Category Archives: Jeep

Jeep Unveils Tech Loaded 2018 Wrangler In L.A. [HD Mega Gallery]

When it comes to being a symbol of American pride, engineering, and capability, the Jeep Wrangler stands out as a unique automobile that has always proven to be a sales success for FCA (in its various incarnations) over the past several decades. With the future steering towards murkier waters, FCA needed to make sure that the 2018 Jeep Wrangler could continue to appeal to its loyal fanbase, while also bringing much needed capital to FCA’s bottom line. On that front, it appears that Jeep has once again produced a solid winner.

The exterior styling of the 2018 Wrangler is a tasteful evolution of the basic formula that has made the Wrangler a success among younger buyers, though this evolution may not be very obvious at first glance. Indeed, it is still very reminiscent of the current generation “JK” platformed Wrangler which was first introduced in 2007. However, a closer look reveals several key changes that aim to bring more refinement and capability to the crown jewel of the Jeep brand.

The basic layout retains its rugged pedigree, but it also adapts to the modern world, thanks to features such as a spare tire mounted rear backup camera, as well as push button start, with the latter item making its appearance in the Wrangler for the first time ever. The quest for higher fuel economy has affected all vehicle segments, and even the Wrangler has had to make several changes to allow it to adapt to this ever stricter category. Unlike the old all steel  JK model, the “JL” Wrangler incorporates aluminium into its construction, with the lightweight material making its appearance in some of the body panels to help improve its rather subpar fuel economy to an extent. Even the fold down windshield gets in the act, and what once took 90 minutes and 28 bolts to achieve, transforms into a simpler job that involves four bolts, and reduced setup time.

Along with its more upright grille, bigger tail lights, and fender mounted turn signals, the 2018 Wrangler sends a strong message to fans that it has not gone soft, and that it is still capable of going where many vehicle offerings wouldn’t even dare, including fording up to 30-inches of water.

The interior continues the evolutionary theme that is seen in the exterior, with the 2018 Wrangler featuring FCA’s latest iteration of its popular Uconnect infotainment system, as well as a smaller screen that is melded to its still distinctively analog instrument cluster. The dashboard is still tall and shallow, but round air vents are a nice improvement, and an increase in USB ports aim to make the Wrangler more adept at accepting mobile technology than ever before.

Three top options are avalible, and in addition to the hardtop, an easier to install soft top is also available, as well as an all new power operated top that can be considered a bigger version of Jeep’s MySky roof system. The trail ready cabin also offers occupants more passenger room especially in the Unlimited model, which is slightly wider than before, but has a reduced turning radius thanks to an all new electro-hydraulic steering system.

Higher grade materials are also on deck, and while the Wrangler will still play second fiddle to the Grand Cherokee in terms of amenities and comfort, the materials that are present are noticable improvements over the aging JK variant, and should help it become a slightly more livable companion out on long treks.

Performance for the 2018 Wrangler will initially come from two engines, with a slightly updated iteration of the familiar 3.6 liter Pentastar V6 resuming its volume oriented role. Good for 285 horsepower and a solid 260 lb-ft of torque, this latest version benefits from several tweaks that were designed to help boost fuel economy. An optional four cylinder also makes its appearance in the Wrangler after a 10 year absence, and allows the Wrangler to go hybrid–sort of. The turbocharged four banger produces 270 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, and is paired with a belt driven belt/generator system that draws electricity from a 48- volt system. This mild hybrid setup was designed to improve fuel economy, as well as engine performance in low engine rev situations.

 

However the real news will be the addition of two new engines to the Wrangler. A 3.0 liter turbodiesel capable of producing 260 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque is in the cards for 2019, as well as an all new PHEV model though Jeep did not elaborate on that model’s performance credentials.

The V6 can be equipped with either a six speed manual or an optional eight speed automatic that quietly retires the old six speed unit. The four cylinder is automatic only, but both models get standard all-wheel drive to help them be trail ready right out of the box.

Jeep has already started production of the 2018 Wrangler, and the first examples will trickle into showrooms early next year. Initally it will be sold alongside its predecessor before the JK platforms official retirement in 2018.

