and plenty of high-end technology, from entertainment to safety systems.

Jeep is expected to have the Grand Wagoneer ready to display by the middle of 2016 and headed to dealerships for the 2017 model year. Pricing is also said to surpass everything Jeep has ever produced, with a starting MSRP somewhere in the $80,000 range.

Update 06/27/2016: Jeep head Mike Manley told Automotive News the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer shouldn’t be though of as separate vehicles, but rather a different trim levels. This suggests the two will share many mechanical and structural components, while unique looks and luxury amenities could distinguish the two apart.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Jeep Grand Wagoneer.

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FCA Executive Sees Case for Two Midsize Pickups

FCA Executive Sees Case for Two Midsize Pickups

Ram/Jeep Chief Mike Manley comments on future trucks

Rumblings of Ram re-entering the midsize truck category have been amplified by comments made by Ram brand chief Mike Manley to journalists at the New York Auto Show. Manley’s comments also included talks about the recently confirmed Jeep midsize pickup, though no hard details were uncovered.

“I think there’s opportunity there in the U.S. if you look at what’s happened in the midsize segment here – significant growth last year,” Manley said to The Detroit News on Wednesday at the NY Auto show. “I think that space is big enough, certainly, to have two offerings there.”

That certainly affords a glance into what FCA has planned for both Ram and Jeep in the coming years, though Manley refused to say anything official. “I wouldn’t even confirm if we’ll have two offerings, let alone confirm a time frame.” Currently FCA does not offer a midsize truck in North America. Now, thanks largely to the growing revival of the midsize truck segment, the automaker may in fact bring two all-new trucks to market. The two trucks would square off against the Chevrolet and GMC twin, the Colorado and Canyon, the Nissan Frontier, the Honda Ridgeline, and the long-time sales champion, the Toyota Tacoma.

This topic doesn’t just concern North America. FCA has recently shuffled executives around, staking the deck to make Ram a better international brand. This points to the potential of Ram offering a multi-market, internationally sold pickup.

Speaking to the matter, Manley said, “We don’t necessarily today have the right portfolio within Ram to cater to all of those markets, but we do have a strong brand. Ram brand is known very well in Africa and the Middle East, and also Latin America.” In fact, Manley mentioned Bob Hegbloom, former head of Ram North America, now head of Ram International, would be headed to Brazil after the NY Auto Show to consult with members of Fiat regarding cross-brand sharing. “There’s potential, Manley said, for Ram to use a Fiat platform for a Ram pickup.”

While Manley wouldn’t speak further on Ram’s future products, he undoubtedly gave the industry and interested consumers something to talk about.

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FCA's Marchionne Makes Slip, Reveals Jeep Wagoneer

FCA’s Marchionne Makes Slip, Reveals Jeep Wagoneer

We’re growing ever more fond of Sergio Marchionne’s style of news dissemination. The Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO’s recent “realignment” of the automaker’s five-year plans is making massive waves, thanks to details on a renewed focus on trucks and SUVs, while killing off slow-selling sedans. However, Marchionne’s latest confession has us more excited than before.

In an interview with Automotive News, Marchionne made the statement, “I think it’s important for us to have found a home for the Grand Wagoneer family – both the Grand Wagoneer and the Wagoneer – in whatever shape they come, and that we find that space without creating additional production capacity.”

Did you catch that? This is the first mention of a Jeep Wagoneer from FCA. We’ve known about the Grand Wagoneer project for some time now, and it’s task to compete with the Range Rover in the high-end luxury SUV segment. But what’s the Wagoneer? Sadly, there were no further details or slips to come from Marchionne’s interview, or subsequent calls to Fiat Chrysler.

The addition of the Wagoneer aligns well with FCA’s plans of concentrating on SUVs and trucks. What’s more, Marchionne has said in the past how Ram has room to make a SUV based on the Ram 1500 pickup. Such a body-on-frame SUV would compete with the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, their GMC counterparts, and the Ford Expedition. Perhaps the Wagoneer is the Jeep-branded version of this Ram vehicle.

Whatever the Jeep Wagoneer turns out to be, it’s definitely exciting times to be a jeep fan and truck enthusiast. We will certainly keep you informed of any further information slipping from FCA.

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FCA Hosting Dealer Meeting: Jeep Pickup & Grand Wagoneer Possibly There

FCA Hosting Dealer Meeting: Jeep Pickup & Grand Wagoneer Possibly There

Fiat Chrysler is currently holding a meeting for many of its nationwide dealerships to show off – in deep secret – a few future models. Though the meeting, taking place in Las Vegas, bars attendees from bringing cell phones and camera, the lucky few will get a glimpse of what FCA has up its sleeve. However, that doesn’t stop the speculation from rolling through the industry as to what’s being shown.

High on the list of speculated models is a production version of a Jeep Wrangler-based pickup truck. The pickup would be classified as a midsize and would likely not compete with Ram, despite protests from the all-truck brand. Since it would share the Wrangler’s bones, the truck would focus more on off-road capability than towing and hauling numbers.

