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New Jeep Grand Cherokee hits Oz

Local test debut: Chrysler Australia puts a left-hand drive Jeep Grand Cherokee through its paces.

Jeep lands its all-new Grand Cherokee Down Under – four months early

14 Oct 2010

JEEP’S redesigned Grand Cherokee has slipped into Australia at least four months ahead of its release here.

An overseas-specification version was demonstrated earlier this month at the 2010 National Jeep Jamboree in Victoria, before the left-hand drive model was put though its off-road paces by Chrysler Australia staff prior to its local launch in February next year.

Pricing and the model line-up won’t be revealed until closer to its official release, but Chrysler has confirmed the 2011 Grand Cherokee will be the first model to be powered in Australia by the US car-maker’s all-new Pentastar 3.6-litre petrol V6.

A 259kW version of Chrysler’s latest 5.7-litre HEMI V8 – with four-cylinder fuel-saving mode – has also been confirmed to top the local Grand Cherokee range, but a turbo-diesel variant is yet to emerge in North America, where the new Grand went on sale in June.

9 center imageLeft: The first 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee in Australia undergoes local testing (top) as Mopar releases more than 60 accessories in the US (bottom).More than 960 Jeep fans witnessed the all-new luxury SUV, which was designed and engineered before Chrysler split with Daimler three years ago, tackle a 4WD test track at Lardner Park near Warragul, where the new Grand Cherokee exercised its range of new off-road technologies.

They include the five-mode Selec-Terrain drive system and Quadra-Lift air suspension, which provides an additional 105mm of ride height and will also be available on selected models here.

Meantime, Chrysler’s official service, parts and customer-care brand, Mopar, has announced a range of more than 60 accessories for the new Grand Cherokee, all of which are under consideration for availability in Australia.

"There will most definitely be a comprehensive range of Mopar Genuine Accessories available for the all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee, which launches in Australia during the first quarter of 2011," confirmed Chrysler Australia spokesman Dean Bonthorne.

"Although this acclaimed new model is highly equipped in standard form, we recognise the desire for Jeep customers to personalise their vehicle to suit individual adventure requirements."Now on sale in the US are a range of Mopar wheels, splash guards, rock rails, skid plates, chrome details and even camper trailers, plus high-tech options including a wi-fi system that Mopar says turns the Grand Cherokee into a wireless broadband hotspot and live mobile TV technology that Mopar says is an SUV-first.

"Consumers looking to customise and personalise their all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee should look no further than Mopar," said the president and CEO of Mopar, Pietro Gorlier.

"Mopar offers cutting-edge technology, quality-tested parts and accessories, and catalogues full of innovative features."Also among the list of Mopar options is a roof cargo basket, bike and ski carriers, tubular side steps, vehicle covers, a wheel lock kit, ‘Katzkin’ leather seat covers, engine block and battery heater kits, an iPod interface kit, rear parking sensors, rear DVD system, portable navigation system, polished stainless steel pedal covers and even a dog bed.

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