Jeep Introduces Grand Cherokee Concept in Houston
- Production-intent vehicle raises the visual ante in Grand Cherokee lineup
- Consumers given chance to supply name via on-line "Name My Ride" contest
- New trim level serves as exclamation point to Grand Cherokee's 2011 sales success
On the heels of a successful calendar year, Jeep introduces a production-intent concept at this week's Houston Auto Show. The introduction builds on the established success of niche variants of Jeep's Wrangler, and while the modifications don't speak to enhanced off-road capability, that functionality is rarely a factor in a Texas showroom.
The redesigned Grand Cherokee has been the principal driver in Chrysler's rebound from bankruptcy. With a lengthened wheelbase, all-independent suspension and shortened overhangs front and rear, this 'grandest' Grand Cherokee provides a significant bump in on-road composure while retaining the off-road credibility for which the Jeep brand is best known. And despite several trim variations already on the showroom Jeep executives are probably correct in their assessment; there's always room for one more.
Separating this Jeep-With-No-Name concept from others in the show is a unique platinum-chrome front end and black-gloss 20-inch wheels, in combination with other exterior tweaks fully appropriate to today's urban - not suburban - environs. In a statement issued prior to the Houston show, Mike Manley, Jeep's President and CEO, noted that the Grand Cherokee concept "provides a completely new look - one that is edgy and aggressive, and certainly different than any Grand Cherokee on the road today."
Also different is the model's name, left in the hands of the consuming public via an on-line "Name My Ride" contest. The person choosing the winning name will have an opportunity to win a new 2012 Grand Cherokee, while those non-winners retain the chance to buy one.
If reaction to the No-Name concept meets expectations, the concept could be in Jeep showrooms as early as this spring, providing a short window for consumers to clean up their credit reports.