JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE
The all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, the company's first all-new model since announcing its alliance with Fiat early last year, is currently undergoing final testing in Australia ahead of its local debut in February next year.
Chrysler Group has also confirmed in recent weeks that it will not have a display at this week's Australian International Motor Show, so Jeep fans eager to see the new Grand Cherokee still have a few months to wait.
A few hopefuls got an early Australian-first glimpse of the new Jeep last week however as it was put through its paces at the 2010 National Jeep Jamboree in Victoria.
Aiding its efforts at the Lardner Park course, the Grand Cherokee made use of its new Selec-Terrain system and Quadra-Lift air-suspension system.
Speaking at an industry conference in the US earlier this year, Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne confirmed that US sales of the new SUV will begin this month.
The 3.6 litre Pentastar V6 produces 209kW and 352Nm of torque. A 5.7 litre Hemi V8 making 260kW and 528Nm of torque will top the Grand Cherokee range in the US, but its availability for Australia is not yet clear.
The new Grand Cherokee is the opening salvo in a plan that forecasts Chrysler Group sales figures doubling by 2014, and with more than a dozen new models built on Fiat-developed platforms.
Marchionne said he is pushing for “an attention to quality that is probably unprecedented in Chrysler.”
“It needs to be flawless; our definition of quality,” he added.
Chrysler says the new Jeep Grand Cherokee offers improved handling both on and off the road, describing the ride as better than BMW's X5.