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Grand Cherokee Trailhawk confirmed for Australia

Hawk eye: Jeep’s most capable Grand Cherokee, the Trailhawk, features 18-inch off-road wheels with Kevlar-reinforced tyres.

Rugged Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk hitting local showrooms in Q2, 2017

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Jeep logo11 Nov 2016

By TIM NICHOLSON

FIAT Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Australia has confirmed that its go-anywhere Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk off-roader will hit dirt tracks in Australia in the second quarter of 2017.

Jeep says the Trailhawk is “the most capable factory-produced Grand Cherokee ever” and it will join the Laredo, Limited, Overland, Summit and SRT variants when it arrives next year.

Pricing and full specification will be revealed closer to the model’s launch but it is likely to slot in under the range-topping $90,000 (plus on-road costs) SRT and be positioned closer to the Overland ($72-79,000) or the Summit ($87,000).

Ensuring the Trailhawk lives up to its adventurous name, Jeep has fitted it with its Quadra-Drive II four-wheel-drive system with a rear electronic limited slip differential and a unique version of Jeep’s Quadra-Lift air suspension for “improved articulation and total suspension travel”.

It also gains features such as Select-Speed Control with Hill Ascent Control, while a unique anti-glare bonnet decal and skid plates are also included.

The Trailhawk has 274mm of ground clearance and an approach angle of 29.8 degrees that increases to 36.1 degrees when the lower front fascia is removed for more hardcore off-roading adventures.

Jeep’s off-roader has a break-over angle of 27.1 degrees, while the departure angle is 22.8 degrees.

In terms of exterior styling, the Trailhawk features the new front-end treatment that made its debut on the facelifted Grand Cherokee at this year’s New York motor show, as well as Trailhawk red towing eyes at the front and rear, Trailhawk and Trail Rated red badges, Neutral Grey mirror caps and roof rack.

It will ride on 18-inch off-road tyres with Kevlar reinforcement, in the US at least. That market will also have the choice of Jeep’s 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 petrol engine, the 3.0-litre V6 diesel or the Hemi V8.

The cabin gains a special black interior, leather and suede sports seats, red stitching on the seats, doors and console, brushed piano black flourishes, Trailhawk badges on the steering wheel and gun metal finish on all painted interior elements.

Its 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen features updated off-road pages that displays off-road vehicle information such as wheel articulation, suspension height and Selec-Terrain modes.

Seven exterior colours will be offered, including Redline Red, Billet Silver, Bright White, Rhino, Granite Crystal, Velvet Red and Diamond Black Crystal.

Grand Cherokee sales continue to slide for Jeep in Australia, with 5455 units shifted to the end of October, representing a 47 per cent drop over the same period last year.

The Grand Cherokee was once the top seller in the sub-$70,000 large SUV segment, but is now seventh behind the likes of the Ford Territory, Hyundai Santa Fe and Isuzu MU-X.

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