Jeep Unveils 2018 Wrangler, Will Make Official Debut In L.A

With the internet practically busting at the seams with 2018 Jeep Wrangler material (leaked or otherwise) Jeep has finally given in, and has unleashed several photos of the 2018 Jeep Wrangler ahead of its official debut at the 2018 L.A. Auto Show.

The exterior styling of the Wrangler largely retains the brash and beefy motif that has defined the Wrangler for decades. Even the basic profile retains alot of the 2017’s styling theme, and that’s actually a good thing, considering how wildly popular it is with buyers. However, there are some modern touches that help it transition to the new model year gracefully, while also upping its technology credentials at the same time. These include new headlights and tail lights, as well as a new power operating top (which was revealed during one of the many leaks that the internet generated.)

But Jeep fans worried about the open air vibe being taken away will be pleased to know that Jeep engineers have those needs covered too. Like before  owners can take off the roof panels, fold down the windshield, or if they must, take the doors off too. Other features include a new fuel door for the fuel cap, a tweaked roll bar, and revised door sills possibly to help make entry and exit a bit easier.

Unfortunately Jeep did not reveal formal engine, transmission, or other specifications as of yet. All that juicy info will be unveiled at the aforementioned reveal in Los Angeles, but look for the first production units to not venture too far out of the box when they eventually make their way to dealer showrooms. While a four cylinder (the first in several decades) has been long rumored, look for the first examples to be hooked up to the familiar and readily available Pentastar V6 with either an automatic or a manual transmission. Look for the rumored four cylinder to arrive later with only an automatic as well as a turbocharger to help bring some green to the Wrangler’s gas swilling ways.

In the meantime, Jeep used the ongoing SEMA show to showoff a wide array of 2018 Wrangler accessories that it will have available for its new truck with each one designed to help bring distinction (and in some cases enhanced capability) to its eager fan base. Also look for some preliminary information to emerge about the upcoming Wrangler based pickup in L.A. though a debut will probably not be for several more years.

Jeep Unveils Track Slaying Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

With the current parade of teasers that have been unveiled for the Dodge Demon, interest and intrigue surrounding FCA and its SRT lineup is at an all time high. While we still have to wait until April 16th to see the Demon in person, Jeep has decided to cut to the chase by unveiling its first ever Hellcat powered offering, the 2018 Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.

 

 

The standard SRT Grand Cherokee is already a potent beast out on the street, but the Trackhawk can be considered a welcome evolution of this formula. Curious observers that are trying to spot a Trackhawk out in the wild will have to look very closely at the finer details to spot it. Jeep designers retained the bulk of the standard SRT’s exterior styling with the fender flares and bumpers carrying over mostly unchanged.

 

 

However, a trademark cue is the lack of fog lamps, which were pitched so that more cold air could make its way to the engine, especially on the drivers side. The Trackhawk also gets model exclusive supercharged badging, as well as “Trackhawk” badges scattered throughout. The interior also gets minor updates with black chrome and carbon fiber trim adorning the cabin. Occupants are also coddled by  standard heated and cooled Nappa leather/suede seats which can be upgraded to full leather thrones as part of a leather package. Meanwhile, a separate metal package adds real metal accents to the cabin which in turn increases its performance oriented theme.

 

 

The star of the show lurks under the hood with all Trackhawks featuring the same 6.2 liter supercharged V8 that also sees duty in its sinister cousins the Dodge Charger and Challenger Hellcat models. Horsepower still checks in at a lofty 707 horsepower, but torque does drop a bit to 645 lb-ft versus 650 for the Hellcat twins. We don’t think many people will be bothered by that minor detail when they sign on the dotted line. Especially, since the Trackhawk can still lunge its way to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and post a scorching 11.6 second quarter mile time.

While the engine might be unchanged, the Trackhawk does offer one distinct difference when compared to its brethren, all-wheel drive. An eight speed automatic transmission helps channel all of the engine’s muscle to all four wheels, with Jeep engineers beefing up the single speed transfer case and adding an electronic limited slip differential. The transfer case also features a wider chain as well as forged sprockets that allow it to cope with the extra power demands wrought on it by the engine. Power is split 40/60 in its base setting, but the bias gradually increases in the more aggressive driving modes. Track mode serves as the pinnacle, and splits the power 30/70 while a snow belt friendly Snow mode delivers a perfect 50/50 split.

