2014 Jeep Cherokee, developed with engineering support from India, makes its online debut

Nithyanandh

Nithyanandh K, As a toddler, those wheeled machinery fascinated me even before I knew what they’re called as! So here I'm, petrolhead by birth, Mechanical engineer by qualification and automotive reporter by profession!

Jeep has released a set of official images of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee after a fully revealing spyshot started doing rounds on the internet.

2014 Jeep Cherokee front quarter2014 Jeep Cherokee front

The Liberty replacement has an exterior styling which doesn’t get you the first time you see it. We hope the design would grow on us as the time progresses.

The new Jeep Cherokee has a completely new design language for the front fascia. The trademark seven slot grill exists on two different planes and is located on the bonnet which is stretched all the way to front bumper.

The headlamps are mounted low and there are eyebrow lamps above the headlights which integrate daytime running lamps and turn indicators. The bumper mounted fog lamps are the third set of lights in the front. The grill and the lower air dam get chrome highlighting.

2014 Jeep Cherokee on road2014 Jeep Cherokee front wheels turned

The profile of the car looks like a downsized Grand Cherokee and Jeep has not yet revealed the midsize SUV’s rear. The car has silver roof rails, a common feature in most of the SUVs.

There is no official confirmation about the powertrain options yet, but Chrysler has stated that the 2014 Jeep Cherokee will be about 45% more fuel efficient that the outgoing Liberty. Media speculations suggest than the SUV would get a 2.4 litre TigerShark petrol engine and a 3.2 litre Pentastar V6 petrol. A 2.0 litre diesel is also rumored to be included in the lineup.

What’s the Indian connection to this car?

Chrysler India’s engineering center in Chennai (Tamil Nadu) played a significant role in the development of the new Cherokee. This was revealed to us by none other than Mr. Nagesh Basavanhalli, the managing director of the company.

When we met Mr. Basavanhalli recently at a Fiat dealership inauguration, we asked him if his company is involved with this car’s development. He replied “Absolutely. Because we started our genesis engineering center here supporting Chrysler, we grew from supporting one program to now we’re supporting pretty much all the programs for Chrysler North America. Pretty much all the programs. So as a global technical center… for example, in some cases, we may be working on seats. In some cases, we may be working on door trims or exterior. But in some cases, like the entire computer simulation, it’s all done here. It’s pretty much globally about 60% of the workload for the computer simulation, right, is all done here. So it’s done out of the Indian technical center.”

The new Jeep Cherokee will be made at Chrysler’s plant at Toledo, Ohio and the sales in the U.S. will commence in the third quarter of 2013. Could the Jeep Cherokee be the C Segment SUV Jeep has promised India for 2016.

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