Ardèche, France, Jul 16, 2007 - Making its European debut, the new Jeep® Grand Cherokee was shown in France to media and brand enthusiasts during the 2007 Euro Camp Jeep event. The Grand Cherokee offers an extremely advanced and flexible Hill Descent Control for greatly improved control in off-road situations. A new Hill Start Assist holds the vehicle automatically on steep hills for a smooth and controlled drive away from a stop. Trailer Sway Control minimizes trailer sway during towing. The new Grand Cherokee also features a new 4.7-litre V-8 engine that delivers an improvement in fuel economy of more than 5 per cent, with a 30 per cent increase in horsepower and a 10 per cent increase in torque. The interior and exterior design is restyled and the new Grand Cherokee also features a host of innovative, premium amenities.
"With the addition of a Jeep-engineered Hill Descent Control, a choice of five engines, two four-wheel-drive systems and more premium amenities than ever before, the new Jeep Grand Cherokee adds more capability and refinement to the benchmark full-size SUV that created the luxury SUV market when it debuted in 1992," said Thomas Hausch, Vice President, International Sales - Chrysler Group.
Jeep-engineered Hill Descent Control
Jeep engineering designed the Hill Descent Control system to mimic the downhill control and flexibility afforded by the ultra-low gearing found in a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon with its 4:1 ratio transfer case and 6-speed manual transmission. This gearing provides for six speeds of controlled hill descent.
Operational in the 4WD Low position, Hill Descent Control provides downhill assistance at a controlled rate of speed with more precision and smoother operation than simply using the brakes. By means of electronic brake control, Hill Descent Control supplements the gear reduction and engine braking that a traditional mechanical low-range transfer case provides. Unlike most of its competitors, the new Grand Cherokee with Hill Descent Control offers extremely smooth transitions between speeds and allows the driver to use the throttle and brakes without turning the system off, with a smooth and controlled return to the preset speed after the driver releases the throttle or brakes.
In the Grand Cherokee, once Hill Descent Control is activated with a push of a button in the centre stack, preset speeds can be selected by using the transmission shifter. For ease of operation, after the Hill Descent Control button is engaged, Grand Cherokee's Hill Descent Control is activated and deactivated automatically, as the system senses changes in topography. The system works whether the vehicle is driven in forward or reverse.
The preset maximum speeds are:
1st gear: 1.6 km/h
2nd gear: 4 km/h
3rd gear: 6 km/h
4th gear: 9 km/h
5th gear or D: 12 km/h
Reverse (R): 1.6 km/h
Neutral (N): 4 km/h
Hill Descent Control was engineered to provide the smoothest transitions possible, even from a complete stop on extremely steep and slippery surfaces.
Hill Descent Control is standard on all Grand Cherokee models except SRT8.
Innovative Premium Amenities
The new Jeep Grand Cherokee includes a variety of premium amenities that are new for 2008, including the new MyGIG Multimedia Infotainment System that has a built-in navigation, audio, entertainment and communication system. MyGIG enables customers to use touch-screen or voice commands to control all of the features, and includes a 20-gigabyte hard drive where music and photos can be stored. There's space reserved on the hard drive for approximately 1,600 songs; that's over 100 hours of music. There also is a voice-memo recorder feature.
Also new on the Jeep Grand Cherokee are High-intensity Discharge (HID) auto-levelling headlamps. HID headlamps provide approximately three times the light output of conventional reflector lamps for improved night-time illumination. The auto-levelling feature automatically adjusts the headlamps to the vehicle pitch depending on the load and number of passengers in the vehicle. This feature also benefits oncoming traffic as the system prevents drivers from being distracted by glare from the headlamps. The auto-levelling feature is only available with HID headlamps.
ParkView Rear Back-up Camera (with or without navigation), ParkSense® Rear Back-up System, rain-sensing wipers, memory seats and mirrors, iPod connectivity and 18-inch aluminum wheels also are part of the vehicle's available features.
New Exterior and Interior Design
With its upright and substantial posture, the Jeep Grand Cherokee's design offers an athletic and contemporary appearance. The grille has been lengthened, and the headlamps are more circular for a more dominant and expressive front view. New HID headlamps, optional on Limited and standard on Overland, includes an internal optic lens for the park/turn function. Fog lamps also have also been repositioned for enhanced performance. Off-road enthusiasts will be pleased with the new two-piece front fascia, allowing for the entire lower piece to be removed before hitting the off-road trails.
On the inside, the vehicle's two-tone instrument panel features a new level of refinement with bright accents, a soft-touch surface and updated styling. A new tilt and telescoping steering column is standard, with a new steering wheel that includes bright accent bezels, which house the electronic vehicle information centre's switches. The Limited model's steering wheel adds two-tone leather and bright chrome accent rings, and the Overland features a real wood rim for added luxury. Also new is the updated line of instrument clusters that feature new brighter LED illumination, with the Limited and Overland models receiving a modern and elegant treatment where, when the vehicle is started, the dark-tinted lens fades to reveal chrome-ringed black gauges that are surrounded by a bright silver accent field. The new floor console has improved cup holders and the Limited and Overland models get a new leather-wrapped and chrome-accented parking brake handle. The door panels have new armrests for improved ergonomics and comfort. New for the Overland model are the new dark slate gray perforated leather seats that feature accent piping for an even more upscale look.
The new Grand Cherokee will arrive in dealerships outside of North America in the second half of 2007.
The heroic heritage of the Jeep brand and its dominance of the SUV market stretch back 66 years. The Jeep brand is known worldwide for its core values of mastery, authenticity, freedom and adventure.
Jeep brand vehicle sales outside North America in 2006 totaled 85,591 units, an increase of 2 per cent as compared with 2005. Jeep Grand Cherokee was the highest volume vehicle outside North America in 2006 with 39,208 units sold. Globally, the Jeep brand sold 595,080 units in 2006.
For May 2007, Jeep sales outside North America were up 21 per cent versus May 2006, with 8,458 vehicles sold. Year-to-date the brand's sales are up 7 per cent (36,119 units) over the same period last year. Jeep is currently the top-selling Chrysler Group brand outside North America.