All of this raw power is good, but it wouldn’t  mean too much if the Trackhawk lacked the handling manners to make full use of it. Thankfully, Jeep engineers answered the call, and gave the Trackhawk a high performance suspension with adaptive Bilstein shocks. The stiffer suspension lowers the Trackhawk by 1-inch when compared to other Grand Cherokee models, which helps improve its overall stance, as well as mitigating excess body roll.

20-inch wheels shod in either all-season or optional three season rubber are standard equipment, but buyers can opt for optional forged wheels. Jeep claims that this latter option helps cut 12 pounds of excess weight, which is a plus when the Trackhawk is being pushed hard at the track. Braking is achieved by Brembo brakes with six piston calipers and 15.75 inch rotors up front, and 13.73 in the rear with four piston calipers providing the stopping power. Jeep claims that the front brakes are the largest set that it has ever fit onto one of its vehicles.

Jeep has not released official pricing for the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, but with the standard SRT Grand Cherokee priced in the $60,000 range, look for the Trackhawk to command a price tag closer to $70,000-80,000  when it thunders its way into dealer show rooms. In the meantime, stay tuned to Autoinfoquest.com for our live coverage of the 2017 New York Auto Show, as well as our live look at the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.

Jeep Unveils 2018 Compass In Brazil

Following a steady stream of spy photos as well as an accidental unveiling of the 2018 Compass by snoops in Brazil, Jeep has formally unveiled the 2018 Jeep Compass at a private event in the South American country.

Designed to formally replace both the Jeep Patriot and the current Jeep Compass (the two oldest models in FCA’s model lineup), this all new model aims to erase all the baggage that Jeep® Compass Limitedboth models accumulated during their time in production. It all starts with the exterior styling that borrows plenty of cues from its big brother the Jeep Grand Cherokee. This includes a thinner grille that accents a taller front end as well as Grand Cherokee-esque tailights to truly drive home its family resemblance.

The trio of teaser images that Jeep released also confirmed that the 2018 Compass will be offered with a Trailhawk package. Like other versions of the Trailhawk, the Compass Trailhawk will feature reworked exterior styling elements as well as a beefed up off-road package that makes the Compass a highly capable trail buster.

The interior also benefits from its own share of updates, and transforms from being the laughing stock of the segment, into a clean and advanced looking place to spend time in. Jeep® Compass LimitedAgain, it’s influence to the Grand Cherokee and its accommodations is striking, and the cabin’s better plastics and ergonomically friendly control layout will try to lure young buyers back into the Jeep fold.

Performance hardware for the 2018 Compass is expected to differ heavily from the Brazilian spec model that was unveiled. While FCA chose to remain silent on this topic, a seperate report suggests that the Compass will arrive with the choice of either a 2.0 liter Tiger Shark four cylinder engine or an optional 2.0 liter turbodiesel engine. U.S. versions will most likely arrive without the oil burner, and only come equipped with the 2.0 liter Tiger Shark. Transmission choices on the other hand will carryover with all flavors of Compass featuring either a six speed manual transmission, or the optional nine speed automatic.

The 2018 Jeep Compass will make its debut at the Sao Paulo Auto Show in Brazil with the U.S. model arriving shorty after in Los Angeles. Sales will then kick off in the first quarter of 2017 though there will be a period where the new model will be sold alongside its predecessor before it fully takes over dealer lots.

GMC Still Considering Wrangler Fighter?

Hummer and its Wrangler chasing HX concept were axed and swept under the rug several when GM went through its bankruptcy. However, a new report reveals that this once shelved idea is possibly gaining newfound life and vigor.

According to a report released by Automotive News several inside sources have revealed that GMC is still considering a body on frame SUV model that would share its DNA and platform with the Canyon and Colorado midsize pickups. The exterior styling is said to embody Hummer cues, and would not be that far off from the HX concept which debuted at the North American International Auto Show back in 2008.

The report also reveals that executives met with dealers last year to gauge interest and feedback on the idea with initial interest being very positive especially for a model that could potentially revive sales.

Low sales figures have been a persistent issue for GMC over the past few years, with the brand suffering a four percent slide in sales during the first half of this year. This is despite the overall boom in  the SUV and CUV segments which have largely helped the wider market grow.

Not suprisingly Jeep sales have continued to soar to new heights, with the off road oriented brand recording a 17 percent surge in sales during the month of June. These figures are quite potent and also represent the sales gap between the two camps.

