The struggling American carmaker Chrysler has at last decided to add a diesel-powered model to its 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee line-up of mid-sized crossover SUVs. What’s even better is that this time the launch of an oil-burner is not limited to only European models: the highly fuel-efficient and clean diesel-powered crossovers will finally reach North American market, too.
The North American company doesn’t give any details yet, but it is understood that the diesel engine will be outsourced from Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler’s long-standing partner.
The upcoming 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee will be equipped with the OM642 V6 common rail turbo diesel (CRD) engine, which is going to be mated to their current Quadra-Drive II four-wheel drive system the New Venture Gear NV247 two-speed chain-driven transfer case.
Developed and manufactured by Mercedes-Benz, the engine is equipped with Honeywell-Garrett VGT (variable geometry turbocharger) and produces 215 hp @ 3800 rpm of power and 376 lb-ft (510 Nm) of torque.
Although the engine is not particularly powerful, the amount of torque it produces is very close to the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engine that comes with the sportier Grand Cherokee SRT-8 asphalt-scorcher (that looks somewhat pointless to me, considering the new SUVs enormous mass.)
The engine, which is going to be available not only for the entry-level Laredo, but also for more upscale Limited, and Overland trims, features 3.0-liters displacement, produces up to 215hp and provides the car with 19 mpg (urban) and 23 mpg (highway) fuel economy.
Of course, diesels are not just about fuel economy. With its 376 pound-feet of torque, which is available at as low as 2000 rpm, the vehicle will give you tons of fun thanks to its impressive acceleration (I am not sure about exact numbers, but the European version of the car makes it really comfortable to blend with highway traffic on those ill-designed roads where the acceleration lane is either too short or plain nonexistent, it’s almost like driving a sports car until you reach 65 mph or so when things start to get not as impressive).
Chrysler claims that the diesel-powered SUV, which is expected to arrive to dealers next spring, will be 30 per cent more economical than the petrol version, having an estimated driving range of 425 miles.
In his presentation given at the annual Mackinac Policy Conference on Michigan’s Mackinac Island, Chrysler Group President and CEO Tom LaSorda said that each diesel-powered Jeep Grand Cherokee will leave assembly line filled with B5-five percent biodiesel fuel.
Photos: Chrysler / Jeep
2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel technical specification
Estimated base price (MSRP): starts from €26,850
Body Type: 5-door SUV
Layout: front engine, 4WD or FWD
Engine: N/A, to be updated
Transmission: N/A, to be updated
Top Speed: N/A
0 – 62 mph: N/A
Fuel Economy EPA city / highway cycle mpg (l/100 km): N/A
Exterior Dimensions (L/W/H/Wheelbase) inches: 186.6 / 73.3 / 67.7 / 109.5
Ground clearance: 8.0 in
Track (frt/rr): 62.0 / 62.0
Approach Angle (degrees): 34.1
Breakover Angle (degrees): 20.6
Departure Angle (degrees): 27.1
Curb to curb turning circle (feet): 37.1
Curb Weight: N/A
Coefficient of Drag (Cd): N/A
Seating Capacity: 5 (2/3)
Cargo capacity: rear seat down (cu ft): N/A
Payload (max w/ occupants and cargo): N/A
Towing Capacity (max): N/A
Direct Competitors: Acura MDX, Ford Explorer, Land Rover LR3, Hummer H3, Toyota 4Runner