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New York show: Jeep outs tougher Grand Cherokee

On the trail: Jeep's Grand Cherokee is to get an off-road capable Trailhawk version, falling into line with its Cherokee and Renegade siblings.

Off-the-shelf Trail Rated Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk coming with 2017 update


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24 Mar 2016

A TOUGHENED Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk will join the Australian line-up as part of a model range update at the end of the year, following its unveiling at the New York International Auto Show overnight.

Fiat Chrylser Autombiles (FCA) Australia will also get a more luxurious version of its swish Grand Cherokee Summit that also stepped out at the New York extravaganza.

The new pair are likely to join the Laredo, Limited and Overland in the current Grand Cherokee range, while the updated versions of the Blackhawk and SRT are expected at a later date.

FCA Australia senior manager of corporate communications Andrew Chesterton told GoAuto that given the popularity of the model, the company was likely to take any variants offered for the Grand Cherokee.

“We are expecting our model year 2017 Grand Cherokees to arrive by the end of the year,” he said.

“The Grand Cherokee is a very big seller for us here in Australia so it stands to reason that we would take anything and everything, whether it be Trailhawks, Summits or anything else.”

Mr Chesterton said that while adventurous customers have always had the option of upgrading their current-gen Grand Cherokee to a Trail Rated specification with original equipment, the New York show Trailhawk would be a production option.

“You could always spec-up a Grand Cherokee to make it Trail Rated, but this is the first time for this that we've done a straight-out-the-gate Trailhawk on the Grand Cherokee so it's pretty exciting.”

With its Trail Rated gear, Jeep says its Trailhawk is the “most capable” Grand Cherokee produced to date, which was conceptually born at the 2012 Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, and was first offered in the WK2 Grand Cherokee in 2014.

For the facelifted version, the Jeep can go further off-road with a unique version of the Quadra-Lift air suspension for increased travel and ride height, while Selec-Speed Control makes climbing and descending steep slopes simpler.

Jeep says that detaching the unique lower front fascia increases the Trailhawk's off-road ability and its equipment switched to its most ambitious setting, the Trail Rated Grand Cherokee has a approach angle 36.1 degrees or 29.8 degrees with the fascia in place.

Departure angle is rated at 22.8 degrees, its breakover angle is 27.1 and the Trailhawk has 274mm of ground clearance. Skid plates and Mopar rock rails are fitted as standard in case those angles are exceeded.

An anti-glare bonnet, red accents and red towing points, 18-inch wheels or optional 20-inch versions with kevlar-reinforced Goodyear Adventurer tyres complete the exterior look.

On the inside, Trailhawks get black leather with red stitching to complement the gun-metal and brushed black interior trim theme, while various off-road information screens are accessible through the 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen.

The Trailhawk was joined on stage in New York by its Summit sibling, showcasing more comfort-focused features such as a choice of four Laguna leather colour interiors with Nappa hide for the dashboard and a suede roof lining.

Active noise cancellation, acoustic windscreen and side glass reduce cabin noise levels, while an 825-watt Harman Kardon stereo with 19 speakers increases interior noise.

Other standard kit includes blind-spot monitoring, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and parallel and perpendicular parking assistance.

Trailhawk Grand Cherokees are available in a choice of seven colours, while the Summit gets an extra hue.

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