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Jeep Joining The Hybrid Bandwagon Is Proof That The Hybrid Revolution Is In Full Swing

It’s been talked about in the past, but a Jeep hybrid still takes some getting used to

Some automakers are synonyms with specific characteristics. Ferrari and Lamborghini are synonymous with Italian power and performance. Rolls-Royce and Bentley are quintessential marquees known for their opulence and luxury. Then there’s Jeep, which is known for its ruggedness and off-road capabilities. It figures then that when news first broke in 2015 that Jeep was going hybrid with some of its models, it was, to say the least, jarring to the senses. Fast forward to the 2017 Shanghai Auto Show and we finally get to see what a Jeep hybrid looks like in the form of the Yuntu, a three-row, seven-seater, full-sized SUV concept that’s laying the groundwork for a new era in the company’s long and illustrious history.

To be clear, there’s no official word yet from Jeep about the production prospects of the Yuntu Concept. There is, however, a strong possibility that we’re headed in that direction anyway. Remember, Jeep CEO Mike Manley has been a strong advocate of dipping the company in the hybrid market, most recently confirming at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show the arrival of a hybrid version of the Wrangler. The Yuntu, of course, is far different from the Wrangler, both in aesthetics and purpose. But the mere sight of the concept in Shanghai is an indication that the brand has a more elaborate hybrid plan that will involve numerous models receiving this specific powertrain. Just goes to show how brand images are now giving way to addressing the future of the auto industry.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

You won’t believe what sports car it keeps up with!

The 840-horspower Dodge Challenger SRT Demon stole the show at the 2017 New York Auto Show, but the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk certainly garnered a ton of attention. The highly anticipated an long-rumored Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is everything we hoped for and more, including that 707-horspower 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V-8, beefed-up TorqFlite eight-speed automatic transmission and reinforced full-time 4WD system. The Jeep even gets the Demon’s Torque Reserve system, helping launch five-passenger SUV to 60 mph in an astonishing 3.5 seconds!

Yeah, the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk isn’t the most practical vehicle debuting at New York this year, but it’s by far the most practical Hellcat ever produced. Sure, the Charger Hellcat is a usable sedan with little draw-backs, but the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk offers 68.3 cubic feet of cargo volume and a respectable 7,200 pounds of towing capacity. Not to mention, this Jeep will likely do well in wintertime conditions with a set of proper tires, especially since its drive modes include a setting for snow.

Jeep engineers didn’t just shoehorn a Hellcat V-8 under the hood of an ordinary Grand Cherokee, however. The Trackhawk is heavily modified, sharing nearly no common powertrain parts with the standard Grand Cherokees. Even the 6.4-liter V-8-powered Grand Cherokee SRT version comes with less whiz-bang engineering.

Keep reading for the full run-down of Jeep’s new Hellcat powered hawk.

Continue reading for more in formation on the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

In case you haven’t noticed, let me be the first to tell you – there’s some really weird things going on in the auto industry these days, especially when it comes to performance machines. Some of the fastest cars on the planet are hybrids (Ferrari LaFerrari, Porsche 918 Spyder and McLaren P1), and the all-electrics aren’t that far behind. But probably the weirdest trend of them all is the performance SUV craze. These are two terms that make for strange bedfellows – “performance,” as in going fast, and “SUV,” as in big and tall and heavy and utilitarian. These things shouldn’t go together, but go together they do thanks to cutting-edge engineering magic. Performance SUVs seem to flaunt their resistance to the laws of physics, and the latest entry in this segment (and perhaps one of the most celebrated) is the vaunted Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, a Hellcat-powered off-roader-turned-dragster that promises tire-shredding power and absurd speed potential in a tall-bodied package. It’s big, dumb, and completely pointless. And I really wanna drive it.

I’ll explain. When I first heard the rumors Jeep was fixing to stuff an SUV with Hellcat power, I was perplexed. I found the idea of a 700-horsepower SUV to be absurd and unnatural. If acceleration and speed is what you’re after, why go to the trouble of making it happen in a body style so out of line with that stated goal?

I still feel that way now, and probably always will. For the price of a Trackhawk, you could easily get two vehicles to fill the dual roles of speed-maker and utility hauler, each of which would do their respective duty better than a single Trackhawk ever could.

But that still doesn’t mean I don’t want to drive this thing.

Continue reading to see what I’m talking about.

2017 Jeep Trailpass Concept

The new 2018 Compass gets its first Easter Jeep Safari concept

The 2018 Jeep Compass is completely new this year, ushering in a new era of Jeep history without the terribly awful Patriot and first-generation Compass. A new chassis, exterior design, and interior make the new Compass far superior to the outgoing model. Understandably then, we’re excited to see this – Jeep’s first special edition concept based on the 2018 Compass. It’s called the Trailpass and it uses Mopar and Jeep Performance Parts to gain off-road capability and a general improvement in awesomeness.