What’s more, the Wrangler is slated for a complete redesign for the 2018 model year, meaning any legitimate Wrangler pickup concept would be based on the yet-unseen future Jeep. Talk about a two-for-one.

This isn’t the first time Jeep has toyed with a Wrangler pickup. In 2005, the brand debuted the 2005 Jeep Gladiator. Attempts to move the Gladiator from concept to production have failed repeatedly, though Jeep’s current CEO, Mike Manley, has shown great interest in moving forward with a truck.

Also rumored to be making an appearance are the 2017 Jeep Grand Wagoneer and next-generation Chrysler minivan. The Grand Wagoneer is slated to compete with high-end luxury SUVs like the Range Rover while the new minivan is said to take a large departure form the current boringness that is the 2014 Town & Country. It’s even said the van will have a plug-in hybrid version that gets upwards of 75 MPGe, along with an AWD option on non-hybrid models.

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2016 Jeep Wrangler Ordering Guide Leaks Online

2016 Jeep Wrangler Ordering Guide Leaks Online

It appears that some future product information from Jeep has been leaked. The info covers the 2016 Jeep Wrangler’s yet-unannounced Black Bear Edition, an all-new special edition that polishes the Wrangler with some specialty appearance add-ons and interior adornments.

Though we are a couple months ahead of the 2016 model year vehicles hitting showrooms, the product information has surfaced with no word from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Like other special edition trim levels before it, the Black Bear Edition bares some unique finishes on its exterior and a few unique interior bits that Jeep will use to attract fans of the famous Black Bear Road in Telluride, Colorado. The high mountain pass features some of the west’s most scenic yet challenging off-roading, with steep drop-offs and sharp switchbacks.

The Wrangler Black Bear Edition will come with a black grille, bumper appliqués, fuel door, and “Wrangler” hood decals, along with tinted windows, and an optional low gloss black topographical map of the Black Bear Road territory. Inside, the Jeep will feature black seat fabric with mesh inserts and black stitching, black vinyl wrapped console lid and front door armrests, and a black leather-wrapped steering wheel. Other features include the Power Convenience and Connectivity Group packages coming standard, along with the auto-dimming mirror and all-weather slush mats.

Appearances are the only major upgrades to this Wrangler, as its powertrain and 4WD systems are unaltered from the standard Wrangler. That means the 3.6-liter V-6, Command-Trac transfer case, Dana 30 front axle, and Dana 44 rear axle are all in place. The Black Bear Edition does get Jeep’s mid-spec Goodyear Wrangler Silent Armor tires on 17-inch alloys, standard tow hooks, and the same rock rails as the Rubicon.

The leaked document shows pricing will start at $27,895 for the two-door Wrangler and $31,695 for the four-door Wrangler Unlimited.

There is more information on the leaked spec sheets, so continue reading for that info

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Jeep Grand Cherokee Hellcat Confirmed; Will hit 60 MPH in Under 3 Seconds!

Jeep Grand Cherokee Hellcat Confirmed; Will hit 60 MPH in Under 3 Seconds!

It appears the rumors have been confirmed – Jeep will produce the Hellcat-powered 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. The news comes as an unnamed source confirmed several details to Motor Authority. That means the Grand Cherokee will be the third recipient of FCA’s mighty 707-horsepower Hemi V-8.

The Trackhawk build is called Project K within FCA walls, and includes a few additional go-fast bits to make the Jeep worthy of the Hellcat badge. Leading the pack is the inclusion of AWD and the ZF eight-speed automatic transmission as standard equipment.

Performance numbers are said to be very competitive with the other Hellcats, thanks in large part to that all-wheel drive. The inside source says 0-to-60 mph times will fall under three seconds and the top speed with be a blistering 200 mph. Not too shabby for an SUV.

Sadly, there are quibbles about Jeep having to restrict torque output from the supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi to keep the AWD system from exploding. Though unconfirmed, the rumor could prove true. Nevertheless, don’t expect anything less than 600 pound-feet if the cutback does indeed happen.

What’s more, the source says the current 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT will get a name change and a nice boost in power to accompany the Trackhawk introduction. Rumor has it the new SRT’s 6.4-liter Hemi will kick out 490 horsepower, up from 470 the horsepower of the current model.

Continue reading for the full story.

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FCA May Delay Several Model Redesigns Including Ram, Jeep

FCA May Delay Several Model Redesigns Including Ram, Jeep

It seems FCA may be already running behind schedule on its comprehensive five-year plan announced just last year. Reports from the automaker’s suppliers say several models are affected by the delays, which are said to range from a few months to more than a year.

One of the most effected vehicles is Jeep’s upcoming Grand Wagoneer, Jeep’s three-row luxury competitor aimed at the Range Rover. It’s experiencing delays due to its similarity to the upcoming, all-new Grand Cherokee. Initially, the new Grand Cherokee was scheduled for the 2017 model year, but as Reuters reports, engineers are still working on the SUV’s platform. That makes since as the current Grand Cherokee rides on a chassis shared with the Mercedes-Benz ML-Class from the ill-fated Daimler-Chrysler partnership.