If GMC does decide to go forward with its Wrangler competitor, look for it to arrive possibly as early as 2020. When it does arrive, it will have quite a challenge on its hands with the Wrangler currently serving as a segment benchmark.

Jeep To Bring Seven Concept Vehicles To Easter Jeep Safari.

With the annual 2016 Easter Jeep Safari event in Moab fast approaching, Jeep is bringing seven concept vehicles to the off road oriented event. In addition to the Hellcat powered Wrangler Trailcat Concept that we highlighted yesterday, Jeep has six other concepts that not only pay homage to the past, but could also be teasing a pickup truck filled future for the iconic brand.

Jeep Crew Chief 715:

 

Jeep® Crew Chief 715 Concept

Serving as a successor to last year’s Jeep Staff Car concept, the Super Chief 715 was designed to serve as a homage to Jeep’s iconic military history, while focusing on the Kaiser M715 military vehicle. This is especially noticeable with the front fascia which shares a strong resemblance to the iconic Kaiser. The Super Chief is also very close in size to the Ram 1500, and comes equipped as a crew cab model which helps improve passenger room. The rear fascia is decidedly more modern, and displays its Wrangler based DNA especially with the Wrangler cribbed tail Jeep® Crew Chief 715 Conceptlights on its five foot cargo bed. The appearance of this concept as well as the smaller Comanche further highlight the recent embrace of pickup trucks by the brand, and is another sign that Jeep is serious about adding a pickup model to its mostly SUV ranks. The Super Chief 715 further enhances this military theme with its steel front and rear bumpers, 40-inch NDT military tires, and 20-inch wheels with bead locking capability.

 

Performance for the Crew Chief comes from Chrysler’s familiar 3.6 liter Pentastar V6 but curiously, Jeep engineers chose to use an older five speed automatic transmission instead of a newer six or eight speed automatic. The beefy off road tires benefit from a four inch suspension lift and rugged Dana 60 axles. The interior is a no nonsense affair, and comes equipped with leather and canvas seats, aircraft inspired switches, as well as Mopar all-weather floor mats. As a bonus, The Crew Chief also comes equipped with an on-board air system, which allows it to help stranded vehicles on the trail especially those with flat tires.

Jeep Shortcut:

 

Jeep® Shortcut Concept

 

The Jeep Shortcut in contrast pays homage to the iconic CJ-5 and was designed to replicate the high levels of simplicity and spirit that helped make 1950’s America great. The shortened body boasts several exclusive cues including a unique hood, grille, front and rear wheel flares and chrome front and rear bumpers. The Shortcut also maintains its excellent reputation as an icon thanks to equipment including a modified exhaust Jeep® Shortcut Concept Interiorsystem, 17-inch red steel wheels, and 35-inch BF-Goodrich Mud Terrain T/A KM2 tires. Unlike the Hellcat tinged Trailcat which required a 12 inch increase in wheelbase, the Shortcut reduces it by 12 inches in an effort  to further enhance the compact dimensions that made the CJ-5 a hit with buyers.

Performance for the Shortcut also comes from the 3.6 liter Pentastar V6, and once again an older five speed automatic transmission joins the list of standard hardware. At this point, I find myself asking why Jeep engineers couldn’t use a newer six speed automatic which would have helped giveJeep® Shortcut Concept the Shortcut and the Super Chief more versatility, while the extra sixth gear would have also helped improve fuel economy. The interior of the Shortcut also embraces functionality and simplicity with leather low back bucket seats, a four point safety cage, a red shifter ball, and Mopar all-weather floormats.

 

Jeep Comanche:

 

Jeep® Comanche Concept

 

Perhaps the most cobbled together looking of the bunch, the Jeep Comanche concept was designed to preview what a resurrected Comanche pickup truck could look like, while also paying subtle homage to civilian and military Jeep models. The concept started life as a Renegade Trailhawk, and looks the part from the B-Pillar forward. However, make your way to the back and you’ll see the all new pickup truck bed which required engineers to stretch the Renegade’s wheelbase by six inches to fully accommodate it. Other goodies include a Satin Black hood, musically inspired “Beige Against The Machine” paint, a lower front fascia, winch, steel rear bumper, and a spare tire that is mounted in the bed.

