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Jeep unveil at NY Auto Show

by Bill Cawthon on

At the New York Auto Show this morning, Jeep CEO Michael Manley discussed how Jeep’s growth is outpacing the industry. He then introduced two new Jeep models:

The 2011 Wrangler Mojave, named for the Mojave Trail, a Wrangler Unlimited Sport with a desert-themed exterior and interior design, including a body-colored hardtop and fender flares. The Mojave also comes with the Sahara’s sidesteps, the Rubicon’s wheels and tires and its own special decal package.

Due in June, the Jeep Wrangler Mojave will be available in Sahara Tan, Bright White and Black. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price is $29,195, excluding $750 destination.

What can tow 5,000 pounds, go from 0 to 60 in 4.8 seconds and master the Rubicon Trail? The new Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8, with the 392 HEMI pumping out 465 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque, can hit an electronically limited speed of 155 miles per hour. Manley described it as the most-powerful, most technologically advanced Jeep ever.

Advanced fuel management systems give the Grand Cherokee SRT8 a 450-range on a tank of gas. For spirited driving, there are paddle shifters for the five-speed automatic transmission on the special SRT8 steering wheel. New adaptive damping suspension and selectable modes for track, sport, snow and tow or just leave it in auto. For enhanced stopping power, the SRT8 has Brembo brakes all ’round: 6-piston up front, 4-piston in the rear. Between the HEMI and the Brembos, the Grand Cherokee SRT8 can do 0-100-0 in the mid-13-second range.

The Grand Cherokee SRT8 has numerous differences from the normal versions, including revised and body-colored wheel flares, a different under-grille treatment with LED DRLs/turn signals, a new Track position on the suspension control (along with a new-to-SRT towing position), a new spoiler that cuts drag and raises downforce, a flattened-bottom racing-style steering wheel, new performance pages with steering input (in addition to quarter and eighth mile, g-force, stopping distance, 0-60, etc), and 5,000 pounds of towing capacity. The truck now has forward collision warning, blind spot warning, and an 825-watt, 19-speaker surround-sound system.

Additional reporting from Dave Zatz on the scene in New York.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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