|The all-new 2011 (I know - what happened to 2010?) Grand Cherokee will debut at 10AM EDT this morning (4/8/09) at the New York Auto Show. Ahead of the debut, Chrysler has released a press release explaining to us mere mortals how awesome the vehicle will be. The full press release is as follows...|
- All-new sculpted body and athletic profile define sleek, aerodynamic exterior
- Aggressive approach and departure angles reflect off-road capability
- Redesigned interior delivers comfort with increased legroom, easier accessibility with larger door openings and improved driver and passenger visibility
- Premium ornamentation and soft-touch interior materials for all price classes, including leather instrument panel and door trim on Overland model
- Larger cargo volume (36.3 cubic feet) provides more room for gear
- More than 4 inches of increased rear-seat knee and legroom compared
with previous model
- Premium interior features include real wood and leather, heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, four-way power lumbar controls and power tilt/telescoping steering column with memory, covered storage bins
When the time came to redesign the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chrysler LLC's design team jumped at an opportunity to reinvent, refine and re-establish the sport-utility vehicle (SUV) design that originally set the course for all other SUVs.
In order to achieve these goals, it was imperative that the exterior not only reflected the vehicle's off-road capability but conveyed an attitude that would be compelling to existing owners and intriguing to potential customers. On the inside, the interior design team focused on ensuring superior quality, delivering exceptional fit and finish, providing focused attention to detail and raising the bar on customer comfort.
"The Jeep design team's mission was to completely re-design the Jeep Grand Cherokee and re-define the meaning of Jeep luxury," said Ralph Gilles, Vice President – Design, Chrysler LLC. "New and existing customers will be delighted by the world-class attention to detail on both the exterior and interior. The all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee confidently competes at every level of the full-size SUV segment, and in any market."
Designers took the traditional design cues from the Jeep brand's nearly 70-year heritage – the seven-slot grille, short front and rear overhangs, trapezoidal wheel arches – and moved them forward to create an all-new exterior design that will appeal to new and existing Jeep Grand Cherokee customers. On the inside, they upgraded materials and increased cargo and comfort space.
"Jeep is synonymous with the invention of the SUV," said Joseph Dehner, Vice President – Production Vehicle Design. "We wanted to take that significant Jeep design history and move it forward, while listening to our customers' input on what they love about the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The end result is proof that Jeep has retained and solidified its rightful spot as the leader, with a vehicle that does not sacrifice off-road capability for luxury and premium amenities."
The all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee gains almost two inches in length and almost three inches in width. As a result, customers will benefit with 15 percent more room in the cargo area and more than four inches of increased rear-seat knee and legroom compared with the previous model.
Refined Aerodynamic Exterior Design
In order to achieve an efficient and aerodynamic appearance, designers spent a significant amount of time in the wind tunnel in order to improve Jeep Grand Cherokee's aerodynamic numbers by 8.5 percent, which also reduced wind noise and improved the vehicle's fuel efficiency.
The all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee sits higher, and has a wider stance, which gives the vehicle more of a stable and commanding presence on the road. The face of the Jeep Grand Cherokee has been simplified while preserving the traditional "Jeep shield" that contains the grille and headlamps. The chromed seven-slot grille, now sculpted into the front headlamps, is shorter in height and gives the vehicle a solid, aggressive look. The streamlined design of the headlamps is contemporary and features two-burner reflector parabolas. Fog lamps are standard on all models, and high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps with auto-leveling are standard on the Limited and Overland models.
The lower front fascia features optional tow hooks and a bright insert. The lower air dam, set deep for aerodynamic purposes, may be easily removed in order to increase the vehicle's approach angle, which is important for off-road purposes. Underneath the vehicle are individual aerodynamic belly pans that run the length of the vehicle.
The profile of the all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee is sculptural and athletic. A distinct undercut sits below the A-line, adding character to the side of the vehicle. Side-window graphics are blacked-out giving the vehicle a simplified and integrated look. A three-dimensional stainless steel window trim is standard on all models. The Jeep Grand Cherokee features very short and trim front and rear overhangs. Body-color mirrors and door handles are standard on the Laredo and Limited models. Chromed roof rack side rails are standard on all models.
"The Jeep design team purposely added premium exterior design cues to the Laredo model and it now shares its exterior features with the Limited model," said Mark Allen, Chief Designer, Exterior and Interior Design Studio. "These subtle changes have a huge impact on the showroom floor."
At the rear of the Jeep Grand Cherokee is a liftgate with a lift-glass window. The liftgate has a separate handle conveniently located, giving customers easier access when loading and unloading packages. The flipper glass is operated with a release button located below the liftgate handle and on the key fob. The lift-glass window allows easy access to the interior without having to open the liftgate – perfect for quick placement of groceries or off-road gear. A power liftgate, optional on the Limited and standard on the Overland, is a new feature.
