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Jeep diesels, RHD in production

by David Zatz on

CRDJeep has started producing Grand Cherokees with the VM six-cylinder diesel for North America, according to a source who sent in this photo.

The diesel option is expensive, but dramatically improves fuel economy and provides stronger torque at lower engine speeds than either of the gasoline engines.

With 240 horsepower and 420 lb.-ft. of torque, the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel is capable of towing 7,400 pounds, more than any competitor’s V-8 equipped SUVs; yet, it provides better fuel economy than even the Pentastar V-6 engine.  Like the gasoline V6 and V8, it comes with the eight-speed automatic as its only transmission.

The diesel’s responsiveness and efficiency are due in part to an extremely high pressure fuel injection system (with 29,000-psi / 2,000-bar fuel pressure, dubbed MultiJet II); swirl-control intake ports; and a variable-geometry turbocharger that cuts turbo lag.

The 24-valve, dual-overhead-cam engine is based on a block and bed plate made of strong compacted graphite iron (CGI), slashing weight. The 1-4-2-5- 3-6 firing order avoids vibration, ending the need for a balance shaft.

The 50-state-legal EcoDiesel engine is compliant with Tier II, Bin 5 and ULEV II emissions controls. To manage temperature extremes, the turbocharger is water-cooled, and low-voltage ceramic glow plugs provide quicker cold-weather starts. The engine has been approved and tested for 5% biodiesel. (More on the VM 3.0 diesel / Jeep EcoDiesel engine)

European buyers will have a choice of two performance levels from the diesel engine; one produces 190 horsepower, the other produces 250 horsepower (up 9 hp from 2013 models). All three gasoline engines are available in Europe.

According to sources, Jeep Grand Cherokees are already being produced in a right-hand-drive configuration for England, Australia, and other countries where people drive on the left.

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