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Grand CherokeeNew Grand Cherokee Plant Hints at Hybrids?
Posted by mike on 2008/8/19 14:52:00 (4411) reads

When the news hit last week that Chrysler was investing $1.8 billion in its Jefferson North facility in Detroit where the Grand Cherokee is assembled, there weren't a whole lot of details. The juiciest tidbit was that the Grand Cherokee would be car-based. We just heard something a bit more interesting...

Edmunds Inside Line is reporting now that a hybrid might be in store for the Grand Cherokee by 2011:

Supplier sources told Inside Line that the investment focuses heavily on the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, in two-row and three-row configurations. The new Grand Cherokee will be powered by the new Phoenix engine, a V6 that is likely to be either a 3.3-liter or a 3.5-liter. The new Grand Cherokee will be engineered with "more space for hybrid components," a source said. There was talk about "Dodge spin-offs" to be built at Jefferson North, but one source said those "talks have quieted down."

As you can see, the article mentions 2- and 3-row configuration for the Grand Cherokee - this appears to be yet another indication that the Commander (also assembled at Jefferson North) is not long for this world.

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myhotwheels22981
Posted: 2008/8/21 10:07  Updated: 2008/8/21 10:07
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 Re: New Grand Cherokee Plant Hints at Hybrids?
Ok, $15,000 may be a little low-ball, but remember, using the Renegade-concept drivetrain eliminates the transmission, and the Willys (and Renegade) Concept eliminated paint. The Willys concept also eliminated the radio and CD player, relying on an mp3 player.

The number of $15,000 comes from the Scion marketing concept, where they pack a whole bunch of standard ameneties into a car, starting at around $15,000. They do this by offering alot of last-gen perks...Last-gen Air Conditioning, Last-gen ABS, etc...These systems work just fine, but it gives the automaker an opportunity to use alot of OEM equipment that was already engineered for another vehicle, and doesn't have to be re-engineered.

As far as PiHV's are concerned, 2010 is the target date, because Chevy, Saturn, Toyota, Ford, and possibly Nissan will all have PiHV offerings, and Jeep needs to jump onto the bandwagon, as all of the automakers will be using a standard battery pack, thus spreading out the cost of manufacturing.

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myhotwheels22981
Posted: 2008/8/20 21:54  Updated: 2008/8/20 21:54
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 Re: New Grand Cherokee Plant Hints at Hybrids?
While I agree, consumers aren't buying the Cherokee and Commander for Mileage, but for capability (That's why we bought ours), Something needs to be done with the mileage issue.

The fact is that the oil price surge drove even the most dedicated Jeep fan to the dealer to trade down to a higher mileage 4 cyl model...we held out and rode out the blip in the screen, but if this were to continue, we were going to trade down to a Compass or a Patriot).

This is JEEP we are talking about...there's no reason we can't have Capability with Mileage.

Plug in Hybrid is certainly not watering down the brand, but in actuality, enhancing the brand.

Plug in Hybrid power can provide instant-on demand- max-torque locomotion for creeping, rock crawling, water fording, snow bashing, and sand blasting.

As far as being car-based, the Unibody GC is almost already car-based, it just has no car platform to share it's chassis with.

Once again...Willys-based 4-5 seat open top PiHV 45 mile EV range-Biodiesel or gas/e85 rnage extender engine basic ameneties under 15G.

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Jeepin
Posted: 2008/8/21 9:45  Updated: 2008/8/21 9:45
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 Re: New Grand Cherokee Plant Hints at Hybrids?
As much as I love your idea for a Willy-esque PiHV, a price point of $15K is completely unrealistic. The mighty Prius starts at $21,500 and it's not offered in AWD/4WD. The Ford Escape hybrid starts at $26,640. And neither of those are currently offered in a PiHV model.

Shoot, the little Patriot, which doesn't currently come in a hybrid model, starts all the way at $17K.

If Jeep was to make an "entry level" hybrid vehicle, base price would be over $20K at least.

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01TJ
Posted: 2008/8/20 17:46  Updated: 2008/8/20 17:46
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 Re: New Grand Cherokee Plant Hints at Hybrids?
The Grand Cherokee is a premium vehicle, people buying them aren't buying them for the fuel efficiency they are buying them because they are capable, comfortable and safe vehicles. Not everyone looks at gas mileage as the primary purchase decision point.

On the other hand my Wrangler, which has 33" tires, lots of steel skid plates, a heavy drive train and is shaped liek a brick still gets 18mpg on the highway. To design a new vehicle that only gets around 20 is a disgrace. To justify the cost of a hybrid it needs to get at least 30mpg on the highway otherwise just stick with the 4.7 V8.

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MarkH
Posted: 2008/8/20 20:00  Updated: 2008/8/20 20:00
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 Re: New Grand Cherokee Plant Hints at Hybrids?
OTTJ-

I couldn't agree more... finally a voice of reason!

...and let me add: if people really wanted to buy luxo-hybrids, the government wouldn't have to offer CAFE "credits" to OEMs and "rebates" to new hybrid buyers to force them down our throats!

The typical several thousand dollar surcharge can sure buy a lot of extra gas!