Performance for the Comanche comes from a 2.0 liter diesel engine which is mated to the familiar nine speed automatic transmission. The Comanche Concept also comes equipped with Jeep’s Active Drive Lock system which includes low range mode and a locking rear differential. Other goodies include a suite of Jeep Performance parts that include off Jeep® Comanche Conceptroad rock rails, a 2 inch suspension lift, as well as a winch to allow the tiny truck to pull itself out of trouble. Jeep engineers also equipped the concept with 32-inch BF-Goodrich All-Terrain tires which are mounted onto 16-inch painted wheels. It would be interesting to see this be put into production especially since it would appeal to younger buyers and Jeep enthusiasts that want to join the Jeep ranks but need something that can also be practical and budget friendly.

 

Jeep FC 150:

 

Jeep® FC 150 Heritage Vehicle

 

Following up on last year’s FC 150 concept, 2016 also brings forth another FC 150 concept for attendees to see. This particular FC (Forward Control) concept was designed to pretty much be a restomod and was built with various parts cribbed from various elements of Chrysler’s parts bin. In this case, the concept shares its chassis with the 2005 era Jeep Wrangler and the engine is the older 4.0 liter V6 that powered the 2005 Wrangler as wellJeep® FC 150 Heritage Vehicle as several other past models. A three speed automatic gearbox helps bring power to all four wheels while the truck also benefits from a Dana 40 front axle, and a Dana 60 rear axle. The white painted 17-inch wheels are shod in 33-inch BF-Goodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM2 tires. As a neat bonus the little hay bail in the bed also hides a small cooler which is handy if you and your friends want to have a supply of beverages handy for off-road excursions.

The interior follows the theme of simplicity that has defined the majority of this year’s field of concepts, and comes equipped with vinyl upholstered seats, a custom headliner that has been wrapped in a vintage duck hunting pattern, as well as a CB radio, and an analog compass that is mounted on the instrument cluster.

 

Jeep Wrangler Trailstorm:

 

Jeep® Trailstorm Concept

 

Designed to essentially be a rolling advertisement for Jeep’s Performance Parts division, the Trailstorm concept was designed as a vehicle that can easily be built by an interested buyer. While we are not that enamored with the odd concept exclusive digital effect paint job that is supposed to allow it to blend into the Utah desert, we are fans of the suite of Jeep Performance parts that were used on the concept with many of them being currently available in the Jeep Performance catalog.

The suite of upgrades include off-road spec Fox shocks, a 2-inch lift kit, a Jeep Performance Parts Rubicon winch, and Dana 44 front and rear axles. The Trailstorm also features concept wheels that have been wrapped in 37-Jeep® Trailstorm Conceptinch off-road tires as well as minor exterior enhancements including a winch guard, a Satin black grille, a vented power-dome hood, and LED headlights and foglights. The half doors promise to offer excellent views of obstacles ahead, while a bed lined interior helps make the task of cleaning grime, mud, and dust much easier after a long day of off roading. Performance for the Trailstorm comes from a 3.6 liter Pentastar V6 which is hooked up to a five speed automatic transmission.

 

Jeep Renegade Commander:

 

Jeep® Renegade Commander Concept

 

Arguably the most stock looking of the bunch, the Jeep Renegade Commander is mostly a factory spec Jeep Renegade, but has been lightly modified with several Jeep performance parts. A 2-inch lift kit helps improve ground clearance, while meaty 29.5-inch BF-Goodrich All-Terrain T/A KM2 tires enhance the Renegade’s off road prowess. The exterior styling of the Renegade Commander largely maintains its Renegade Trailhawk roots, but the concept features a model exclusive “Fluorescent Gray” paint, a custom body decal, MySky open air roof with removable panels, skid plates, Mopar branded rock rails, and a slightly modified exhaust. Meanwhile, the interior also retains its mostly stock design, but the concept features up-level Katzkin seat covers, strategically placed body color bezel accents, a pedal kit, and a special Mopar off-road kit.

Unlike the other concepts, Jeep engineers have left the Renegade Commander’s performance hardware untouched which means it comes Jeep® Renegade Commander Conceptequipped with the standard model’s 2.4 liter Tigershark four cylinder engine that is good for 184 horsepower. The engine is paired with the standard 9 speed automatic transmission, but gains an all-wheel drive system that features a special Jeep Active Drive Low mode.

