The long overdue replacement for the decade old Jeep Grand Cherokee has reportedly been delayed once again and will now premiere in early 2021 and not in the fourth quarter of this year as reports have claimed until now.
According to the Allcarnews Instagram page and the MoparInsiders online forum, the reason stems from the introduction of not only a minor facelift, but also a commemorative 80th anniversary edition model that will be the last update for the still Mercedes-Benz M-Class derived model.
Based on the Limited trim level in North America, the 80th anniversary will mainly receive bespoke exterior and interior fixtures similar to that of the 75th anniversary edition, and according to the latter site, enter production in September at Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles’ (FCA) Jefferson North Plant in Detroit.
By comparison, the new Grand Cherokee will ride on the Giorgio platform used by the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Stelvio and according to Allcarnews, will be significantly lighter than the M-Class underpinned model as a lot of aluminium will be incorporated into the design.
Styling will allegedly be influenced by that of the current Ram, while the interior looks set to get the new 10.1-inch UConnect touchscreen infotainment system, a panoramic roof and upgraded materials. The social media site further alleges that the Grand’s approach and departure angles will be improved over that of the current model, and that QuadraLift air suspension will star along with the next generation four-wheel-drive system.
More interestingly is the page’s claim of the newcomer’s engines, which will initially consist out of the eTorque mild-hybrid 3.6 Pentastar V6 and 5.7 Hemi V8 units shared with the Ram. From the 2023 model year however, the Pentastar, which has been a mainstay across FCA’s model line-up since introduction in 2010 as a 3.0, 3.2 or 3.6-litre bent-six, disappears completely and is replaced by an electrified straight-six turbo-petrol of unknown displacement.
Despite no mentioning of the Hemi V8 or the 3.0 EcoDiesel V6 being made, a surprise addition, possibly at the lower end of the range, is the mild-hybrid 2.0-litre turbocharged Hurricane petrol from the Wrangler that punches out 200kW/400Nm. While still to be confirmed, it is likely that all of the powerunits will be mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox as standard.
Although it remains to be seen whether the mentioned claims do become reality, what is known is that production will move from the Jefferson Plant to the former Mack Avenue Engine Plant in the Motor City where the plug-in hybrid Compass, Renegade and Wrangler 4xe will also be made.