We have received confirmation that the Jeep Grand Cherokee will have an abbreviated model year in 2013 to make way for an ahead of scheduled comprehensive model update for 2014. The 2014 models will apparently be in Jeep showrooms by early 2013 with the estimates shelf life of the 2013 models only being 4-6 months.
The cause for this shortened 2013 model run can be attributed to the Chrysler wanting to make a big splash with the announcement of the reintroduction of the CRD model, which will feature a Fiat sourced 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 that we blogged about a couple months back. (You can read that article here: “Chrysler announces 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee will receive Diesel Engine“) In European Grand Cherokee the spark plug-less engine is rated at producing 241 hp and a whooping 406 lb-ft or torque.
Drivers will be sacrificing some horsepower over the current 3.6-liter V6 with 290. It’s hard to imagine that will really be a big deal, though, given how much torque the oil burner offers and the promised increases in fuel mileage. We would expect that increase to be 50 percent or better on the highway, which would negate the price difference between the two fuel types.
The second big improvement will be the addition of the new ZF-sourced 8-speed automatic transmission. Currently it is being included into the 2013 Ram 1500, Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger models that are powered by the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6. The new transmission is expected to significantly increase the Grand Cherokee’s fuel economy ratings the way it did for the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger sedans in which it was introduced earlier this year.
Personally I get giddy when thinking about having a diesel engine sending its power through an a eight speed gear box, and we are hopeful that the ZF unit can handle all of the torque that the Fiat subsidiary VM Motori sourced engine can produce.
Expect the refreshed Grand Cherokee to be introduced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this January with it going on sale shortly after that debut.