The Trailpass features a 1.5-inch suspension lift for better ground clearance. It also affords more room for larger wheels and tires. Jeep chose 18-inch wheels wrapped in Continental’s new all-terrain tire, the TerrainContact. The wheels also boast an orange-painted pocket that matches the tow hooks and badges.

The rest of the exterior is dressed up with an olive drab paint color, accented by a black hood and roof. The hood has olive drab graphics that add some character. The mirror caps also match the gloss black wheels for an added touch. Up top, the Compass has a roof rack from Thule that’s available through Mopar. Mounted inside are traction mats for getting out of sticky situations. Rock sliders protect the rocker panels under the doors, while looking like a factory piece.

There’s more going on with the Trailpass concept, so keep reading for more.

Continue reading to learn more about the Jeep Trailpass Concept.

2017 Jeep Luminator

And you thought SEMA has a ton of LED lights…

Continuing in Jeep’s 2017 lineup of Easter Jeep Safari concepts is this, the Wrangler Luminator concept. As the name suggests, this modified Wrangler is all about illumination. It features a wide array of LED lights for busting through the night. There’s even a solar panel on the roof, along with a drone landing pad.

Jeep engineers didn’t leave the rest of the Wrangler unchanged. This concept features upgraded parts throughout. Up front is the 10th anniversary bumper with a Warn winch, the heat-reduction hood covers the engine bay, flat fenders give it a more rugged stance, and the rolling stock has been upgraded to Jeep Performance Parts beadlock wheels and Goodyear Wrangler MT/R mud tires. The differential covers are also upgraded for added strength and a little bit of Jeep branding.

A cool color scheme has a bright blue on bottom, matching the beadlock rinds on the wheels, while glossy black covers the top half. A white roof and stripes finish off the look.

But the main story is all about those lights.

The main headlights are LED projector bi-function units. The taillights are custom designed round lights. The left taillight even has a 110-volt power outlet hidden behind a door. The fog lights are LED, of course, as are the A-pillar lights. The front bumper has large driving lights with smaller side lights that illuminate dark trails. Even the turn signal lights are LED units. There is also a LED light bar hidden long the top of the windshield, and under body lights ensure the ground around the Wrangler is visible.

What’s more, the hood features a unique LED light bar with a center-mounted night-vision scanner. If it detects wildlife or people walking on the trail, it will signal the light bar to shine a spotlight onto the object. Out back, the center high-mount stop light has been replaced with a concept unit. It does multiple duties on top of shining red with the brakes. It uses different colors for different speeds, letting those behind it know how fast it’s going. From one to three mph, the right shines amber, while from three to 25 mph, it shines green. Of course, when it’s time to stop, it shines red. It also acts as a scouting lamp with a white glow.

There’s more about this Jeep concept, so keep reading for more.

Continue reading to learn more about the Jeep Luminator.

2018 Jeep Wrangler JL to get SRT Demon Edition, Inside Source Says!

Watch out, Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, the Demon Wrangler is coming!

Jeep will build a 750+ horsepower Wrangler Unlimited with all the racing components found on the upcoming Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, including the supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V-8 and Drag Mode. The information comes directly from TopSpeed’s anonymous inside source that works closely with SRT projects. Best of all, the Jeep will be called the Demon Wrangler.

“Jeep is expanding its boundaries with the Grand Cherokee SRT Trackhawk, but some in the company though more was needed,” said our informant during a chat on the dark web. “The Wrangler is our hottest product, so we figured a track-focused edition would get plenty of traction – pun intended.”

The Demon Wrangler will use super wide, 315-series performance tires from Nitto, while its 4WD system is upgraded to a full-time AWD system with beefy components able to withstand hard launches. The interior is complete with a flat-bottom steering wheel, a five-point racing harness, and the Performance Pages on the new Uconnect system.

Under the hood, the Hemi V-8 will use the A/C to chill the liquid-to-air heat exchanger, just like the Challenger Demon. The transmission brake is also present, allowing the Demon Wrangler’s supercharger to reach full boost before launching.

Our inside source says official speed trials have not been completed, but preliminary runs show the Demon Wrangler hitting 60 mph in just 3.3 seconds and through the quarter-mile in 10.82 seconds at 125 mph – just a hair’s breath slower than the Challenger Demon due to wind resistance.

The insider was adamant these details are mythical, due in large part to a Jeep’s inability to wrangle demons. Happy April 1st, everybody.

2017 Jeep Grand One

This ZJ is resto-modded with nostalgic love

Not every concept for the 2017 Easter Jeep Safari is a Wrangler. Sure, there’s the Compass-based Trailpass Concept, but this… this is The Grand One. It’s a 1993 Grand Cherokee ZJ that Jeep bought off Craigslist and restored with absolute attention to detail. The 1990s is running strong here, as Jeep designers include an old-school car phone and Nintendo Gameboy. The body paint even has translucent woodgrain paneling along the sides. Jeep’s purpose here is to honor the Grand Cherokee’s 25th anniversary, having debuted in 1992.

