Diesel vehicles maybe at the beginning of a renaissance of sorts in the United States. Audi came to the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show last week with a slew of diesel-powered vehicles including an A6, A7, A8, Q5, and an updated Q7. Now, after months of rumors and speculation, Jeep is finally joining in on the fun and will be unveiling a diesel-powered Grand Cherokee at the 2013 North American International Auto Show next month in Detroit. Jeep may not stop there either, and brand President and CEO Mike Manley sees diesel engines sticking around for the long haul.
“I see that growth continuing,” said Manley to WardsAuto when asked about diesel engine popularity in the United States. “As people realize that diesel not just offers great fuel economy but also good driving dynamics in a clean way, I see that part of the segment continue to grow.”
A 3.0-liter diesel engine is expected to power the new stateside Grand Cherokee variant with this combination is currently sold in Europe. Manley also told WardsAuto that ride noise, vibration, and harshness have all been dulled thanks to the use of diesel engines and driving dynamics have been elevated.
A Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel isn’t the only thing Chrysler’s utilitarian brand is looking at, too. A Fiat-based replacement for the Jeep Liberty is also scheduled to be unveiled in Detroit and will continue to sit between the Patriot/Compass and the Grand Cherokee. Manley went as far as to hint at the Liberty nameplate living on, but he also alluded to a rumor that’s been making the rounds a lot over the past year.
“A lot of people are speculating that we’re going to bring the Cherokee name back. That’s the speculation,” said Manley to WardsAuto. Manley added that the name of the upcoming replacement will be made known at the same time that the new model is unveiled. As for the dilapidated Patriot and Compass, Manley also made it known that both vehicles would be going through a significant refresh and should be ready for public consumption in the second quarter of next year. The Grand Wagoneer is also still on track, and should be ready to go sometime in 2014 or 2015. Jeep is still hammering out the details according to Manley.