Jodhpur: Two global SUV icons, the Jeep® Wrangler and Jeep Grand Cherokee have finally been launched in India. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), which owns the brand globally is bringing both models to India as direct imports. The company plans to add another premium Jeep SUV to its portfolio when local production starts at its Ranjangaon manufacturing facility near Pune next year.
A 75-year old brand with a rich heritage, Jeep is well known the world over for its originality and authenticity. In fact, it pioneered the SUV segment and the concept of off-roading. While Jeep Wrangler remains the most capable production 4×4 vehicle in the world, Jeep Grand Cherokee is the most awarded SUV of all time.
Prices are going to be steep though. While the Wrangler would be available in a single variant and could set you back by INR 71.59* lakh, the Grand Cherokee comes in 3 variants – ‘Limited’ priced at INR 93.64* lakh, ‘Summit’ priced at INR 1.03* crore and the range topping ‘SRT’ variant priced at INR 1.12* crore.
Jeep Wrangler is powered by a 2.8L EcoDiesel inline 4-cylinder engine, mated with a 5-speed automatic transmission. It has a peak power output of 200 PS @3600 rpm and peak torque of 460Nm in the 1600-2600 rpm band. Its ‘go anywhere’ attitude with a fortress like body shell makes it an exciting drive, and it is protected by subtly inbuilt sport bars and comes with wash-out interiors with drain plugs. It has removable doors, a three-piece modular, removable hard top as well as a soft top. The interiors feature McKinley leather seats with accent stitching, a lockable central console, a 9-speaker Alpine music system and a 6.5″ Uconnect touch screen navigation system accessible through voice commands. The Wrangler is the only Trail Rated SUV in the market and comes fitted with 17″ Silent Armour Goodyear Tyres. It will be available in six colours.
The Grand Cherokee Limited and Summit variants are powered by the 3.0L V6 EcoDiesel, producing a max power of 243 PS @3600 rpm and peak torque of 570Nm @2000 rpm. They come with a 8-speed automatic transmission with Paddle Shifts. The flagship SRT variant has the 6.4L HEMI V8 petrol engine which produces a peak power of 475PS @6250 rpm, peak torque of 624Nm @4100 rpm and is mated with an 8-speed automatic transmission with Paddle Shifts.
The Grand Cherokee SRT will be available in five colours and is capable of doing 0-100 km/h in five seconds flat, thanks to the launch control button. It features a Quadra-Trac full-time Active-on-Demand 4WD system linked to a five-mode Selec-Track system, and is supported by a high performance adaptive suspension and Brembo brakes at all four corners. Inside the cockpit it gives feedback on G-force on the 7″ instrument cluster and real time performance data on the 8.4″ UConnect system. The seats are in Laguna leather sourced from Swedish tanners and the 8.4″ multimedia system is wired to a 19-speaker Harman Kardon sound system.
The Grand Cherokee Summit would be available in six colours and comes with Nappa leather seats and suede-like headliner. There is leather on the instrument panel door, center console, shifter knob and armrest as well, and the use of open-pore wood enhances the interior. It is equipped with a 9-speaker Alpine music system synced to the 8.4″ UConnect infotainment system and a customisable 7″ instrument cluster. There is also a Blu-ray entertainment system and a panoramic sunroof. Like the SRT, it offers Quadra-Trac II with the SelecTerrain traction control system and comes with a set of 20″ alloys.
The Jeep ownership experience would includes a two-year, unlimited mileage manufacturer’s warranty as standard, with international coverage and transferrable to the second owner. A 24/7 helpline ‘Jeep Assist’ would be available for roadside assistance too. Toll free assistance will be provided in case of accidents and breakdowns and additionally, customers will be provided with a return journey Business Class air ticket or a hotel stay.
The vehicles will be sold in India through 10 Jeep Destination Stores across nine cities by the end of this year. The Ahmedabad store goes live at the time of launch, followed by New Delhi and Chennai in September. The Mumbai outlet will open in October along with a second outlet in New Delhi (both before Diwali), followed by Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Kochi and Bengaluru.
FCA has invested US$ 280 million in its Ranjangaon facility and is looking at beefing up its after-sales service too, which currently remains a weak link. While the price may be a bit of a blow to many, let’s hope the brand is off to a flying start as there are enough Indians waiting to own ‘the only one’ without an eye on the prices.