4 x 4 Australia - - 4cast -

Among the wild and crazy con­cept ve­hi­cles on the trails in Moab, Utah, at this year’s an­nual Easter Jeep Sa­fari was this sneak peek at a pro­duc­tion model we’ll see later this year.

The WK2 Grand Chero­kee Trailhawk will see the Trailhawk name ap­plied to the lat­est GC. Jeep in­tro­duced the Trailhawk name on a Grand Chero­kee con­cept ve­hi­cle at the 2012 Easter Jeep Sa­fari. The idea was to de­liver a unique and more rugged ap­pear­ance, with a host of func­tional fea­tures that re­sulted in an in­creased level of off-road 4x4 ca­pa­bil­ity. Since then we’ve seen it on the KL Chero­kee and most re­cently on the Jeep Rene­gade SUV.

The Trailhawk will join the Grand Chero­kee line-up as part of the up­grades to make the 2017 mod­els. The bold ex­te­rior fea­tures a front fas­cia taken from the Grand Chero­kee 75th An­niver­sary edi­tion, Trailhawk-sig­na­ture red tow hooks in the front and rear, 18-inch or op­tional 20-inch all-ter­rain tyres, new Trailhawk and Trail Rated badges with red ac­cents, a roof rack, and op­tional Mopar rock rails for added pro­tec­tion. Skid plates and a Trailhawk-spe­cific anti-glare hood de­cal are also stan­dard.

The Grand Chero­kee Trailhawk will be equipped with a host of stan­dard off-road-ca­pa­ble fea­tures, in­clud­ing Jeep’s Quadradrive II 4x4 sys­tem with rear Elec­tronic Lim­ited Slip Dif­fer­en­tial (ELSD) for all pow­er­trains and a unique ver­sion of Grand Chero­kee’s Quadra-lift air sus­pen­sion that of­fers im­proved ar­tic­u­la­tion and to­tal sus­pen­sion travel – some­thing that has been a weak point for the cur­rent in­de­pen­dently air­sus­pended GC.

Ap­proach an­gles on the Jeep Grand Chero­kee are 29.8 de­grees or 36.1 de­grees when the lower front fas­cia is re­moved for off-road­ing, while the breakover an­gle is 27.1 de­grees and the de­par­ture an­gle is 22.8 de­grees. Grand Chero­kee Trailhawk mod­els of­fer up to 10.8 inches of ground clearance.

In­side, Trailhawk mod­els fea­ture a unique black in­te­rior with leather and suede seats with red ac­cent stitch­ing, brushed Pi­ano Black ap­pliques, gun-metal fin­ish on all painted in­te­rior parts, a Trailhawk badge on the steer­ing wheel, and red ac­cent stitch­ing on the doors and con­sole. A stan­dard 8.4-inch touch­screen in­cludes up­dated off-road pages show­ing wheel ar­tic­u­la­tion and other ve­hi­cle 4x4 ca­pa­bil­ity fea­tures in­clud­ing sus­pen­sion height and 4x4 and Selec-ter­rain modes.

When the 2017 model Grand Chero­kee ar­rives in the third quar­ter of this year the range will con­tinue with Laredo, Lim­ited and Over­land vari­ants, plus the Trailhawk with the choice of petrol and diesel en­gines. It’s as yet un­clear as to what pow­er­train will be of­fered in the Trailhawk, but we hope Jeep doesn’t con­tinue its trend of only of­fer­ing Trail­hawks with petrol en­gines as per the Chero­kee and Rene­gade mod­els. The ex­cel­lent 3.0-litre diesel V6 and eight-speed auto would be the ideal pow­er­train for the GC Trailhawk in Aus­tralia.

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