NYIAS 2011: The New Jeep

“Throughout its 70 year history, Jeep has been known for many things. Two of which are innovation and extreme capability.” – Mike Manley, President and CEO, Jeep

Hit the jump for Jeep news from the 2011 New York International Auto Show.

I just witnessed the unveiling of the new 2012 Jeep Wrangler Mojave. Not much was said about it because it is basically your standard Jeep Wrangler Special Edition. Same body/chassis/drivetrain as other Wranglers, but with some special looks. The new Mojave has a desert-themed exterior with a body-colored hard top and fender flares with an embossed lizard graphic is a few spots on the vehicle. If you like Wranglers you may enjoy it, but in all honesty, I’m not impressed. I got my fill of sand-colored vehicles a long time ago and Wranglers in general have never really done anything for me.

But thankfully they also rolled out the new Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT. OH. MY. GOD. Just listening to the engine rev on this monster was enough to make every hair on my body stand on edge. There’s no denying that this bad boy is packing some serious muscle, but it is also absolutely gorgeous.

Yes, it is going to eat you.
How many organs will I have to sell to get one of these?

It is easy to see the sports-car inspired body styling as soon as you look at it. The rear end alone looks like something ripped directly from a muscle car and expertly grafted onto an SUV. If you didn’t bother going up from the rear bumper, the dual 4″ tips would throw you off the scent of the monstrous SUV in front of you. And the sound coming out of those pipes? 100% raw Detroit growl. That rumble will scare anyone that’s not expecting it, and trust me when I say that no one will be expecting it. Even as I type this and I remember the sound, I have chills.

Some numbers for you number-types:

  • 465 Horsepower
  • 465 pounds of torque
  • 6.4 liter HEMI V8
  • 0-60 in 4.8 seconds
  • 0-100-0 in mid-16s
  • 1/4 mile in mid 13s


This is why I'm hot.

Did I forget to mention that these numbers are for an SUV? No, I mentioned that this was an SUV, right? Yeah. When they took the ass-end from the sports car, they took the track numbers with it.

Aggressive styling and aggressive performance are nice, but what about the family? Mom and dad may have different views of what makes a nice ride, but with the new adaptive damping suspension system there’s a good chance that you’ll get what you want out of this vehicle. With a twist of a knob (located conveniently below the shifter) you can adjust the entire system to handle the way you want it to. Want the aggressive sporty handling? *click click* There you go, dad. Rock it. Looking for something better for daily driving around the city? *click click* Have at it. Oh snap, it’s snowing! *click click click* Problem solved. You want fancy tech in a monster truck? Here it is. “But Michael,” you say. “What are the differences between these settings?” “Well my dear readers,” I reply cordially, “I have no freaking clue!” But fear not, for Jeep was nice enough to provide me with that very information in the form of a bullet list!

  • Auto: provides the most compliant ride and automatically adapts to any road situation using the adaptive suspension tuning
  • Sport: provides enhanced body control for a sporty, fun-to-drive ride for the street
  • Tow: provides a safe reduction in pitch and bounce for enhanced towing capability
  • Track: provides the high-performance, firm, “track-tuned” suspension option to lock down body motion for the ultimate handling experience
  • Snow: provides the most conservative dynamic mode, so the vehicle will safely stay in-line in inclement winter weather conditions

The really impressive thing about this machine isn’t the beef under the hood, but the fact that you’ll be able to get up to 450 miles out of a single tank of fuel. Now if we assume that the 2012 Grand Cherokee has the same 24.6 gallon fuel tank as the 2011, that means we are looking at an optimal 18 MPG. Is that amazing? Well, quite frankly no, at least not on the surface. But when you consider that the 2011 model with the 5.7L is getting 14 city/20 highway, it’s a lot more impressive. Let’s be completely honest here; a person that buys an SUV isn’t looking for a hyper-mile vehicle. The same can be said for anyone that specifically goes looking for a HEMI. When you merge them into a single entity, you know you’re not going to get the mileage of a Toyota Prius or a Ford Fiesta. But that’s doesn’t matter, because you don’t want that. You want to feel the engine rumbling under the hood. You want that punch in your chest when you drop your foot to the floor. You want a vehicle that is going to move you and your family (and everything you can carry) around the city, through the woods, up that big mountain to the perfect camping spot with no trouble and with style. The 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is that vehicle. With a forward-warning collision system, blind spot monitoring, a towing capacity of 5 thousand pounds, and paddle shifters, this is the ultimate road machine. Believe it.

All images captured by Lou Piccirillo

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