This ZJ started life as an ordinary Grand Cherokee with the old 5.2-liter V-8 and four-speed automatic transmission. Those components were restored to proper working order, as was the rest of the Jeep. Modifications include a two-inch suspension lift to help clear the 33-inch BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM2 tires. The new Dana 44 solid axles were also moved apart, with the front axle relocated two inches forward, while the rear was moved back three inches – both thanks to longer control arms. The wheel wells were widened to accommodate the move, while wider fender flairs cover the meatier tires. Locking differentials were also included.

The Jeep is coated in a warm blue hue, complemented by matte black accents on the hood, grille, and bumpers. Custom 18-inch wheels were created to look like the lace-style wheels originally offered on upper trim levels of the first-generation Grand Cherokee. And it wouldn’t be a Jeep build if there weren’t Easter Eggs scattered about. A “Hammer Time” decal becomes visible when the third brake light illuminates, and there’s a sticker on the back window that reads “OGZJ.”

There’s plenty more Jeep has done to this lucky survivor, so keep reading for the full run-down.

Continue reading to learn more about the Jeep Grand One.

2017 Jeep Safari Concept

The open-air Wrangler for those who hate the open air

The crop of concept Jeeps for the 2017 Easter Jeep Safari are upon us, and Jeep has spared no expense to wow Wrangler enthusiast with several outlandish builds, including this – the Safari Concept. Based on the Wrangler Unlimited, this one-off custom features unique parts throughout, not the least of which are the rear suicide doors, vinyl windows, and clear top. Oh, and it has a drone mounted on the roof. You know, for doing drone stuff. Jeep says it built the Safari concept to “bring the outdoors in, while keeping the doors and roof on.” We’re big fans of running without the doors and top, but the idea isn’t lost on us.

Most of this Wrangler remains stock, but many key areas have been updated. First, the grille is new, shared also with the Quicksand Concept, and is likely the grille for the upcoming Wrangler JL, the replacement for the decade-old Wrangler JK. Custom wheels, bumpers, rocker panels, fenders, and interior round out the concept.

Inside, the seats appear to be borrowed from the Fiat 500 Abarth, the stock radio is replaced with an Apple iPad, and the steering wheel is borrowed from the FCA parts bin. Lime green accents are carried around the body and interior, including the door jams and lightweight top.

There’s definitely more to this Jeep, though, so keep reading for the full scoop.

Continue reading to learn more about the Jeep Safari Concept.

2017 Jeep Quicksand Concept

Vintage hot rod + 392-powered Wrangler = WANT!

Okay, I’m a big sucker for the Wrangler, but I’ve got a soft spot for vintage metal, particularly from the American hot rod glory days. Well, Jeep has combined the two with this – the Quicksand Concept. This one-off concept Jeep was built for the 2017 Easter Jeep Safari, an annual event in Moab, Utah where thousands of Jeep enthusiasts come to drive desert trails. It’s also been home to outlandish concepts built by Jeep for the last decade.

The Quicksand concept started as a two-door Wrangler but has been completely transformed into something altogether cooler. The wheelbase has been stretched, making more stable off road, the suspension is lifted and features huge coil-over shocks at each corner, and the standard V-6 engine has been scrapped for a massive, 392 cubic-inch Hemi V-8. Of course, that’s just the start.

Check out that kinked grille. I’d bet that’s the grille from the upcoming Wrangler JL, the next-generation of Wrangler. It wouldn’t surprise any Jeep fan to see FCA engineers pull a stunt like that…

The interior of the Quicksand concept is all retro, featuring low-back bucket seats, a huge shifter for the manual transmission, and some throw-back gauges for that authentic feel.

There’s plenty more to talk about, so keep reading for all the details.

Continue reading to learn more about the Jeep Quicksand Concept.

2017 Jeep Switchback Concept

Jeep’s idea of an ultimate off-road Wrangler Unlimited

It’s that time of year – the Easter Jeep Safari is closing in a2d Jeep has just released its batch of 2017 concept vehicles for the annual enthusiast even held in Moab, Utah. Jeep is bringing five original concept vehicles to the jamboree, each with their own style. They also have tons of production and experimental parts from Mopar and Jeep Performance Parts bolted on. This particular Jeep, the Wrangler Switchback Concept, showcases a high-level off-roader modified with beefier axles, bigger wheels and tires, and a slew of one-off parts.

Jeep engineers gave this Wrangler a high-line fender kit, custom half-metal doors, concept wheels, a Safari-style hard top, a roof rack, and a unique heat-reduction hood, among other changes.

Of course, what’s a modified Wrangler without a lift kit? The Switchback concept boasts a four-inch suspension lift with remote reservoir Fox Racing shocks. The axles are heavy-duty Dana 44 units, and the tires are 37 inchers from BFGoodrich. There’s plenty more to cover, so keep reading for more.

Continue reading to learn more about the Jeep Switchback Concept.


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