Launch of a shorter, five-seat version of the new WL-series Jeep Grand Cherokee was pushed to next year.
A spokesperson for Jeep Australia has confirmed that it will launch locally in the first quarter of 2023, rather than later this year as previously announced.
Delays have also pushed the launch of the 4xe variant, Jeep Australia’s first plug-in hybrid, into the second quarter of 2023.
Although the specific reason for the delay was not stated, auto expert understand that it is due to the same type of supply chain problem that affects countless automakers. Jeep also cited supply chain issues as one of the reasons why recent price increase on its scope.
auto expert understood before The two-row lineup will be offered in Night Eagle, Limited and Summit Reserve versions such as the longer L, with the 4x only being offered in the two higher trims.
The shorter two-row body is also offered in a more off-road-ready Trailhawk variant in North America. Currently, the L is not offered as a Trailhawk anywhere, but the WK2 series before that Grand Cherokee is already available as a Trailhawk in Australia.
Jeep is currently promoting the Grand Cherokee L with a base price of $83,500 excluding on-road costs, with the Limited priced at $89,500 and the Summit Reserve priced at $116,700. Naturally, we’d expect the two shorter rows of seats to be more affordable, although it’s unclear by how much.
However, we know how much shorter it will be: at 4915mm, it’s 287mm shorter than the L.
The 266kW/530Nm 5.7-litre Hemi V8 petrol engine has not been introduced locally, meaning all Grand Cherokee models sold in Australia are exclusively powered by the 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 petrol engine. naturally aspirated.
This produces 210kW of power and 344Nm of torque. Jeep’s global chief executive, Christian Meunier, said it would be “possible” for the company’s new, more powerful inline sixs to go into production. installed in the Grand Cherokeebut stopped confirming such an addition.
Meanwhile, the most powerful Grand Cherokee to be offered locally will be the 4xe, which combines a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with an electric motor and 17kWh battery, for a total system output of a whopping 280kW and 637Nm.
The arranger The range is also offered with a turbocharged 2.0-litre plug-in hybrid powertrain in other markets, but this has not been designed for right-hand drive.
auto expert This week followed an example of a two-row Grand Cherokee testing in Melbourne.
“The two-row WL is here. And it’s been tested and evaluated, all data is being fed back,” said Jeep Australia CEO Kevin Flynn told auto expert in the May.
“We have a full-time employee who just works on that project and feeds back the data. And yes, it is happening. And there will be a commitment to continue to do that.”
Mr. Flynn said it was “more of a validation” than developing a tune for the local market.
“To be fair, while there are certain environmental uniquenesses here, one of the big differences is just the sheer length of the dirt track environment plus the heat. That’s very, very important to us,” Flynn said, noting that WL has been developed in about 10 countries.
“So then, when they pull the settings together and then order the media to us, we confirm that the spec is right or wrong or whatever, and respond back with a notification. that number.
“To be honest with you: the car we received was in the right spot.”
The Grand Cherokee 4xe plug-in hybrid is also being tested locally. The 4xe is only available globally in a shorter, two-row body, not the three-row L.
The example photographed appears to be a basic petrol Laredo here for engineering and review purposes, with the badges removed.
We don’t necessarily expect the two-row WL range to open up with Laredo like Jeep Australia has been moved from the supply of these entry-level trims seen in the North American market.
“I think if you look over, for example, over the past three years, we’ve slowly moved vehicles with their levels of specification, how they’re built, the quality of the vehicle into an area that before. Here, maybe, we weren’t there. So that’s the direction we’re going and you’ll see more of it,” said Jeep Australia chief executive Kevin Flynn. auto expert earlier this year, with the company calling itself a “premium” brand.
For now, every member of the local Jeep lineup will now open up with sportier-looking Night Eagle trim, including the three-row Grand Cherokee L that debuted earlier this year.
As for the three-row L, don’t expect to see a diesel engine although a significant number of large SUVs still offer diesel engines, with the 3.0-liter turbo-diesel that died out with the previous WK2 line.
The defunct V6 turbo-diesel, which is being phased out by parent company Stellantis, accounted for about 57% of WK2 Grand Cherokee sales over the years, and its absence is deeply felt in a part of the market where diesel engines are still popular.
“In this segment, I was told a diesel engine… that’s what we need. If we don’t have a diesel engine, we can’t sell,” said Jeep Global CEO Christian Meunier. auto expert in September.
“I don’t believe these things. The market will grow, right? Because diesel engines will disappear. Diesel is dying.
“It will die in Europe. And because the volume is coming from Europe and the European manufacturers have really, really pushed the diesel.”
Mr Meunier said he sees plug-in hybrids as a good bridge in markets like Australia until there is infrastructure to support more fully electric vehicles.
The company has confirmed Its first EVs for Australia – Recon for sure and the more luxurious Wagoneer S – but no release date confirmed yet. Neither model will go into production until 2024.
Grand Cherokee sales are down 37.9% year-to-date to 1584 units as Jeep continues its transition from the old WK2 to the new WL.
The Grand Cherokee range now offers third-row seats for the first time, but the new WL lacks the WK2’s turbocharged diesel and petrol V8 options, of which supply has dried up.
Jeep ended production of the fourth-generation Grand earlier this year, after allowing it to overlap with the new WL.
The introduction of the two-row model will give the Grand Cherokee a more affordable entry point, while the arrival of the 4xe will give it an additional powertrain – though it remains to be seen whether The new product line can match its predecessor or not. sell.
In its best year, 2014, Jeep sold 16,582 Grand Cherokees. That’s enough to put it first Toyota Landcruiser Prado (16,112).