The new Jeep Grand Cherokee has been unveiled at the New York motor show.
The car, which will go on sale in 2010 in the US and 2011 in the UK, has a new exterior look, a revamped interior, and an all-new V6 engine that is up to 11 per cent more fuel efficient.
Jeep has revealed two engine options for the US, but diesel versions will be available in Europe.
In the US there is an all-new 276bhp 3.6-litre V6 with 260lb ft of torque. Linked to a five-speed automatic gearbox, it is up to 11 per cent more fuel efficient than the Grand Cherokee's previous V6-engined model. The 355bhp 5.7-litre Hemi V8 with 390lb ft of torque is carried over from the previous model. No fuel efficiency figures have been released.
The interior and exterior
Jeep is making much of the Grand Cherokee's interior, which has been designed by its Advanced Interior Design Studio to what it describes as European standards.
The new Grand Cherokee's wheelbase is 13.25cm longer than the model it replaces, but just 4.5cm longer overall. As a result, interior space is increased, with particular emphasis on improving rear passenger space. The rear doors are also larger, to improve access. Boot space is also up more than 15 per cent.
The track is also 7.5cm wider to improve handling.
The car will be sold with 17-inch wheels as standard, with options of 18-inch and 20-inch wheels.
On-road vs off-road
It is available with full-time four-wheel drive, a system which transfers power between axles to avoid wheelspin and a system that uses an electronic limited-slip differential to provide maximum traction.
Built on the same underpinnings as the Mercedes ML, it has a new air suspension system called Quadra-Lift. This has five height settings, two of which the driver can select, and three of which engage automatically.
Two automatic settings cover off-road use, while the third lowers the vehicle slightly at speed to improve fuel economy. The two driver selectable settings cover normal on-road use and a park mode, which lowers the car by just under 4cm.
On the two higher-spec models, Quadra-Lift works in conjunction with the Selec-Terrain system to allow the driver to choose between on-road and off-road settings. Selec-Terrain has 12 different settings which co-ordinate the powertrain, braking and suspension settings, selecting the best one automatically after the driver has selected from five driving conditions: sand/mud, sport, auto, snow and rock.
Combined with new, independent front and rear suspension, Jeep says that the Quadra-Lift and Selec-Train systems deliver 'premium on-road handling and comfort.' The revised suspension also means the spare tyre is stored in the car, rather than under it.
The car also has greater approach, departure and breakover angles with the front air dam removed. It has a 35.9 degree approach angle (compared with 32.3 on the current model), 29.2 degree departure angle (against 27.5) and 25.1 degree breakover angle (versus 20.4).
New York motor show
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