 

Final Thoughts:

 

Overall this group of Easter Jeep Safari concepts represents another solid showing from the Jeep brand, and is a balanced mixture of old and new while also teasing the notion of a possible production Jeep pickup model with the Comanche and Super Chief 715 concepts. Stay tuned to Autoinfoquest for more information on this group of Jeep concepts, especially if one or more of them somehow receive the green light for production.

Jeep Unveils Trailbusting Wrangler Trailcat Concept

For the past few years. FCA has been bringing tricked out concept vehicles to the annual Moab Easter Jeep Safari to show that they are more than just stylish pieces of eye candy. This year, FCA is bringing seven concepts to the event and has a Hellcat themed surprise in store for attendees.

Known as the Jeep Wrangler Trailcat, this particular concept was designed to be the center of attention and comes equipped with eye catching green paint as well as a chopped windshield that looks cool and stylish. The Jeep® Trailcat Conceptcenterpiece however lies under the hood where Jeep engineers have shoehorned the 6.2 liter supercharged Hellcat V8 which retains its mighty 707 horsepower rating, and is hooked up to a six speed manual transmission.

To help accommodate the engine swap, Jeep engineers had to stretch the wheelbase by 12 inches and also add strategically placed reinforced components to help it cope with the extra muscle. While the Trailcat will certainly be capable of running an impressive 0 to 60 time on pavement, look for the concept to excel in rock climbing and busting its way through tough trails where the ample power can be used to its full potential.

This cause is enhanced further with beefy Dana 60 axles front and rear, while 39.5 inch BF Goodrich Krawler T/A KX tires and 17-inch beadlock Jeep® Trailcat Concept Interiorwheels help ensure that the concept has plenty of grip but retains the reliability that off-readers come to expect from a trail ready vehicle.

While the Trailcat will most likely not make the jump to production like past Easter Safari concepts, look for some elements of the Trailcat to appear on production vehicles especially through FCA’s Mopar division. As for the Hellcat, FCA did not reveal whether it is indeed exploring the idea of a second Jeep Hellcat model, but hopefully strong feedback from attendees and the press will at least spark some board room debate on the idea.

Stay tuned to Autoinfoquest for our thoughts on the other six Easter Jeep Safari concepts and tell us what you think about this years group of vehicles.

Jeep Unveils A Pair Of Special Editions Ahead Of LA Debut

Jeep has always been known for having fun when it comes to creating special edition models, and it plans to continue this trend with the introduction of two all new models based on the 2016 Jeep Wrangler and the 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee respectively.

2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Night Edition

The first model is based off of the Grand Cherokee SRT and while the standard model is pretty sinister in its own right, Jeep engineers have made several revisions to appease the few folks that think it needs a bit more aggression. Known as the SRT Night Edition, this model stands out thanks to its splashes of Gloss Black trim with the shiny stuff making its 2016 Jeep® Grand Cherokee SRT Nightway to the roof, side pillars, rear spoiler, and grille bezels with separate Satin Black trim adorning the appliques and badging. In addition, the 20-inch wheels have also been dipped in Satin Black and round out the look quite nicely. Performance comes from the familiar 6.4 liter Hemi V8 which is good for 475 horsepower and a 4.8 second 0 to 60 time.

Buyers will be able to choose from three different hues Velvet Red, Billet Silver, and Granite Crystal. The interior largely carries over unchanged but new Black Laguna leather seats with silver accent stitching help since things up, while Light Black chrome bezels add a touch of elegance to the overall look.

2016 Jeep Wrangler Backcountry

Meanwhile in the trail busting side of things, Jeep also took the veil off of the Wrangler Backcountry which is not only a nod to past 90’s era trim packages, but also highlights the Wranglers purpose as an off road vehicle.

The Backcountry is based off of the Sahara model and like prior Wrangler special edition models it comes with its own set of Backcountry decals on the front and rear, powder coated bumpers, 17-inch gloss black rims, and rock rails cribbed from the top tier Rubicon 2016 Jeep® Wrangler Backcountrytrim. Like other Wranglers, buyers can add side steps at no cost and a black “Freedom Top” hardtop also comes standard. However like standard grade Sahara models, body colored units will be avalible as an option.