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jeepxk
Posted: 2008/8/20 15:46  Updated: 2008/8/20 15:46
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 Re: New Grand Cherokee Plant Hints at Hybrids?
I don't know about a hybrid but if we want the Grand Cherokee or other Jeeps to still be around in a few years they are going to have to do something to seriously improve mileage. They get some of the worst mileage out there now and if they don't start improving soon they are going to start loosing somemore serious market share.

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Jeepin
Posted: 2008/8/20 17:29  Updated: 2008/8/20 17:29
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 Re: New Grand Cherokee Plant Hints at Hybrids?
Not that they necessarily get "good" fuel economy, but they're pretty much on par with the competition.

The 4.7L V8 4WD Grand Cherokee is rated for 14/19, which is the same as the 4.6L V8 4WD Ford Exploder and the 4.7L V8 4WD Toyota 4Runner. And actually, the 4Runner is only rated at 17 highway.

The 4WD FJ Cruiser is rated at 1mpg better than the Wrangler (both with autos), but it requires Premium fuel.

The 2WD, 4-banger, automatic Patriot, Honda CR-V, Saturn VUE, and Ford Escape are all rated about 20/26.

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01TJ
Posted: 2008/8/20 13:44  Updated: 2008/8/20 13:44
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 Re: New Grand Cherokee Plant Hints at Hybrids?
... and the watering down of the Jeep brand continues. Next thing they be calling the grand a corssover. Soon the only thing left will be a badge. Just one question on a hybrid grand, where do you plug it in on the trail? Oh yeah that's right, people don't go off roading in their Jeeps any more.

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AngryNJ
Posted: 2008/8/20 15:35  Updated: 2008/8/20 15:35
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 Re: New Grand Cherokee Plant Hints at Hybrids?
I've taken my gc offroad. Nothing major (the stock tires are nothing to write home about). But I doubt most people take theres offroad. I would like to get a jk as my next vehicle, but only if I move to San Diego. Not many places here in Bergen County NJ to go offroading. I spend more time in traffic than anything else... :( Thats why I am angry.

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MarkH
Posted: 2008/8/20 20:02  Updated: 2008/8/20 20:02
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From: The Great White North
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 Re: New Grand Cherokee Plant Hints at Hybrids?
Hey AngryGuy!

Check out this link: New Jersey Off-Road Clubs.

There may be more out your way than you thought! Good luck!!

Poster Thread
Jeepin
Posted: 2008/8/20 17:16  Updated: 2008/8/20 17:16
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 Re: New Grand Cherokee Plant Hints at Hybrids?
Hybrids don't require plugging into anything, other than the gas pump.

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myhotwheels22981
Posted: 2008/8/20 0:58  Updated: 2008/8/20 0:58
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 Re: New Grand Cherokee Plant Hints at Hybrids?
I'm Impressed, yet Un-Impressed with the Durango/Aspen/Tahoe/Hybrid system that was co-engineered by GM and (Daimler) Chrysler, and BMW, all for 19 m.p.g.--- Although, in Chrysler's defense, they get 19 m.p.g. with 4x4, and Chevy gets 'only' 20 m.p.g. with 2wd.

The problem with hybrids is that while 4-5 years ago they were all the rave, the fact is that they are STILL built in relatively small numbers, and with the recent global effect on oil prices, the benefit of higher mileage cars on high oil prices has been negated--

Look at it this way, with oil prices set globally, even if every American switched to a high mileage car like a hybrid, or a SMART car, and cut the total U.S. oil consumption by 1/3 or even 1/2, there are too many emerging countries who will simply take up that unconsumed oil, and we would still pay the same price we would be paying at our current rate of consumption anyway. This does nothing to lower oil prices that have been artificially inflated by O.P.E.C. and the oil speculators in the stock market.

What America, and Chrysler needs is a multi-fuel Plug-in Hybrid, that can run for 50 miles on electric-only power before using any liquid fuel, and then be able to use E85, as a hedge against high-oil prices, because, let's face it, oil is a Monopoly as the nearly-exclusive automotive fuel source, and the only way to break a Monopoly is to introduce a viable competitor into the market.

While Bio-fuels such synthetic gasoline, E85, Biodiesel all made from recycled sources, agri-waste, and dedicated crops such as Sawgrass, and dare-I-say-it Bio-engineered Hemp (Get the drug-stuff out, and put in oil-producing genes) are on the near horizion, the fact is that they are still a long-long way away from being 'competetive' .

Plug-in Hybrids are 2 years away with the Chevy Volt and Toyota Prius being built with Plug-in capability. Chrysler and specifically JEEP needs a PiHV.

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MarkH
Posted: 2008/8/19 15:39  Updated: 2008/8/19 15:40
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Joined: 2005/7/20
From: The Great White North
Posts: 494
 Re: New Grand Cherokee Plant Hints at Hybrids?
Greeeaaattt... just what we all need... another $40K+ luxo-ute with a hybrid engine that (maybe) gets in the mid-20s mpg...

Don't all put your orders in at once!

If they'd put a hybrid in a Patriot/Compass and get in the high 30s mpg, we might have something interesting... and successful... depending on the price, of course...
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