Thursday, February 15, 2007

HB Ride Spotting: Crazy Jeeps

I had not seen anything interesting in quite a while, and then they started coming from all over. There's a lot of crazy stuff here.

This is a Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 3.0 CRD. It’s totally production, and I just don’t know if it is a European-spec Jeep or the new 2007 US production model. I contacted my dealer about ordering one, and it is only launching on the Limited and Overland trim levels, which means the least expensive diesel Jeep this year is $38,000! A cynical view would be that someone wants it to fail, because only the most affluent buyers will have access to this vehicle. More likely, they're going to try to maximize profit on an in-demand engine and then let it trickle down. Any hopes of running biodiesel on a new Jeep this year were dashed though.

More attainable is this Dodge Nitro diesel I spotted on Woodward last week. I know, I know, lousy phone camera resolution means you can’t tell, so you’ll just have to take my work for it that the small dark badge in the lower right hand corner says “CRD,” short for Common Rail Diesel. This could be the same Mercedes-sourced 3.0 six-cylinder that powers the Cherokee, and I imagine it would really hustle in the Nitro, which is substantially lighter. I think it would be a safe bet that this shows up in the redesigned Jeep Liberty as well.

Now, I have no idea what is happening in these pictures, except that Jeep is clearly testing something based on the crazy exhaust pipe sticking out of the back. Anybody know?

UPDATE: This is interesting. My lease is up shortly, and I'm trying to figure out what to do. I was building a new Jeep online, and as of now, the diesel engine is aavailable on the Laredo, but only as a $5,000 option on the X package (i.e. leather, sunroofs, etc). It is less expensive than the Limited diesel, but $5,000 for an engine option? Wow.

No comments: