1977 Jeep Cherokee Chief Sport Utility 2-door on 2040-cars
Cypress, Texas, United States
Jeep Cherokee for Sale
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Auto blogWed, 05 Nov 2014 17:40:00 EST
While Jeep certainly had some new customs on display at this year's SEMA show, it wasn't afraid to recycle a few that people might have missed from earlier this year. The maker of many beloved off-roaders already displayed the Jeep Cherokee Dakar, Maximum Performance Wrangler and Wrangler Mojo at the 2014 Easter Safari, but they all made it to SEMA for an encore.
Based around the Trailhawk, the Cherokee Dakar (pictured above) imagines an even more off-road-capable version of the crossover. The concept wears a mix of Silver Steel Stain paint with Flame Red graphics and rides on 17-inch wheels wrapped in 33-inch BFGoodrich Mud Terrain tires. To back up the rugged look, the Dakar is fitted with rock rails and skid plates protecting the oil pan, front suspension, fuel tank and other underbody parts. It also sports prototype parts from Jeep Performance Parts, including a lift kit and fender flares.
The Wrangler is one of the paragons of off-roading, and as the name suggests, the Maximum Performance Wrangler concept is meant to be the ultimate example of what it can do. The custom features locking Dana 60 axles front and rear, a 4:1 Rock-Trac transfer case, prototype 4-inch lift kit and 37-inch Mud Terrain tires over beadlock wheels. To stay on the trails well into the night, a bar of LEDs is mounted above the windshield. And finally, the Mopar Blue exterior kind of makes the vehicle look like the world's toughest blueberry.
We've heard rumors before about a new, baby Jeep to slot below the new-for-2014 Cherokee (pictured) in the automaker's lineup. Now, Edmunds is reporting that the new crossover will arrive sometime in 2014, and will be about the same size as the Ford Fiesta. This currently unnamed vehicle will effectively replace both the Compass and Patriot in the Jeep lineup.
Speaking to Edmunds, Jeep CEO Mike Manley said that the new, small Jeep will be assembled in Italy and marketed globally beginning sometime next year. Manley did not provide many details on the new model, but did say that it will be 4.2-meters (165 inches) long. The Cherokee, by comparison, is 4.6-meters long (181 inches). Furthermore, Edmunds reports that while the new small Jeep will offer diesel power in other markets, there are no plans for an oil-burning version here in the US.
Many other automakers are exploring this smaller crossover segment here in the US. General Motors recently launched the Buick Encore, which is loosely based on the Chevrolet Sonic subcompact's platform. Ford has already launched its Fiesta-based EcoSport in other markets, and has reportedly been pondering the idea of offering it in the US, as well.
Striving for improved fuel economy, we already knew that Chrysler will begin using a nine-speed automatic transmission in some of its new products this year, but what we haven't known is that volume at which this gearbox will be used. According to Bloomberg, Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has been quoted as saying that the automaker expects to sell close to 200,000 units equipped with this new transmission in 2013. Those gear-rich trannies will be spread out across three models, consisting of the redesigned Chrysler 200, the still-unnamed Jeep Liberty replacement and the Dodge Dart.
This transmission should play a pivotal role in making Chrysler vehicles more competitive in their respective segments. Just for comparison, one of the Dart's key competitors, the Toyota Corolla, still uses a four-speed automatic, and a previous report indicates that the next-generation 200 could get up to 38 miles per gallon on the highway, which is better than most non-hybrid midsize sedans on the market. Marchionne says that the new Jeep model is expected during the second quarter of this year, but there is no word as to when the new 200 or nine-speed Dart will debut, but clearly Dodge would like to have the transmission in its compact yesterday. As for that volume figure, it definitely doesn't seem out of reach since the Dart, Liberty and 200 combined for a total of more than 225,000 units in 2012.
How many more gears can we expect in future cars? Probably not many more, since the CEO of transmission-builder ZF, Stefan Sommer, previously stated that nine speeds was the "natural limit" for transmissions.