New to the Jeep Grand Cherokee is an integrated, body-color rear spoiler that contributes to the vehicle's aerodynamic efficiency. Taillamps are now larger in size and extend into the liftgate, and feature four back up lights that improve nighttime visibility on the ParkView™ Rear Back-up Camera. Chromed dual exhaust tips are paired with the 5.7-liter V-8 HEMI® engine.
The all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee is available in three models: Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo, Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited and the upscale Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland.
All-new Panoramic Sun Roof
Making its debut on the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee is the all-new CommandView®, a dual-pane sun roof that extends from the windshield to the rear of the vehicle, allowing for perfect views both on- and off-road. CommandView is comprised of two glass panels – one at the front and one at the rear. The front panel may be opened rearward providing additional light and fresh air to first-row passengers. The rear panel, which is fixed, allows light and open viewing for second-row passengers and comes standard with a sun shade for those who may not want direct sunlight. CommandView is optional on the Laredo, Limited and Overland models. A traditional sun roof is also an option on all models.
The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee features four new exterior colors – Blackberry Pearl Coat, Dark Charcoal Pearl Coat, Rugged Brown Pearl Coat and White Gold Metallic Clear Coat – along with Bright Silver Metallic Clear Coat, Brilliant Black Crystal Clear Coat, Inferno Red Crystal Pearl Coat and Stone White Clear Coat.
Interior Designed for Comfort and Convenience
As the second major interior program to be produced from Chrysler's Advance Interior Design Studio, the Jeep Grand Cherokee interior design team paid close attention to every detail focusing on quality, fit and finish and interior comfort.
"Every interior element was placed under the microscope on the all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee," said Klaus Busse, Director – Advance Interior and Component Design, Chrysler LLC. "When customers touch any part of the new Jeep Grand Cherokee interior, they will experience softer materials, smooth edges and texturally pleasing components."
The instrument panel is completely redesigned, and features soft-touch material with contrast stitching that is carried throughout the interior, including seats. Soft-touch material is integrated not only on the instrument panel but on customer touch points including doors, consoles and arm rests. By using softer materials, the Jeep design team was able to achieve fit and finish and lower interior noise levels.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland emphasizes an unparalleled level of the authenticity of the Jeep brand, with attention to detail and hand-craftsmanship throughout. The Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland features a leather-wrapped instrument panel with real wood applications and a premium leather hand-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. Contrast stitching is carried throughout the interior, as well as on seats. Finally, chromed trim subtlety accents the interior.
The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee features an all-new two-gauge instrument cluster that is surrounded by chrome, and features new back-lighting, which makes it easier to read at night. A new three-spoke steering wheel, with available power tilt-and-telescoping column with memory and heating, is optional on the Limited and Overland models. Cruise control functions are located on the front of the steering wheel while audio controls are ergonomically placed on the back of the spokes.
The center stack neatly houses the HVAC controls, radio and an electronic switch bank. Located on the bottom of the center stack is a covered bin lined with a rubber mat that is perfect for tucking away a cellular phone or any other hand-held devices.
New to the Jeep Grand Cherokee 4x4 is a Selec-Terrain switch located on the center console just behind the gear shifter. This new feature enhances an already capable and fully automatic four-wheel drive system by providing optimized traction settings to tailor the vehicle's traction performance based on road conditions.
Located next to the Selec-Terrain switch is a covered bin featuring illuminated cup holders. The covered bin is standard on Limited and Overland models while the Laredo model features an open bin with illuminated cup holders. The center console storage houses a power outlet and iPod docking station that is capable of storing up to seven CDs or DVDs. Additional storage may be found on doors that are equipped with map pockets which also include a designated space to store a water or soda bottle.
The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee offers all-new seats for driver and passenger comfort. First-row seats feature molded shoulder corners giving seats a robust look. Standard on all models is an eight-way power driver seat with a four-way power lumbar, and standard on the Limited and Overland models is an eight-way power passenger seat with a four-way power lumbar. A fold-flat front passenger seat is standard on the Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo, and 60/40 fold-flat second-row seats with recline are standard on all models. The Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland features ventilated (cooled) seats. Heated front seats are optional on the Laredo model and first- and second-row heated seats are standard on Limited and Overland models.
Aircraft-inspired LED lighting is placed within the interior cabin, map pockets, window switches and foot wells -- perfect for driving or entering and exiting the vehicle at night.
Several storage and convenience features have been designed into the rear cargo area including a grated, protective floor accented with a durable and bright finish. The spare tire has a dedicated space underneath the cargo floor that also contains two removable bins ideal for storing beverages or muddy gear. Also new to the rear cargo area is a storage unit with a re-chargeable flashlight. New and improved grocery hooks are placed on each side of the rear cargo compartment. Cargo capacity with rear seats up is 36.3 cu. ft. and 68.3 cu. ft. with rear seats folded flat.
The all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee interior is available in four distinctive new colors, Carbon, Saddle, Driftwood, and Canyon.