Jeep may be working on a more modular design that would easily work for multiple vehicles with various sizes. Traditionally the Grand Cherokee has offered seating for both five and seven passengers, with the third row seats being optional. The Grand Wagoneer will necessitate a longer body, giving Suburban-like room to all aboard.

Jeep is also reportedly pushing back the introduction of the next Wrangler, though only by a few months. Initial plans had the open-top Jeep hitting showrooms early in the second quarter of 2017, but it looks to be July 2017 before that happens.

Also experiencing delays is the next-generation Ram 1500, though to an even lesser degree than the Wrangler. Reuters says the Ram will be pushed from its mid-2017 launch to one in November.

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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.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Next Jeep Wrangler Won't Get An All-Aluminum Body

Next Jeep Wrangler Won’t Get An All-Aluminum Body

Rumors have been swirling on whether FCA would follow Ford’s lead in aluminum body construction, building the next-generation Wrangler from the lightweight, high-strength material. Well Sergio Marchionne has set the record straight, saying the upcoming Wrangler will not feature an all-aluminum body.

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Next Jeep Wrangler Won't Get An All-Aluminum Body

Next Jeep Wrangler Won’t Get An All-Aluminum Body

Rumors have been swirling on whether FCA would follow Ford’s lead in aluminum body construction, building the next-generation Wrangler from the lightweight, high-strength material. Well Sergio Marchionne has set the record straight, saying the upcoming Wrangler will not feature an all-aluminum body.

The news came as the FCA CEO talked at a recent SAE Foundation awards ceremony. “There will be a large portion of that vehicle that will be aluminum. It will not be all aluminum,” Marchionne said. “We’ve run the numbers and we’ve simulated mileage and the impact. Because of the difference in cost – not just of the material but the actual assembly process – I think we can do almost as well without doing it all-aluminum. I think we can get very close.”

Weighting heavily in the decision would be the need for a complete retrofit of the Toledo, Ohio assembly plant where every Wrangler comes to life. Retaining a steel body eliminates that need. However, that doesn’t mean the Wrangler will forego aluminum altogether. Marchionne said the Wrangler will likely feature an aluminum hood, tailgate, and doors.

Such weight savings will help increase the Wrangler’s fuel economy and ease of drivability. What’s more, aluminum parts don’t rust – an important point considering Wranglers tend to have an extended life in environments unfriendly to more traditional vehicles.

Expect Jeep to have the next-generation Wrangler ready for the 2017 model year, with a debut happening sometime in 2016.

Continue reading to learn more about the next Jeep Wrangler.

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Jeep Planing Range Rover Competitor

Jeep Planing Range Rover Competitor

Sergio Marchionne just spilled the beans on Jeep’s development of a high-end, luxury SUV that competes with Range Rover. The news comes as the Fiat Chrysler Chief Executive Officer spoke during the opening ceremony at an Alfa Romeo and Maserati dealership near Toronto last week.

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Jeep Planing Range Rover Competitor

Jeep Planing Range Rover Competitor

Sergio Marchionne just spilled the beans on Jeep’s development of a high-end, luxury SUV that competes with Range Rover. The news comes as the Fiat Chrysler Chief Executive Officer spoke during the opening ceremony at an Alfa Romeo and Maserati dealership near Toronto last week.

And Marchionne didn’t mince his words either. “When I see a Range Rover on the street, my blood boils, because we should be able to do a thing like that, and we will.” He continued saying FCA purposefully left the luxo-Jeep off its publicly known five-year plan to keep the vehicle under wraps. “Would I tell you that?” Marchionne said. “No, but we’re working on it now.”

Well, okay then.

This does put Jeep in unfamiliar territory in terms of price ceilings. Currently the most expensive model is the Grand Cherokee SRT, which sells for roughly $70,000. That ceiling would certainly rise once Jeep declares war with Land Rover’s Range Rover, as its prices vary from $80,000 to $150,000.

Jeep already has plans to revive the Grand Wagoneer, a nameplate that’s been dormant since 1991. The SUV is slotted to be a large, three-row competitor to the Chevrolet Suburban when it debuts for 2018. Still, Marchionne figures there’s more room in the large SUV segment.

There’s no word on what platform or name Jeep will use for its Range Rover competitor, but perhaps help will come from FCA’s Maserati branch. You’ll recall the Italian luxury brand is expected to launch its Levante SUV within the next year. The Levante rides on a modified version of the same platform underpinning the Quattroporte and Ghibli. With some massaging, FCA might have its unibody, three-row luxury SUV ready for a seven-slot grille and a capable 4WD system.

As for the name, perhaps Jeep will revive the Super Wagoneer. Built between 1966 and 1969, the Super Wagoneer was a luxury version of the Grand Wagoneer. It came standard with amenities not otherwise found on 1960s SUVs like A/C, tilt steering, leather bucket seats, and a console shifter for its automatic transmission.

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