Jeep Grand Cherokee

Jeep unveils its new Grand Cherokee by driving it up its show stand stairs

It might be all doom and gloom in the headlines for Chrysler, but the struggling US giant has kept its head held high in New York.

In a defiant speech, Chrysler’s president Jim Press talked of working hard to building a leaner more efficient company, and the ongoing partnership negotiations with Fiat. He even drove onto stage in a Fiat 500. But nothing proves a company is alive and kicking more than an all-new model. Enter the 2011 Jeep grand Cherokee.

In a surprise unveiling, the brand-new luxury off-roader drove up the stairs of the stand and took centre stage. Sitting on the Mercedes ML platform, the new Jeep goes for a sophisticated sculpted look that gives the car a more premium feel. And thanks to Chrysler’s newly formed advanced interior design studio, the cabin has upped the quality significantly over the current model.

The chassis is 146 per cent stiffer than the current car, that’s even more rigid than the BMW X5, which should guarantee excellent on-road manners. But thanks to an advanced four-wheel-drive system with a limited-slip differential and adjustable ESP it should retain Jeep’s rugged off-road abilities, too.

An all-new 280bhp 3.6-litre V6 will be offered when the car goes on sale next year, but European customers are more likely to go for the 3.0-litre diesel unit borrowed from Mercedes. A high-performance SRT version is unlikely.

Click here for more from the New York motor show.

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