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    SRT Introduces Two Special Editions For The Grand Cherokee SRT8


    William Maley

    William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    August 3, 2012

    SRT is readying two new special editions of the Grand Cherokee SRT8 for the 2013 model year.

    Named Vapor and Alpine, the difference between the two is black and white. Vapor comes in back, while Alpine comes in white, a first for the Grand Cherokee SRT8.

    Other than different paint jobs, the two are identical. Both come with 20-inch wheels with a black chrome finish, gloss black hood and door badging, grille surrounds and inserts, and tailgate trim.

    Besides the special editions, the 2013 Grand Cherokee SRT8 also sees a price increase. The 2013 model begins at $60,920, including $925 in destination charges. That's due to SRT making the Luxury Group package standard. The package added items like leather-wrapped door and instrument panels, adaptive cruise control, and a power liftgate.

    The Vapor and Alpine models start at $63,415.

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    Press Release is on Page 2


    2013 Jeep® Grand Cherokee SRT8: The Ultimate Performance SUV

    • Offers unique blend of legendary Jeep® capability and utility, head-turning SRT performance, luxury and refinement and innovative advanced technologies
    • New for 2013, bright white “Alpine” and brilliant black “Vapor” special-edition models include unique exterior features and Black Vapor Chrome finish on split 5-spoke wheels
    • Most powerful Jeep vehicle ever with 6.4-liter HEMI® V-8 that delivers 470 horsepower and 465 lb.-ft. of torque
    • Best performing Jeep vehicle ever: 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds; quarter mile in mid-13 second range; top speed of 160 mph; 60-0 mph braking in 116 feet
    • Best handling Jeep vehicle ever features advanced adaptive damping suspension managed by Selec-Track system, delivering up to .90 g on the skid pad
    • Active valve exhaust system allows standard Fuel Saver Technology to engage over a wider rpm range for fuel efficiency and 450-mile range
    • Exclusive SRT leather wrapped and heated steering wheel features mounted paddle shifters for hands on the wheel shifting both on road and at the racetrack
    • Standard luxury content includes premium leather door trim panels, instrument panel and center console along with a power liftgate, adaptive cruise control, Forward Collision Warning and Blind-spot Monitoring
    • 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, with innovative GreenEdge technology, is available with 825 watts of power

    Auburn Hills, Mich. , Aug 1, 2012 - The 2013 Jeep® Grand Cherokee SRT8 is the most powerful, technologically advanced, high-performance Jeep® vehicle ever –– featuring a combination of Jeep’s legendary capability and utility, merged with the renowned advanced performance engineering from Chrysler Group’s Street and Racing Technology (SRT) team.

    Delivering outstanding driving performance in all conditions, and complemented by key SRT attributes – including functional, performance-oriented styling, world-class ride and handling, benchmark braking and race-inspired interior appointments – the 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 runs from 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds, 0-100-0 mph in the mid-16 second range, can cover the quarter mile in the mid-13 second range, has a top speed of 160 mph, and brakes from 60-0 mph in 116 feet.

    Awe-inspiring powertrain

    Powering the 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 is the 6.4-liter HEMI® V-8 with Fuel Saver Technology that delivers 470 horsepower (351 kW) and 465 lb.-ft. (630 N•m) of torque.

    An active intake manifold and high-lift camshaft with cam phasing delivers maximum low-end torque while optimizing high-end power across a wide rpm band. Specifically, 90-percent of peak torque is available between 2,800 and 6,000 rpm, allowing for inspired standing starts and improved straight-line performance.

    Standard Fuel Saver Technology and an active valve exhaust system allows four-cylinder operation to engage over a wide rpm range, to deliver both fuel efficiency and an extended range of 450 miles on one tank of gas.

    Standard steering wheel mounted paddle shifters join the standard Auto Stick on the floor. Both are mated to a proven automatic transmission, allowing a choice of spirited shifting on the road and the racetrack. Both methods give the driver the ability to shift while the transmission controller calibration prevents situations that might over rev the engine. Fully adaptive electronic control of all shifting makes the powertrain more responsive while minimizing harshness.

    Outstanding ride, handling and capability

    In 2011, all Jeep Grand Cherokee models received a vastly improved and refined on-road ride thanks in part to the vehicle’s new body structure. Torsional stiffness was improved 146 percent versus the previous generation model, for improved ride, durability and reduced noise, vibration and harshness. The improvements were achieved with more than 5,400 welds in the body alone, marking a 53-percent increase in spot welds, a 42-percent increase in arc welds and a 38-percent increase in structural adhesive.

    The 2013 Grand Cherokee SRT8 is the best handling Jeep vehicle ever – capable of .90 g on the skid pad – features a SRT-tuned, adaptive damping suspension managed by the Jeep Selec-Track system that interacts with several different systems (stability control, adaptive damping, transmission shift strategy, transfer case torque proportioning, Electronic Limited Slip Differential performance, throttle control and cylinder de-activation) to automatically tune the dynamics of the vehicle. Drivers can manually choose between five dynamic modes for specific driving conditions:

    • 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 standard Jeep Quadra-Trac SRT active on-demand four-wheel-drive transfer case uses input from a variety of sensors in order to determine tire slip at the earliest possible moment and take corrective action. The system uses Throttle Anticipate to sense quick movement in the throttle from a stop and maximizes traction before slippage occurs. When tire slippage is detected, the Jeep 4x4 system can transfer up to 100 percent of available torque to one rear wheel.

    The transfer case also enhances handling by proportioning torque between the front and rear axles to maintain the driver’s intended path. The Grand Cherokee SRT8 also features an Electronic Limited Slip Differential, which eliminates rear wheel slip and improves handling.

    The performance-tuned, fully hydraulic steering system uses a heavy-duty pump and pump cooler. Revised gearing gives drivers more direct feel and on-center response.

    Split 5-spoke, 20-inch forged aluminum wheels ride on P295/45ZR20 Pirelli Scorpion Verde All Season run-flat tires or available Pirelli P Zero Three-season.

    Rounding out the capability of the 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 is a trailer tow rating of 5,000 lbs.

    Benchmark braking

    Chrysler Group’s SRT vehicles are well known for their world-class braking. Stopping power for the 2013 Grand Cherokee SRT8 comes courtesy of SRT high-performance Brembo brakes with four-wheel anti-lock brake system (ABS).

    Stopping distance performance of 116 feet from 60-0 mph is made possible by red-painted, Brembo 6-piston (front) and 4-piston (rear) calipers, and vented rotors at all four corners measuring 15-inches (front) and 13.8-inches (rear).

    Aggressive and functional exterior

    The functional performance exterior of the 2013 Grand Cherokee SRT8 features the “planted” look of a high-performance sports car by being lowered 1 inch and adding SRT-exclusive, body-color wheel flares and side sill cladding.

    A one-piece front fascia contains LED multi-function daytime running lamps that result in an exclusive face for the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8, while a body-colored front grille with a unique black screen background and chrome bezel inserts add to the aggressive look.

    The integrated lower front grille is painted in gloss black and a underbody belly pan features integrated brake ducting to improve cooling and fade performance. Completing the front end is a sculpted hood with functional dual black heat extractors for added engine cooling.

    At the rear, the SRT performance influence continues with a liftgate spoiler that reduces drag and improves downforce. A unique one-piece rear fascia includes a separate air diffuser along with an available trailer receiver and access cover. The dual-sport exhaust system features 4-inch exhaust tips.

    New for 2013 are two special models of the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 including the bright white “Alpine” edition and brilliant black “Vapor” edition.

    Both models feature the addition of Black Vapor Chrome finish to the standard split 5-spoke, 20 inch wheels along with unique gloss black exterior appointments including:

    • Jeep hood badge
    • Grand Cherokee door badge
    • Front grille surround and inserts
    • Rear light bar and step pad

    Race-inspired and high-performance interior

    The 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee’s refined, luxurious interior takes on a performance feel in SRT8 form with race-inspired technology and SRT-exclusive appointments.

    The leather-wrapped, heated steering wheel features a unique satin chrome rim section with a flattened bottom surface – evoking a race-inspired cockpit – that showcases the SRT logo. Standard paddle-shift controls flank both sides of the contoured palm rests while all audio and Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) controls are accessible from the horizontal spokes on the steering wheel. A power tilt and telescoping steering column also is standard.

    SRT-exclusive Performance Pages show instant feedback on steering input measurements, horsepower, torque, 0-60 mph time, 60-0 mph braking distance, G-forces, and one-eighth mile and quarter-mile times, along with expanded engine information.

    Standard SRT-styled Nappa leather and suede seats, with sculpted bolsters and adjustable headrests, provide all the comfort for daily drives – and “grip” to keep the driver and passengers in place during spirited driving. The embroidered SRT logos and contrast stitching accent the two front seats. Heated (front and rear) and ventilated (front) seats are standard.

    Also standard for 2013 are premium leather door trim panels, instrument panel and center console along with a power liftgate.

    Carbon fiber accents are integrated into the instrument panel and door trim panels and bright, racing style brake and pedal pads add to the high-performance look inside the cabin. An available Command View dual-pane sun roof provides twice as much glass surface than a standard sun roof and extends from the windshield to the rear of the vehicle.

    Safety and security

    Already a two-time winner of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) 'Top Safety Pick' for the volume Grand Cherokee models, the 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 offers consumers 45 safety and security features including:

    • Active head restraints: Deploy in the event of a rear collision. Restraints are designed to reduce injuries by minimizing the gap between the head restraint and the passenger’s head
    • Active turn signals: Turn signal flashes three times when stalk is depressed for one second to indicate a lane change
    • Adaptive cruise control (ACC): The system decreases the vehicle’s pre-set cruise-control speed when closing in on another vehicle in the same lane, or when another vehicle pulls into the same lane. The system will accelerate to the pre-set speed when the vehicle in front speeds up or moves into another lane. ACC will maintain a driver adjustable distance between the vehicle and the one in front of it, allowing the use of cruise control in light traffic without having to continuously adjust settings
    • Advanced multi-stage air bags: Inflates with a force appropriate to the severity of the impact Meets FMVSS 208 advanced air bag requirements for smaller, out-of-position occupants
    • Anti-lock brake system (ABS): Senses and prevents wheel lockup, offering improved steering control under extreme braking and/or slippery conditions
    • Anti-lock brake system with rough-road detection: Anti-lock brake system capable of detecting if the vehicle is driving on a rough road by the oscillations in the wheel speed signals. When rough road is detected on off-road surfaces or trails, ABS enters a different pressure control where it will hold the brake pressure for longer pulses
    • BeltAlert: Activates a chime and/or illuminates an icon in the instrument cluster to remind the driver and front passenger to buckle up if a vehicle is driven without belted front-seat occupants
    • Blind-spot Monitoring (BSM): Uses dual ultra-wideband radar sensors to aid the driver when changing lanes, or if being passed by or passing unseen vehicles. The system notifies the driver of vehicle(s) in their blind spot via illuminated icons on the side view mirror and with a driver-selected audible chime
    • Brake Assist: In an emergency brake situation, the system applies maximum braking power, minimizing the stopping distance
    • Brake Override: When a disagreement exists between the throttle and the brake, the brake signal causes the engine controller to reduce engine power, allowing the operator to stop the car
    • Brake-traction control system (BTCS): Helps to keep driving wheels from spinning
      during acceleration from a stop or during slow speeds by applying individual brakes to the slipping wheel(s)
    • Child seat anchor system: LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) is designed to ease installation of compatible aftermarket child seats
    • Constant-force Retractors (CFR): Regulates the force exerted on the occupant by the seat belt, and then gradually releases seat-belt webbing in a controlled manner
    • Electronic roll mitigation (ERM): An extension of electronic stability control (ESC). Uses input from ESC sensors to anticipate if the vehicle is at risk of entering a potential roll situation, then applies the brakes individually and modulates the throttle position as needed
    • Electronic stability control (ESC): Enhances driver control and helps maintain directional stability under all conditions. Provides the benefit in critical driving situations such as turns, and is valuable when driving on mixed surface conditions including snow, ice or gravel. If there is a discernible difference between driver input through the steering wheel and the vehicle’s path, ESC applies selective braking and throttle input to guide the vehicle back on to the driver’s intended path
    • Energy-absorbing steering column: The power-adjust steering column employs a calibrated bending element that deforms during column stroke for optimal energy management
    • Enhanced Accident Response System (EARS): Makes it easier for emergency personnel to see and reach occupants in the event of an accident by turning on the interior lighting and unlocking doors after air bag deployment. Also shuts off flow of fuel to the engine
    • Express Up/Down Windows: One-touch powered express up/down window button located on the front driver and passenger-side door
    • Forward Collision Warning (FCW): Using forward-facing radar sensors, this system detects when the vehicle may be approaching another vehicle too rapidly and alerts the driver so the driver can determine what action must be taken in order to prevent the vehicle from a collision
    • High-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps: Provide approximately three times the light output of conventional reflector lamps for improved nighttime illumination
    • Hill-start Assist (HSA): Assists drivers when starting a vehicle from a stop on a hill by maintaining the level of brake pressure applied for a short period of time after a driver’s foot is removed from the brake pedal. If throttle is not applied within a short period of time after the driver’s foot is removed from the brake pedal, brake pressure will be released
    • Keyless Enter-N-Go: When an individual enters the vehicle, electronic sensors detect if the vehicle key fob is present. The vehicle will then allow the individual to push a button to start the vehicle without having to insert the key into the ignition
    • Knee bolsters: The lower instrument panel and the glove-box door are designed to properly position the occupant during impact, enabling air bags to work effectively
    • Navigation system: Voice-activated navigation system available with real-time traffic to provide precise guidance to destination through the use of global positioning system (GPS) satellite technology
    • ParkSense rear park assist system: Assists at low speeds in reverse to detect stationary objects. Consists of audible warnings for the driver and has a display in the Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) integrated into the instrument cluster
    • ParkView rear back-up camera: Provides a wide-angle view of the area immediately behind the vehicle, giving the driver greater peace of mind before reversing at low speeds. Contains grid line to aid the driver when maneuvering into parking spaces or narrow areas. Also aids in lining up a trailer to the vehicle’s trailer hitch, when so equipped. The image is displayed on the navigation screen when the transmission is shifted into Reverse
    • Power tilt-and-telescoping steering column with memory: Allows steering column to tilt and move toward or away from the driver to achieve a safe and comfortable distance from the advanced multi-stage front driver air bag, if deployed
    • Rain Brake Support: Uses the ESC pump to occasionally push brake pads lightly against brake rotors in rainy conditions in order to keep rotors dry
    • Rain-sensing wipers: A driver convenience feature that automatically senses moisture on the windshield and activates wipers
    • Ready Alert Braking: Anticipates situations when the driver may initiate an emergency brake stop and uses the ESC pump to set brake pads against rotors in order to decrease the time required for full brake application
    • Rear Cross Path (RCP): In parking lot situations, this system warns drivers backing out of parking spaces of traffic moving toward their vehicle. It activates any time the vehicle is in Reverse. The driver is notified of vehicle(s) crossing behind the vehicle via illuminated icons on the sideview mirror and with a driver-selected audible chime
    • Remote (fob) operated windows (front windows - down only): Enable an individual to cool down the vehicle passively by opening front windows remotely
    • Remote keyless entry: Locks and unlocks doors and turns on interior lamps. If the vehicle is equipped with a security alarm, the remote also arms and disarms that system
    • Remote start: Conveniently starts the engine and activates key comfort settings based on ambient conditions by using the key fob while maintaining vehicle security
    • Rollover crash sensing: Senses a rollover and deploys seat belt pretensioners and/or standard full-length side-curtain air bags as needed
    • Seat-belt pretensioners: During a collision, impact sensors initiate front seat-belt pretensioners to remove slack in the seat belt system, thereby reducing the forward movement of the occupant’s head and torso
    • Sentry Key engine Immobilizer: Utilizes an engine key that has an embedded transponder with a preprogrammed security code to discourage vehicle theft. When the key is inserted into the ignition, the controller sends a random number to the transponder and the engine is allowed to start. If an incorrect key is used, the engine will shut off after a few seconds
    • Signal mirrors: Signal lamp built into the housing of exterior mirrors allows turn signals to be viewed from the front, as well as the sides and rear of the vehicle in order to alert oncoming traffic and pedestrians
    • SmartBeam headlamps: Headlamp system adjusts to ambient light and oncoming traffic to deliver maximum lighting
    • Standard full-length side-curtain air bags: Extend protection to all outboard front- and rear-seat passengers. Each side air bag has its own impact sensor that autonomously triggers the air bag on the side where an impact occurs. This type of air bag is housed in the headliner just above side windows
    • Standard seat-mounted side thorax air bags: Provide enhanced protection to the
      driver and front outboard passenger in certain impacts. Each side air bag has its own impact sensor that autonomously triggers the air bag on the side where an impact occurs. Standard side air bags are housed within the outboard side of each front seat
    • Three-point seat belts: Front outboard seating positions and all rear seating positions have lap and shoulder belts
    • Tire-pressure monitoring (TPM): Informs driver when tire pressure is too low. Pressure-sensor modules within the valve stems of all four road wheels send continuous radio-frequency signals to a receiver and the system
    • Trailer-sway control (TSC): Reduces trailer sway and improves handling in adverse towing conditions caused by crosswinds and traffic. The system monitors the vehicle’s movement relative to the driver’s intended path, then applies alternating brake pressure to slow the vehicle and then increases the pressure on one front wheel in order to counteract the sway induced by the trailer
    • Uconnect Phone: In-vehicle, voice-activated communication system that allows customers to talk on their Bluetooth compatible phone with your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. The built-in phonebook sync feature automatically downloads as many as 1,000 phone book entries from supported phones, which can then be selected by simply saying contact name

