The folks at Jeep unveiled the 2011 Grand Cherokee today at Moab! The aerodynamics have been improved, it has a CommandView dual-pane panoramic sunroof, Quadra Lift air suspension, Selec-Terrain system with five terrain settings, standard flex fuel 3.6L V-6 engine, larger fuel tank, and larger front and rear door openings. The front and rear independent suspension is new, and the body structure torsional stiffness is increased 146 percent. Of course off-highway is where it's at, and preliminary specs say the new Grand has a maximum approach angle of 35.9 degrees, a maximum departure angle of 29.2 degrees, and a minimum ground clearance of 11.5 inches.
After they unveiled the new Grand, Jeep invited us out to drive a few Mopar Underground vehicles. Check these two out:
This is "Lower Forty," and this JK was created to improve ground clearance without altering the center of gravity. This was not easy, but the result is this outstanding vehicle. It's rolling on 40x13.50-20 tires mounted on 20-inch forged aluminum wheels. A significant amount of the body and fenders were trimmed to provide the room for the tires. It has custom fender flares, a one-piece carbon fiber hood, drop-down tailgate, custom rollcage, 5.7L Hemi engine, Getrag 238 6-speed manual transmission, and Dynatrac-prepped Mopar axles with ARB Air Lockers. We drove it and it was awesome! It was incredibly stable, and mega-powerful. After spending a significant amount of time behind the wheel, Holman says it is the most buttoned-down experiment to ever come out of Jeep design
This is a '78 Cherokee Chief that was fabricated by current and retired Chrysler LLC Jeep engineers from a rust-free SJ found in Oregon. Its long list of equipment includes a 6.1L Hemi, Rock-Trac 4:1 transfer case, JK Rubicon axles, Wrangler 4.5-inch long arm suspension, and Goodyear MT/R 37-inch tires. This thing is a blast to drive. We'd like to think that Jeep is considering trotting out a retro Wagoneer.
So there you have it. What do you think of the new Grand Cherokee and the two Mopar Underground rigs?