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Base Jeep Grand Cherokee V8 strategy a success

V for V8: The Grand Cherokee’s S Limited variant is powered by a 259kW/520Nm 5.7-litre V8 that similar to that found in the Chrysler 300C.

Entry-level S Limited likely to join full-time Jeep Grand Cherokee V8 range

22 May 2019

JEEP says it is hugely encouraged by the public response to its entry-level V8-powered Grand Cherokee, prompting moves to make the recently introduced S Limited variant a permanent part of the large SUV’s line-up.


Speaking to GoAuto at the launch of the Jeep JL Wrangler range in Tasmania last week, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Australia president and chief executive Steve Zanlunghi said there is untapped desire for affordable V8 SUVs that he intends to explore more thoroughly in the near future – well beyond the testbed 100 units released in April.


“We only launched it last month, and we’ve already sold 50 per cent of our stock in Australia,” he said. “The V8 based in the Grand Cherokee (is) doing very well for us, as is the (diesel-powered) S Overland (of which 120 are being imported).


“And I see the future for the V8s in the Grand Cherokee line-up because the demand is there.”


Along with pricing and positioning, the key difference between the S Limited and its two other Grand Cherokee V8 brethren is the size and output of engine.


Priced from $71,450 plus on-road costs, the S Limited is powered by a 259kW/520Nm 5.7-litre V8 that is similar to that found in the Chrysler 300C.


Meanwhile, the SRT starts from $91,450 and employs a 344kW/624Nm 6.4-litre V8 and the $134,900 Trackhawk flagship possesses a 522kW/868Nm 6.2-litre supercharged V8 that is capable of catapulting the crossover to 100km/h in just 3.7 seconds –1.2s faster than the SRT.


While some luxury-branded SUVs offer V8 petrol performance, none start at under $100,000, leaving only the Nissan Y62 Patrol from $71,990 and the Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series from $84,480 as the only V8 SUVs within reach for many Australians.


“In the Australian market there is a thirst for V8s,” said Mr Zanlunghi. “We’ve got the V8 SRT, which is high performance, and then we’ve got the Trackhawk, which is insane performance, but then with the S Limited we’ve got, we’re bringing it back down more to the mainstream buyer. (This strategy has) been very well received.”


The ongoing success of the Grand Cherokee S Limited may help keep the V8 supply lines open for Jeep in this market, as Australia is the leading (and only significant-volume) right-hand-drive market on the planet for V8-powered Jeeps.


“We couldn’t sell the SRT in the United Kingdom because of the carbon dioxide emissions restrictions in the UK… but in Australia for the moment, that doesn’t exist,” said Mr Zanlunghi.


As before, the Grand Cherokee continues to also be offered in V6 petrol and diesel formats, priced below the trio of V8s on offer.

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