    Connectivity and Infotainment

    A wide variety of easy-to-use infotainment options are available with features that provide customers with seamless integration of consumer electronics, delivering drivers and passengers the conveniences of home and office.

    Premium navigation and SiriusXM Travel Link are standard with the 730N Media Center CD/DVD/MP3/HDD radio. Also standard are a multitude of features including SiriusXM Satellite Radio and Uconnect Phone.

    The available Vehicle Entertainment System (VES) includes a DVD player and rear seat overhead screen that deliver a variety of programming choices, with ports to connect games and media players with audio and video output capability, including iPod connectivity. The Media Center or the VES remote can control multiple screen inputs and each screen can play something different.

    The available 825-watt, 19-speaker premium SRT performance audio surround-sound system from Harman Kardon offers world premier innovation, featuring a 32-volt Tracking Power Supply (TPS) 12-channel Class D amplifier that delivers outstanding acoustics and brings multi-dimensional, quality sound for all interior occupants.

    GreenEdge speaker and amplifier technology offers superior sound quality and high Sound Pressure Level outputs with minimum energy consumption. GreenEdge amplifiers alone outperform traditional amplifier efficiency by up to 55 percent, representing a net efficiency of more than 90 percent in some cases. The speakers are tuned for maximum efficiency and perfectly matched to the amplifier output.

    The system’s 19 GreenEdge high-efficiency speakers include nine tweeters, five mid-range speakers, two mid-woofers and three subwoofers located throughout the interior.

    The 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 is built at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit. The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is $59,995 (plus $925 destination). MSRP for the Alpine and Vapor special edition packages is $2,495.

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    These models should be fully loaded period, these are not option versions. Anyone that wants the best will just pay for a fully loaded performance model.

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      10%
       
       
    • By William Maley
      Subcompact crossovers are the hot thing at the moment and automakers are trying to make their models stand out. Whether it is using sleek styling, sporty driving dynamics, or value for money, every automaker is trying their best to get their vehicle noticed. For Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, they’re going for a two-prong attack in the class with models from Fiat and Jeep. The Jeep Renegade is aimed at those who want a subcompact that can tackle a trail, and the Fiat 500X provides some chicness for the class. We spent some time in both models to see if they can make some end roads in this growing class.
       




      While the 500X and Renegade may share a fair amount of mechanicals, the design of the two is worlds apart. The Renegade is classic Jeep with a square body, seven-slot grille, and a set of large headlights. The Renegade also features a fair number of Easter eggs throughout the exterior. The head and taillights feature little Jeep grille-and-headlights logos, and a small Willys MB on the bottom of the windshield. This is basically the vehicle equivalent of a hidden object puzzle you might have done back in school. 
      Remember the first commercial for the Fiat 500X where a blue pill falls into the fuel filler of a standard 500. The owner turns around and somehow his vehicle has engorged into something bigger. That’s how you can summarize the design of the 500X. Compared to your standard 500, the 500X is 28.6 inches longer and 15.6 inches wider. A lot of the design traits from the 500 such as the round headlights, long chrome bar holding the emblem, and rectangular taillights are present on this crossover.
       
      Moving inside, the Renegade takes some inspiration from the Wrangler with a rugged dash design and a grab bar for the passenger. Higher trims such as our Limited tester feature a decent amount of soft-touch materials. Like the exterior, the Renegade’s interior has Easter eggs strewn about. The tachometer with has a splash of mud to illustrate the redline, a seven-slot grille design for the speaker grilles, and the frame around the radio having ‘Since 1941’ stamped. The only complaint we have with the Renegade’s dash is the placement of the climate controls. They are mounted a bit too low to reach easily.
       




