USATODAY newspaper and USATODAY.com scoring a major Jeep news coup today, by gaining access to 7 new Jeep models.
While the article on USAToday.com's Web site is quite interesting, it is the partial photos of the Jeep Liberty Renegade in the print edition of the newspaper that got most Jeepers excited. According to the article:
Renegade has skid plates and fender-flare covers for real off-road driving, as well as a tougher roof rack, light bar and a more squared-off military look than the standard Liberty. The current Renegade is mostly a looks package, basically identical to Liberty except for a roof-mounted light bar
Don't get us wrong, it appears to be just a cosmetic change, but the squared-off look reminded us of the Cherokee.
More snippets from the article:
Jeep is the Chrysler brand with the highest loyalty and most success at winning sales from competitors. It has the highest resale value among Chrysler cars and trucks, and it can, if Bernhard's eye for design is right, carry the lowest sales incentives.
"Jeep is to Chrysler what Cadillac is to GM," says consultant Dan Gorrell. It's "the brand that can turn around the fastest with new product. It gets shopped against imports much more than Dodge and Chrysler." In fact, 70% of Jeep Liberty buyers come from outside Chrysler.
• An all-new Grand Cherokee that goes on sale a year from now. It has a longer and wider wheelbase for more front-and rear-seat room and wider doorways, plus a more powerful 5.7-liter Hemi engine, all addressing consumer complaints about the current model. But it doesn't have a third-row-seat option, a popular feature in sport-utility vehicles these days.
• Four Jeeps coming in 2005 and 2006: a boxy, Land Rover-like Jeep larger than Grand Cherokee and obviously long enough for three rows of seats; an all-new Wrangler built on a new engineering platform; an SUV priced under $20,000 whose design is not yet finalized; a four-door, Wrangler-inspired answer to General Motors' planned downsized Hummer H3.
Hmmmm, a "four-door, Wrangler-inspired answer" - has DaimlerChrysler finally been listening to all the chatter about the Dakar?
As much as we'd like to print the entire article - it wouldn't be right - click over to USAToday.com to see the entire story - it's worth it!