|2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee CRD|
Chrysler Group today unveiled the first diesel-powered, full-size sport-utility vehicle (SUV) to be offered in the United States. The 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee equipped with a 3.0-liter common rail turbo diesel (CRD) engine will arrive in showrooms in the first quarter of 2007.
The company also announced that for 2007, all Jeep Commander and Jeep Grand Cherokee retail and fleet buyers who select the 4.7-liter gasoline engine option will receive flex-fuel vehicles capable of running on E85 fuel.
The new 3.0-liter diesel engine, built by Mercedes-Benz, produces 215 hp (160 kW) of power at 3,800 rpm and 510 Nm of torque at 1,600-2,800 rpm and delivers an estimated fuel economy of 19 miles city and 23 miles highway.
By comparison, the 2006 gasoline-powered 4.7-liter Grand Cherokee, which offers roughly the same range of power and torque, is rated at 15 mpg city, 20 mpg highway. The 3.0-liter CRD engine will be available on the Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo, Limited and Overland models.
This new Grand Cherokee CRD is not a production version of the BLUETEC Grand Cherokee engineering concept vehicle announced earlier this year. (Earlier post.) A BLUETEC implementation would meet the new federal Tier 2 Bin 5 standards which map to the California standards, thereby allowing the vehicle to be sold in all 50 states.
Although Chrysler will not yet talk about the emissions strategy for the new Grand Cherokee CRD, the vehicle will only be offered in the 45 states that have not adopted the California requirements (i.e. it will come in above Tier 2 Bin 5).
The two areas of major difference between the less stringent EPA Tier 2 Bin 8 (which becomes the uppermost level permissible at the end of 2006) and Bin 5 are in NOx and PM emissions. Getting from Bin 8 to Bin 5 (and CA LEV compliance) requires a 64% further reduction in NOx and a 50% further reduction in PM emissions.
|US EPA Tier 2 and CA LEV II Standards (g/mi)|
|Category||50,000 miles||120,000 miles|
|EPA Bin 8||0.14||0.02||3.4||0.015||0.20||0.02||4.2||0.018|
|EPA Bin 5||0.05||0.01||3.4||0.015||0.07||0.01||4.2||0.018|
The increasingly tough emissions standards have also claimed another vehicle. Chrysler has ceased production of the Liberty CRD, the first mid-size, diesel-powered SUV in the US. According to a Chrysler spokesperson:
Engineering modifications to the [Liberty CRD] engine as well as other aspects of the vehicle were required for Liberty CRD to comply with the new standards. However, we could not make a credible business case for such an investment, especially for limited production vehicles.
The Liberty CRD was a market test for Chrysler. The Liberty, which features a 2.8-liter engine, exceeded Chrysler’s sales expectations by more than 70%, racking up more than 11,000 units since its introduction.
Volkswagen, the other provider of diesel light-duty vehicles in the US, has also indicated that it would drop its diesel passenger cars from the 2007 model-year line up as it reworks its vehicles to meet the new standards. VW expects to deliver a 50-state Jetta in 2008. (Earlier post.)
That will leave the Mercedes E320 BLUETEC, due to arrive this fall, as the only new diesel passenger vehicle available in all 50 states.
More than 60% of Chrysler Group vehicles sold in Western Europe are diesel-powered. Between 2003 and 2007, Chrysler Group will have tripled the number of diesel offerings outside North America. Of its estimated 20 vehicles available, 12 or more will have the option for a diesel powertrain (up from four in 2003).