       
      The 500X’s interior is Fiat’s best effort to date. The overall look has some traits of the standard 500 such as a retro design for the dash. But where the 500X stands out is in the material choices. Fiat went all out with adding soft-touch materials on the dash and door panels to help make the model feel very premium. Our Trekking Plus tester came upholstered in brown leather that added a touch of class that’s nonexistent in other competitors.
       
      Both models offer plenty of head and legroom for passengers sitting up front. In the back, headroom is decent for most passengers even with the optional sunroof fitted. Legroom ranges from decent for most folks to almost nonexistent depending on how tall the person sitting up front is. The seats themselves are lacking sufficient support for long trips. If cargo capacity is a priority, then consider the Renegade as it offers 18.5 cubic feet with the rear seats up. The 500X is towards the bottom of the class with only 12.2 cubic feet mostly due to the design of the vehicle.
       
      For your infotainment needs, Fiat and Jeep offer a lineup of Uconnect systems from three to 6.5 inches. Our test vehicles featured the optional 6.5-inch system. Uconnect is still one of the easiest systems to use thanks to a simple interface and very fast performance. We hope FCA considers adding Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility in the future.
       




      In terms of engines, both the 500X and Renegade come standard with a turbocharged 1.4L with 160 horsepower. The downside to this engine is that it is only available with a six-speed manual. If you want an automatic, then you’ll need to get the engine found under the hood of our test models; a 2.4L four-cylinder with 180 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque. We’re not fans of the 2.4L in the any of the FCA vehicles we have driven and this trend continues with the 500X and Renegade. Leaving a stop, there is plenty of oomph to get up to speed in urban environments. Out on the rural roads and highways, the 2.4L struggles to get up to speed at a decent clip. Not helping matters is the engine sounding unrefined. The engine noise during hard acceleration could actually drown out the radio. 
      The one bright spot for the powertrain is the nine-speed automatic. This transmission has been a sore point in a number of FCA vehicles for sluggish shifting and not feeling refined. With the 500X and Renegade, it seems FCA has been able to fix many of the wrongs of the nine-speed. Gear changes are much faster and smoother than in previous models.
       
      Both models can be equipped with either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. Both models came equipped with all-wheel drive. This system primarily works in front-wheel drive to help improve fuel economy. But if the system detects slip, it will hook up the rear axle and start sending power for better traction. The Renegade has the more advanced all-wheel drive system known as Jeep Active Drive. This system gives the driver the choice of various drive modes (Auto, Snow, Sand, and Mud) that adjusts the all-wheel drive, steering, and transmission to provide the best settings for the conditions at hand. There’s also a 4WD lock that splits power 50:50 to provide added traction. Thanks to a freak snow storm in April, I was able to put the system to the test. Driving on some snowy roads, the system was able to keep the Renegade moving without the tires spinning.
       
      The Renegade Trailhawk takes the system a step further with Active Drive Low. As the name suggests, this system features low range via a two-speed transfer case. This allows the Trailhawk to tackle more difficult obstacles such as rocks.
       
      Fuel economy is terrible for the class. The Fiat 500X is rated at 21 City/30 Highway/24 Combined. The Renegade matches the 500X in city and combined fuel figures but is only rated at 29 for the highway. Our average for the week was a very disappointing 22.1 MPG in both vehicles. This is a figure you would expect in a larger crossover, not a subcompact.
       




       
      The ride in both vehicles is on the firm and harsh side. You’ll be able to tell how bad the roads around you are as bumps and road imperfections are transmitted to the seats. Interestingly, both the 500X and Renegade are quite fun around corners. The vehicles feel agile and the steering has some decent weight. But as the Mazda CX-3 has shown, you can have excellent handling characteristics and a decent ride in a crossover. On the highway, the Renegade is the noisier of the two with a large amount of wind noise coming inside.
       
      As for pricing, the 500X and Renegade get off to a good start. The Renegade starts at $17,995 and the 500X comes in at $20,000. Where it falls apart comes in the higher trims. Our two testers had price tags of just under $32,000 - $31,695 for the Renegade Limited and $31,800 for the 500X Trekking Plus. For that same amount of money, you can get into a well-equipped or even a loaded compact crossover. Neither one of these models is worth their high price tags.
       
      The subcompact crossover class has become a hotly contested class in only a couple of years and you have to show up with your a-game if you want to make an impact. In the case the 500X and Renegade, FCA dropped the ball. The larger four-cylinder engine should be shown the door for its issues in terms of refinement and fuel economy. The ride characteristics need a rethink and the value for money argument is tough when dealing with the higher trim models. This is very disappointing as the two models have some characteristics that should put them a bit higher in the class. The Fiat 500X’s interior looks and feels like something you would find in a luxury model. The Jeep Renegade can go into places that other subcompact crossovers not even dare try thanks to a clever all-wheel drive system and Jeep’s off-road know-how.
       
      But these positive points cannot overcome the numerous issues both of the vehicles have. It would be best to avoid them.
       