The Backcountry’s 90’s vibe becomes evident when one looks at its paint selection. The Backcountry seen in Jeeps press photos is is in a eye catching hue called Xtreme Purple (exclusive to the Backcountry), but Jeep revealed that other visually appealing hues will be available including Hydro Blue, Granite Crystal, and Bright White. The interior largely retains the Wranglers function over form motif, but black accents, Diesel Grey accent stitching, all weather slush mats, and a nine speaker audio system all arrive as standard equipment.

Jeep has not released pricing information for either model, but look for more information to be unveiled at their respective debuts in LA later this month. In the meantime check out the gallery below for high resolution shots of both models.

Automakers Join Forces To Stop Hacking Threat

In an effort to stop the threat of hackers taking over crucial vehicle functions, a new report has emerged revealing that several automakers are joining forces to try and combat the hacking problem, while also sharing information that can help protect consumers from the consequences of a vehicular hack attack.

According to a report published by Automotive News an Information Sharing and Analysis Center is being created thanks to the currently existing Alliance for Automobile Manufacturers and the Association of Global Automakers. This all new entity would serve as a forum for sharing information regarding potential security vulnerabilities in both vehicles and the communications networks that they are all linked up to. The latter being especially important with the appearance of mobile Wi-Fi hotspots in some new vehicle offerings that can make buyers extremely vulnerable if not properly secured. Automakers would also be able to collaborate on solutions that can help them defend these systems better while also sharing information that can enhance their efforts even further.

This revelation comes amid several high profile hacking incidents in recent months where independent researchers have successfully gained control of vehicles via hacking. A noteworthy example was when researchers were able to use the Uconnect system in a Jeep Cherokee to gain control of the brakes, steering, and other systems over a long distance. This led to the recall of 1.4 million vehicles which was the first time that an automaker had to issue a recall due to the potential threat of hacking. A separate issue affected GM’s communications network, and it is feared that the same vulnerabilities are also found in smartphone-app derived technology that is currently being used by BMW, Mercedes Benz, and FCA.

“You’ve got to see the entire industry proactively dealing with these things” stated National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration chief Mark Rosekind in a recent interview regarding the Jeep Cherokee hacking revelation.

While vehicular hacking has thankfully not been exploited by criminals like other forms of social media hacking, the hidden potential for causing harm to occupants via hacking or gaining access to sensitive information is a prevalent issue and is one that many automakers should invest more research dollars into especially in an age where more and more vehicles are becoming connected to wireless communications technology.

Jeep Preparing Renegade Trackhawk Model??? Would Be Fastest In Segment

With the Jeep Renegade already benefiting from a strong marketing campaign as well as its popularity with younger entry level CUV buyers. It appears that the company is putting the final touches on a range topping performance version that would make the Renegade one of the best performance bargains in the segment if a recent rumor is proven accurate.

Known formally as the Jeep Renegade Trackhawk, the souped up compact crossover (a first for Jeep) would be a powered by an all new twin turbocharged version of FCA’s familiar 2.4 liter Tigershark four cylinder engine. The potent four cylinder is expected to send at least 300 horsepower to all four wheels but it is currently unknown what transmission will be equipped, we suspect that an equally tweaked version of its nine speed dual clutch automatic will most likely be the sole transmission choice available though it is too early to tell if FCA will consider adding a manual gearbox to its list of equipment or not.

The extra horsepower would also be complimented by other performance spec goodies including upgraded brakes, a full body-kit, and a stiffer sport tuned suspension that would sacrifice some of the Renegade’s off-road prowess in lieu of sharper handling on paved roads. With all of these upgrades, this TrackHawk version of the Renegade will easily be the fastest and most aggressive CUV in its pint sized segment if it is indeed officially confirmed.

The information in question was published by an inside source on a relatively new forum called JeepTrackHawkForums. If the insider’s information is indeed proven to be accurate, the Renegade Trackhawk would make its appearance in showrooms before the 2018 model year which would mean that its official auto show debut is still less than a year away. When the new model does eventually make its debut, look for the Renegade to formally kickoff the Trackhawk model family which would also be highlighted by another rumored model the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. That particular model is expected to be a limited edition release and feature the same 707 horsepower supercharged 6.2 liter V8 that currently sees duty in the Challenger and Charger Hellcat.