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Jeep Grand Cherokee 

Broadcast dates : 22nd May 2005
28th May 2005


Designing a new Jeep is a delicate balancing act. On the one hand everything possible must be done to perpetuate the classic Jeep look thatís one of the worldís most recognizable icons, fronted by the seven-slot grille.

On the other hand, the Grand Cherokee needed to move forward. So, the result is a new Cherokee that has gone back to its roots. The new Cherokee is longer and wider Ė no surprises here Ė but itís also lower, and that IS a surprise in a world of ever-more-elevated SUVs.
Thereís less glass area in the new Cherokee and this too is bucking a global trend towards panoramic visibility.

So itís an all-new vehicle and yet only subtly different in overall appearance.

The rear end of the Grand Cherokee also embodies the stronger, beefier appearance the Jeep designers were after.

In the loading area, a sixty-forty split offers the usual versatility, and there are plenty of storage areas for valuable items.

The lower overall height was deemed necessary to improve the CD factor, or aerodynamic efficiency, something thatís particularly important in the United States with increasingly strict government fuel consumption standards.

In profile, the Grand Cherokee has a longer bonnet, adding to the sleeker look.

The A-pillars are more steeply raked, and with proportionately more steel to glass, the exterior manages to look both rugged and sportier.

There are two brand-new engines on offer. The first is a new 3-litre CRD, or Common Rail Diesel. This is based on the latest Mercedes-Benz technology, Mercedes being a stablemate to Jeep under the DaimlerChrysler conglomerate umbrella.

Maximum power is a 160 kiloWatts and Torque tops out at 510 Newton metres.

The other new engine in the line-up is home-grown American. Itís the 240 kiloWatt Chrysler 5,7 litre Hemi V8, which gives the Jeep muscle-car performance. And in the drivetrain department, there are two new 4x4 systems.

Customers can choose Quadra Trac 2, with a single centre limited slip differential for good on-road performance with a measure of off-road ability.

For serious off-roaders there is Quadra Drive 2, with electronic limited-slip diffs on front, centre and rear housings.
Jeep put the new Cherokee through its paces at a purpose-built obstacle course in Tuscany.

Jeepís Jungle Jim looked like lots of fun, as well as providing extreme tests of traction and torsional rigidity. 

"Just do it" would be a good catch-line for the Quadra Drive. Electronically controlled clutch packs on the three differentials constantly transfer power where itís needed, varying from full-slip to full-lock on each axle.

This offers maximum grip while ensuring a mellow on-road ride without tyre scrub and axle wind-up often associated with such systems.

The electronics constantly monitor grip requirements. For instance, on fast dirt roads or on tar where grip is good, the electronic slip diff releases the front axle clutch pack completely so there is no tyre scrub.

All models come in five-speed automatic form, including the diesel model.
And apart from the big Hemi, a 4,7 litre V8 version will be available too.

The new Jeep Grand Cherokee will be launched in South Africa on the first of June.

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