      Cheers: Off-Road Ability (Renegade), Interior Styling and Features (500X), Nine-Speed Automatic Is Much Better
      Jeers: 2.4L Is Terrible, Rough Ride, Pricing for Higher Trims
       

      Album: Review: 2016 Fiat 500X Trekking Plus AWD
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      Album: Review: 2016 Jeep Renegade Limited 4X4
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      Disclaimer: FCA Provided the 500X and Renegade; Insurance, and One Tank of Gas 
      Year: 2016
      Make: Fiat
      Model: 500X
      Trim: Trekking Plus AWD
      Engine: 2.4L Multi-Air Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Nine-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 180 @ 6,400
      Torque @ RPM: 175 @ 3,900
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 21/30/24
      Curb Weight: 3,278 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Melfi, Italy
      Base Price: $29,000
      As Tested Price: $31,800 (Includes $900.00 Destination Charge)
       
      Options:
      Trekking Plus Collection 1 - $1,900
       
      Year: 2016
      Make: Jeep
      Model: Renegade
      Trim: Limited 4X4
      Engine: 2.4L Multi-Air Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Nine-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 180 @ 6,400
      Torque @ RPM: 175 @ 3,900
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 21/29/24
      Curb Weight: 3,348 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Melfi, Italy
      Base Price: $26,995
      As Tested Price: $31,695 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
       
      Options:
      6.5-inch Navigation Group with Uconnect - $1,245
      Advanced Technology Group - $995
      Beats Premium Audio System - $695
      Safety and Security Group - $645
      Passive Entry Keyless Enter n' Go Package - $125


      Click here to view the article
    • By William Maley
      Subcompact crossovers are the hot thing at the moment and automakers are trying to make their models stand out. Whether it is using sleek styling, sporty driving dynamics, or value for money, every automaker is trying their best to get their vehicle noticed. For Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, they’re going for a two-prong attack in the class with models from Fiat and Jeep. The Jeep Renegade is aimed at those who want a subcompact that can tackle a trail, and the Fiat 500X provides some chicness for the class. We spent some time in both models to see if they can make some end roads in this growing class.
       




      While the 500X and Renegade may share a fair amount of mechanicals, the design of the two is worlds apart. The Renegade is classic Jeep with a square body, seven-slot grille, and a set of large headlights. The Renegade also features a fair number of Easter eggs throughout the exterior. The head and taillights feature little Jeep grille-and-headlights logos, and a small Willys MB on the bottom of the windshield. This is basically the vehicle equivalent of a hidden object puzzle you might have done back in school. 
      Remember the first commercial for the Fiat 500X where a blue pill falls into the fuel filler of a standard 500. The owner turns around and somehow his vehicle has engorged into something bigger. That’s how you can summarize the design of the 500X. Compared to your standard 500, the 500X is 28.6 inches longer and 15.6 inches wider. A lot of the design traits from the 500 such as the round headlights, long chrome bar holding the emblem, and rectangular taillights are present on this crossover.
       
      Moving inside, the Renegade takes some inspiration from the Wrangler with a rugged dash design and a grab bar for the passenger. Higher trims such as our Limited tester feature a decent amount of soft-touch materials. Like the exterior, the Renegade’s interior has Easter eggs strewn about. The tachometer with has a splash of mud to illustrate the redline, a seven-slot grille design for the speaker grilles, and the frame around the radio having ‘Since 1941’ stamped. The only complaint we have with the Renegade’s dash is the placement of the climate controls. They are mounted a bit too low to reach easily.
       




       
      The 500X’s interior is Fiat’s best effort to date. The overall look has some traits of the standard 500 such as a retro design for the dash. But where the 500X stands out is in the material choices. Fiat went all out with adding soft-touch materials on the dash and door panels to help make the model feel very premium. Our Trekking Plus tester came upholstered in brown leather that added a touch of class that’s nonexistent in other competitors.
       
      Both models offer plenty of head and legroom for passengers sitting up front. In the back, headroom is decent for most passengers even with the optional sunroof fitted. Legroom ranges from decent for most folks to almost nonexistent depending on how tall the person sitting up front is. The seats themselves are lacking sufficient support for long trips. If cargo capacity is a priority, then consider the Renegade as it offers 18.5 cubic feet with the rear seats up. The 500X is towards the bottom of the class with only 12.2 cubic feet mostly due to the design of the vehicle.
       
      For your infotainment needs, Fiat and Jeep offer a lineup of Uconnect systems from three to 6.5 inches. Our test vehicles featured the optional 6.5-inch system. Uconnect is still one of the easiest systems to use thanks to a simple interface and very fast performance. We hope FCA considers adding Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility in the future.
       




      In terms of engines, both the 500X and Renegade come standard with a turbocharged 1.4L with 160 horsepower. The downside to this engine is that it is only available with a six-speed manual. If you want an automatic, then you’ll need to get the engine found under the hood of our test models; a 2.4L four-cylinder with 180 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque. We’re not fans of the 2.4L in the any of the FCA vehicles we have driven and this trend continues with the 500X and Renegade. Leaving a stop, there is plenty of oomph to get up to speed in urban environments. Out on the rural roads and highways, the 2.4L struggles to get up to speed at a decent clip. Not helping matters is the engine sounding unrefined. The engine noise during hard acceleration could actually drown out the radio. 
      The one bright spot for the powertrain is the nine-speed automatic. This transmission has been a sore point in a number of FCA vehicles for sluggish shifting and not feeling refined. With the 500X and Renegade, it seems FCA has been able to fix many of the wrongs of the nine-speed. Gear changes are much faster and smoother than in previous models.
       
