While a lot of car makers are putting their “alternative” energy ducks in the hybrid and electric basket, Jeep and a few other companies are focusing their “alternative” energy ducks on the diesel powered engines.
The first Jeep vehicle to get the diesel treatment will be the 2013 version of the Grand Cherokee. This is the first time the Grand has had a diesel engine in the US since the 2008 model. These diesel powered Jeeps will be built on the Jefferson North plant in Detroit (the same place Dodge makes the Durango) which will allow the plant to add a little over 1,000 new jobs to the factory.
This news of the diesel returning to the US Jeep market is great news for the off-road crowd. There are two reasons for the delight. The first, and let’s face it, the most important reason, MORE TORQUE. More torque means better off-roading. And second, better gas mileage, which means longer Jeep off-road adventures.
Chrysler has not given the exact data for how the engine will perform with the US version of the Jeep, but all signs point to the fact that they will be using the same V6 engine that has been used in Europe for several years. That engine delivers 187 horsepower, 410 pounds of torque and gas mileage of 22.8 in the city and 32.7 on the highway. If these gas mileage specs hold true they are a huge improvement over the current gas powered engines.
Once the Grand Cherokee hits the market and starts to make its mark there are a lot of people who think it won’t be too long before they are popping diesel engines into other Jeep vehicles. Of course the off-roaders will want one in the Wrangler as quickly as possible for the added torque. But the suburbanites will want a diesel powered Jeep Laredo for the better fuel mileage stats.
Pricing for the Jeep Grand Cherokee has not been announced yet, but with 2013 inching closer and closer we expect they will be releasing the specs and pricing soon.
The funny thing about all this is that Jeep used to sell a CRD until 2008 and it had good reviews. One has to wonder why it takes serious gas price issues for American car makers to understand the benefits of diesel. Of course there was a time when diesel was bad, but the current diesel fuels burn cleaner than most regular gases and get better gas mileage.
Maybe this latest edition will sell well enough to get Jeep to keep the diesel engine purring for years to come!