Tuesday, 29 May 2012 15:15

‘Best ever’ Jeep has arrived

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IT IS touted as the best Jeep vehicle ever built and it arrived in New Zealand this month.

Developed from all new Jeep Grand Cherokee and customised by the advanced performance engineering of Chrysler Group LLC’s street and racing technology (SRT) team, the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 is powerful, technologically advanced and high performing, says importer Sime Darby Automobiles.

It is powered by the all-new 6.4L Hemi V8 engine with fuel saver technology, producing 344kW and 624Nm of torque – a big improvement on the previous model, making it even quicker off the mark and in a straight-line, yet more fuel efficient.

Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 offers high performance sports car looks thanks to functional details such as sculpted hood with dual black heat extractors for added engine cooling, 1 inch body lowering plus a liftgate spoiler for reduced drag, body colour wheel flares, side sill cladding, and dual-sport exhaust system with 4-inch exhaust tips, just to name a few.

New Nappa leather and suede seats, with sculpted bolsters and adjustable headrests, provide 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 [good for old farts] are standard. Carbon fibre accents are integrated into the instrument panel and door trim panels and new bright, racing style brake and accelerator pedal pads add to the high-performance look inside the cabin.

With the new 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8, engineers have improved handling even further, the company says.

“The best handling Jeep vehicle ever – capable of .90 g on the skid pad – features a new SRT-tuned, adaptive damping suspension managed by the new 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:

Sport: dry weather, on-road calibration. Performance based tuning that provides a rear wheel drive feel but with improved handling and acceleration over a two-wheel drive vehicle. The active suspension system will be in ‘semi firm’ mode, and a green flag will light up in the instrument cluster. The transmission will provide a more aggressive shifting pattern.

Snow: tuning set for additional stability in inclement weather. Use on and off road on loose traction surfaces such as snow. When in snow mode (depending on certain operating conditions), the transmission may use second gear (rather than first gear) during launches to minimise wheel slippage.

Auto: fully automatic full time four-wheel drive operation can be used on and off road. Balances traction with seamless steering feel to provide improved handling and acceleration over two wheel drive vehicles. The active suspension system will be in touring mode.

Track: track road calibration for use on high traction surfaces. Driveline is maximised for traction. Some binding may be felt on less forgiving surfaces. The electronic brake controls are set to partial off to limit traction control management of throttle and wheel spin. The transmission will be in sport mode and provide a more aggressive shifting pattern.

Tow: use this mode for towing. Vehicle suspension will go to firm mode and peak power will be limited in the engine controls. Trailer sway control is enabled in the ESC system. 

The terrain switch will remain in this position through an ignition cycle until the customer cycles into another position. 

Brakes are Brembo with fourwheel anti-lock brake system: red-painted, Brembo 6-piston (front) and 4-piston (rear) calipers, and vented rotors at all four corners measuring 381mm (front) and 350.52mm (rear).

Price: $106,990 plus on-road costs.

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