      Both models can be equipped with either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. Both models came equipped with all-wheel drive. This system primarily works in front-wheel drive to help improve fuel economy. But if the system detects slip, it will hook up the rear axle and start sending power for better traction. The Renegade has the more advanced all-wheel drive system known as Jeep Active Drive. This system gives the driver the choice of various drive modes (Auto, Snow, Sand, and Mud) that adjusts the all-wheel drive, steering, and transmission to provide the best settings for the conditions at hand. There’s also a 4WD lock that splits power 50:50 to provide added traction. Thanks to a freak snow storm in April, I was able to put the system to the test. Driving on some snowy roads, the system was able to keep the Renegade moving without the tires spinning.
       
      The Renegade Trailhawk takes the system a step further with Active Drive Low. As the name suggests, this system features low range via a two-speed transfer case. This allows the Trailhawk to tackle more difficult obstacles such as rocks.
       
      Fuel economy is terrible for the class. The Fiat 500X is rated at 21 City/30 Highway/24 Combined. The Renegade matches the 500X in city and combined fuel figures but is only rated at 29 for the highway. Our average for the week was a very disappointing 22.1 MPG in both vehicles. This is a figure you would expect in a larger crossover, not a subcompact.
       




       
      The ride in both vehicles is on the firm and harsh side. You’ll be able to tell how bad the roads around you are as bumps and road imperfections are transmitted to the seats. Interestingly, both the 500X and Renegade are quite fun around corners. The vehicles feel agile and the steering has some decent weight. But as the Mazda CX-3 has shown, you can have excellent handling characteristics and a decent ride in a crossover. On the highway, the Renegade is the noisier of the two with a large amount of wind noise coming inside.
       
      As for pricing, the 500X and Renegade get off to a good start. The Renegade starts at $17,995 and the 500X comes in at $20,000. Where it falls apart comes in the higher trims. Our two testers had price tags of just under $32,000 - $31,695 for the Renegade Limited and $31,800 for the 500X Trekking Plus. For that same amount of money, you can get into a well-equipped or even a loaded compact crossover. Neither one of these models is worth their high price tags.
       
      The subcompact crossover class has become a hotly contested class in only a couple of years and you have to show up with your a-game if you want to make an impact. In the case the 500X and Renegade, FCA dropped the ball. The larger four-cylinder engine should be shown the door for its issues in terms of refinement and fuel economy. The ride characteristics need a rethink and the value for money argument is tough when dealing with the higher trim models. This is very disappointing as the two models have some characteristics that should put them a bit higher in the class. The Fiat 500X’s interior looks and feels like something you would find in a luxury model. The Jeep Renegade can go into places that other subcompact crossovers not even dare try thanks to a clever all-wheel drive system and Jeep’s off-road know-how.
       
      But these positive points cannot overcome the numerous issues both of the vehicles have. It would be best to avoid them.
       
      Cheers: Off-Road Ability (Renegade), Interior Styling and Features (500X), Nine-Speed Automatic Is Much Better
      Jeers: 2.4L Is Terrible, Rough Ride, Pricing for Higher Trims
       


      Disclaimer: FCA Provided the 500X and Renegade; Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
       
      Year: 2016
      Make: Fiat
      Model: 500X
      Trim: Trekking Plus AWD
      Engine: 2.4L Multi-Air Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Nine-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 180 @ 6,400
      Torque @ RPM: 175 @ 3,900
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 21/30/24
      Curb Weight: 3,278 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Melfi, Italy
      Base Price: $29,000
      As Tested Price: $31,800 (Includes $900.00 Destination Charge)
       
      Options:
      Trekking Plus Collection 1 - $1,900
       
      Year: 2016
      Make: Jeep
      Model: Renegade
      Trim: Limited 4X4
      Engine: 2.4L Multi-Air Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Nine-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 180 @ 6,400
      Torque @ RPM: 175 @ 3,900
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 21/29/24
      Curb Weight: 3,348 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Melfi, Italy
      Base Price: $26,995
      As Tested Price: $31,695 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
       
      Options:
      6.5-inch Navigation Group with Uconnect - $1,245
      Advanced Technology Group - $995
      Beats Premium Audio System - $695
      Safety and Security Group - $645
      Passive Entry Keyless Enter n' Go Package - $125
    • By William Maley
      The next-generation Jeep Wrangler is bringing forth something that a lot of people have been clamoring for a long time; a pickup. We already know that the Wrangler Pickup will be coming out sometime late next year. Now we have the first spy shots of it.
       
      According to Car and Driver, this mule is based on the Unlimited model. We can't tell you much about the design, aside from it appearing to have the iconic Wrangler shape. What we can tell you is that the pickup will use a new body-on-frame architecture that will use a steel frame, and a combination of aluminum and plastic for the body panels. Engines might be a new 2.0L turbo-four (possibly codenamed Hurricane) and Chrysler's 3.6L V6. A new eight-speed automatic will help with fuel economy.
       
      Source: Car and Driver
    • By William Maley
      July 15th is an important date for Jeep as it was back in 1941, the U.S. Government awarded Willys-Overland Co. a contract to supply the United States military with its Willys MB. It would soon earn the nickname of Jeep. 75 years and a few automakers later, Jeep is marking the occasion with the Wrangler 75th Salute concept.
       
      The concept is based on the current Wrangler Sport. To make it look like the Willys MB, Jeep removed the doors and B-pillars, and added a set of steel bumpers with hooks. The exterior is finished in army green and features a set of exterior hood latches and sixteen-inch steel wheels. The interior is simple with a set of low-back canvas seats.
       
      Power comes from Chrysler's 3.6L V6 and is paired with a six-speed manual.
       
      “We are creating this unique Jeep Wrangler 75th Salute concept vehicle in celebration of the brand’s legendary history, and to demonstrate that 75 years later, today’s iconic Jeep Wrangler is instantly recognizable and clearly connected to the original Willys MB,” said Mike Manley, Head of Jeep Brand – FCA Global.
       
      Source: Jeep

      [[Template core/global/embed/video does not exist. This theme may be out of date. Run the support tool in the AdminCP to restore the default theme.]]
       
      Press Release is on Page 2


       
      Jeep® Brand Celebrates 75th Anniversary With Commemorative Wrangler 75th Salute Concept Vehicle
      Unique commemorative Wrangler 75th Salute concept celebrates the Jeep® brand’s history and legendary military heritage Wrangler 75th Salute concept showcases rugged functionality highlighted with heritage design cues first seen on original Jeep military vehicles Built on the 75th Anniversary of July 15, 1941: the date Willys-Overland Motor Co. was awarded the U.S. government contract to build the first Willys MB New Jeep Wrangler 75th Salute concept built on the same assembly line in Toledo, Ohio, that has produced Wrangler for decades Based on a Wrangler Sport model, powered by a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine and mated to a six-speed manual transmission
      July 15, 2016 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Since 1941, the Jeep® name has symbolized a unique family of go-anywhere, do-anything vehicles – first developed for military use, and after 1945, continually adapted for a wide variety of civilian applications. The Jeep brand is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2016, and to mark the occasion, a commemorative one-of-a-kind Wrangler 75th Salute concept vehicle is being created today as a tribute to the brand’s legendary history and military heritage.
       

      “We are creating this unique Jeep Wrangler 75th Salute concept vehicle in celebration of the brand’s legendary history, and to demonstrate that 75 years later, today’s iconic Jeep Wrangler is instantly recognizable and clearly connected to the original Willys MB,” said Mike Manley, Head of Jeep Brand – FCA Global. “Since they were first produced in 1941, Jeep vehicles have been the authentic benchmark for off-road capability, having mastered more terrain, led more adventures and provided drivers more freedom than any other vehicle before or since.”
       
      The “function over form” of the original Jeep military service vehicles is evident in this unique concept vehicle. The Wrangler 75th Salute concept – a modern interpretation of the Willys MB – is based on a two-door Wrangler Sport and highlights rugged functionality with heritage design cues, including the absence of B-pillars and doors. The exterior features an olive-drab color scheme that was first seen on military vehicles 75 years ago and is present throughout the Wrangler 75th Salute concept.
       
      Features, including 16-inch steel wheels wrapped in 32-inch military non-directional tires, hood latches, a rear-mounted spare tire, steel front and rear bumpers with tow hooks and low back canvas seats, echo the original military Jeep vehicles. Other features include custom wood hood blocks and side mirrors, as well as bronze commemorative fender badges.
       
      The Jeep Wrangler 75th Salute concept vehicle is built on the same assembly line that has produced the Wrangler in Toledo, Ohio, for decades, and is powered by a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine and mated to a six-speed manual transmission.
       
      About Jeep’s Military History
      In July 1940, the U.S. military informed automakers that it was looking for a “light reconnaissance vehicle” to replace the Army's motorcycle and modified Ford Model-T vehicles. The Army invited 135 manufacturers to bid on production and developed a lengthy specification list for the vehicle, including a 600-lb. load capacity, wheelbase less than 75 inches, height less than 36 inches, smooth-running engine from 3 to 50 miles per hour, rectangular-shaped body, four-wheel drive with a two-speed transfer case, fold-down windshield, three bucket seats, blackout and driving lights and a gross vehicle weight below 1,300 lbs.
       
      At first, Willys-Overland and American Bantam Car Manufacturing Company were the only two companies answering the call. Soon, however, Ford Motor Company entered the picture, and competition began among the three over which company would receive the lucrative government contract.
       
      Each company produced prototypes for testing in record time. The Army took possession of these vehicles in November 1940 at Camp Holabird, Maryland. Each of the three designs exceeded the Army's specification of 1,300 lbs., but the Army soon realized that limit was far too low and raised it for the next round of vehicles.
       
      The Army issued the next round of contracts in March 1941. Bantam was to produce 1,500 Model 40 BRC vehicles, Ford would build 1,500 modified and improved GP Pygmies and Willys would build 1,500 Quads. Further testing and evaluation led to the Army's selection of the Willys vehicle as the standard.
       
      With modifications and improvements, the Willys Quad became the MA, and later the MB. But the Army, and the world, came to know it as the Jeep. In 1941, the Willys MB began rolling off the assembly line straight into the heat of battle and the rest is history.
       
      About Jeep Brand
      Built on 75 years of legendary heritage, Jeep is the authentic SUV with class-leading capability, craftsmanship and versatility for people who seek extraordinary journeys. The Jeep brand delivers an open invitation to live life to the fullest by offering a full line of vehicles that continue to provide owners with a sense of security to handle any journey with confidence.
       
      The Jeep vehicle lineup consists of the Cherokee, Compass, Grand Cherokee, Patriot, Renegade, Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited. To meet consumer demand around the world, all Jeep models sold outside North America are available in both left and right-hand drive configurations and with gasoline and diesel powertrain options.
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