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Auto blogThu, 12 Sep 2013 19:29:00 EST
If 2012 was the year of the dragon in China, perhaps the US can claim 2014. After showing the Jeep Wrangler Dragon Design Concept at the 2012 Beijing Motor Show, and apparently receiving "tremendously positive feedback" from Jeep enthusiasts across the globe, the automaker has decided to introduce a production version that will hit US showrooms this fall with a price of $36,095.
"The dragon symbolizes strength and power and is an aspirational character normally associated with royalty and good fortune," says Jeep, and that apparently equates to a blacked-out Wrangler Unlimited with bronze satin gloss highlights inside and out, along with big dragon decals that start on the hood and run down the fenders. There are 18-inch matte black wheels with a bronze outer edges, and a dragon-emblazoned spare tire cover completes the look.
We suggest you peruse the high-res image gallery above to see all the black and bronze detailing yourself, and make special note of the interior. In related news, all 2014 Jeep Wrangler models get an optional Trail Kit and clear park lamps to replace the previous amber units. New colors include Amp'd, Anvil, Copperhead, Flame Red, Granite Crystal and Hydro Blue (Freedom edition only), which join carryover colors Billet Silver, Bright White, Black and Dune.
It was reported in Automotive News a few months ago, but a new report on Allpar.com adds some details to news that the 2014 Jeep Compass and Patriot will get a six-speed automatic to replace the CVTs they currently use. According to a tip provided to Allpar, the 2014 models will begin production in March and be on sale sometime in the summer. The Jatco-sourced CVT in use until now - Jatco is owned by Nissan and Mitsubishi - has been often criticized, and many won't be sad to see it go.
The incoming six-speed automatic is said to be an all-wheel-drive cog-swapper that's the work of Hyundai and Magna and has been paired with the DynaMax AWD system used in the Hyundai ix35 and Kia Sportage. It won't be the only Chrysler product using a transmission with ties to Hyundai: the six-speed automatic in the Dodge Dart comes from Powertech, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hyundai. With the Patriot and Compass said to be driving down the trail for the last time this year, it will be a short run for the new tranny and the rumored addition of a backup camera and power rear liftgate on the Compass.
With our deep dive and auto show coverage of the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee revealed at the Detroit Auto Show, we brought you as much information as Chrysler would allow us to, but one thing we're still left in the dark about was the pricing. It would seem that Jeep Garage might have the answer for that. The Jeep enthusiast forum claims to have gotten its hands on the ordering and pricing breakdown for the updated Grand Cherokee, and while a Jeep representative has yet to get back to us as to the validity of the site's claim, these preliminary numbers look pretty kosher to us.
In base form, the two-wheel-drive Laredo will reportedly start at $28,795, which is a $1,100 increase over the 2013 model year, and the new Grand Cherokee Summit trim level starts at $47,995 for 4x2 models and $50,995 for the 4x4. Waiting for the new diesel engine? The torquey new 3.0-liter oil-burner will be a $4,500 option on Limited, Overland and Summit 4x4 models, but 4x2 pricing (and availability) are not known. As for the range-topping Grand Cherokee SRT (no longer called the SRT8), this added performance could run you an extra $2,700 with a new starting price of $62,995. More importantly, loaded to the gills with all available options, the 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT will top out at around $72,400 - or around $6,000 more than a fully loaded 2013 GC SRT8.
We'll let you know if the gang over at Jeep get back to us with any confirmation, but until then, head over to Jeep Garage to see the pricing details it has listed.