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Event : 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 & Wrangler Arctic - Frankfurt Auto Show

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author photo by David Boldt

As Chrysler's leading global brand, it should come as no surprise that Jeep's renewed marketing mojo would be of interest to the Eurozone, where the affluent can still put their societal 'pedal to the metal,' while those countries with declining infrastructure have a very real need for off-road transport.

Jeep's product team has both bases covered. Showcased on a display stand featuring shades of white, gray and beige, the hues are intended to provide a backdrop evocative of sand dunes, snow drifts and the city boulevard. And in the specific case of Jeep's Grand Cherokee SRT8, we shouldn't forget the Autobahn.

The American motoring public may be conversant with Chrysler's SRT (Street and Racing Technology) arm, but it sits lower on the automotive radar in and around Europe. This newest performance iteration of the new Grand Cherokee, with 470 horsepower from a 6.4-liter HEMI V8, should raise that profile considerably. And putting that power to the pavement is a newly designed active-damping suspension, along with high performance rubber fully appropriate to 0-62 mph acceleration in under five seconds. The halo Jeep is scheduled to arrive on European showrooms in the first quarter of 2012.

A more conventional take on 'Jeeping' is the 2012 Wrangler. The old 3.8-liter V6 is out, and an all-new 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 is in. Offering 284 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, the vastly improved powerplant reduces 0-60 times from 'are we there yet?' to 'das ist gut.' In combination with an enhanced interior (introduced in 2011 models), both Wranglers - standard and 4-door Unlimited - are much better equipped for on-road driving, while remaining at the top of their category for off-road adventure.

Finally, Jeep prepares its customers for a Nordic winter with the Jeep Wrangler Arctic, a special edition designed to highlight Jeep's acumen on a snow-covered landscape. That snow-covered capability is unchanged, but the dynamic is visually heightened with distinctive colors and details, Arctic-specific badging and unique 17-inch wheels. Power is supplied by either the new 3.6-liter V6 or a 2.8-liter turbo diesel.

See more coverage of the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show.

DAVID BOLDT began his automotive career in BMW and Saab showrooms in the 1980s, and he moved to automotive journalism in 1993. David has written for a variety of regional and national publications, and prior to joining AutoTrader, he managed media relations for a Japanese OEM.
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2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 & Wrangler Arctic - Frankfurt Auto Show