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Enhancements for the 2014 model year include an all-new, fully electronic eight-speed automatic transmission that delivers improved fuel economy, significantly improved towing capacity, hardware and software revisions that further heighten Grand Cherokee SRT's fun-todrive factor during a daily commute or for more spirited driving on the race track.
Outside, the new 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT sports styling that is even more aggressive than the previous model. Design enhancements for 2014 include a new signature LED character lamp treatment, a brawnier grille, a new, one-touch liftgate and a new rear spoiler.
Inside, Grand Cherokee SRT customers are treated to a new 8.4-inch touchscreen that displays a wealth of SRT-exclusive Performance Pages data. A new launch control button is situated behind the new T-handle shifter on the center console, and a redesigned SRT-exclusive threespoke, heated steering wheel with more ergonomically efficient paddle shifters, features a host of comfort, convenience and connectivity controls.
For 2014, Grand Cherokee SRT owners get three additional gears from their transmission: an all-new 8HP70 eight-speed automatic. Fully electronic, it features on-the-fly shift-map changing.
The most significant powertrain improvement on the new 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT is the allnew 8HP70 eight-speed automatic transmission. Fully electronic, the 8HP70 features on-the-fly shift-map changing, with manual shifting capability using newly redesigned, more pronounced, ergonomically efficient steering-wheel paddle controls.
More than 90 individual shift maps optimize shift quality and shift points for fuel economy, performance and drivability. The intelligent software takes into account variables including engine torque gradients, kick down events, longitudinal and lateral acceleration, grade changes, friction detection and downshift detection to determine the appropriate shift map.
Additional parameters integrated into the control strategy include vehicle speed control, electronic stability control interaction and temperature. The result is automatic shifting that is ideally attuned to the performance requirements of almost any driving demand. During development testing at the Nelson Ledges Road Course in Ohio, SRT engineers achieved 6/10ths of a second faster lap times (over the 2013 SRT8 model) as a result of the new eightspeed automatic transmission.
The legendary 0-60 miles per hour (mph) acceleration of the Grand Cherokee SRT will be slightly improved due to the quicker shift speeds and ╝ mile time will also see a marginal improvement due to closer gear spacing. This more ideal spacing allows the 470hp 6.4-liter HEMI« V-8 to stay in the optimum part of its power band creating what feels like never-ending acceleration.
However, there is an even more dramatic improvement in 30-70 mph and 50-90 mph real world acceleration as the new eight-speed transmission can drop down multiple gears (while rev matching) to reach the optimum ratio in milliseconds for better overall performance and drivability.
The transmission efficiency and wide ratio spread provide the best possible fuel economy by operating at a lower engine rpm in both city and highway environments. The addition of more gear ratios also helps reduce the gaps normally associated with upshifting and downshifting, resulting in nearly imperceptible gear changes.
Internally, the transmission has four gear sets and five shift elements (multi-disc clutches and brakes). Only two shift elements are open at any time. With fewer open shift elements, drag losses due to multiple parts rotating relative to one another are reduced, improving fuel efficiency.
Of course, even SRT owners sometimes appreciate driving more fuel efficiently. For those times, the 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT features an innovative Eco Mode that optimizes the transmission's shift schedule and expands the range of Fuel Saver Technology, which - when conditions are right - deactivates four cylinders to conserve fuel.
Eco Mode is available in Selec-Track auto mode. Throttle mapping, transmission shift schedules and Fuel Saving Technology work in combination to achieve maximum fuel efficiency.
The new eight-speed transmission also helps to deliver greatly improved towing performance of 7,200 pounds - a 44-percent improvement over the 5,000-lb. towing capacity from last year.
The eight-speed transmission is mated to the proven and powerful 6.4-liter HEMI« V-8 with Fuel Saver Technology delivering 470 horsepower (351 kW) at 6,000 rpm and 465 lb.-ft. (630 N.m) of torque at 4,300 rpm.
For improved and more consistent track performance, the 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT features a launch control system controlled by a button situated just behind the new T-handle shifter on the center console. Launch Control mimics a professional driver's inputs to optimize Grand Cherokee SRT's performance and brings engine, transmission, driveline, stability control, and suspension in line for a textbook vehicle launch.
"For our customers who are not race car drivers, the new launch control system is the next best thing. Grand Cherokee SRT owners will appreciate how much more consistent their acceleration times will be," Ruedisueli said.
To further emphasize the racing experience, the launch button features a "Christmas Tree" graphic, similar to what is used at drag strips to initiate standing starts. The vehicle stays in launch mode until the driver lifts his or her foot off the throttle, at which time it defaults into the previous active operating mode.
Yet another performance enhancement for 2014 is a "rev match" downshift function. When the driver downshifts, the engine controller will blip the throttle to minimize the jerkiness typically associated with this maneuver. The result is improved performance and greater stability when downshifting at the traction limit.
The Grand Cherokee SRT rides on a short- and long-arm (SLA) independent front suspension with coil springs, Bilstein adaptive damping suspension (ADS), upper- and lower-control arms ("A" arms), and a stabilizer bar.
The rear suspension is a multi-link design with coil spring, Bilstein ADS, aluminum lower control arm, independent upper links (tension and camber), plus a separate toe link, and a stabilizer bar.
Software improvements to the retuned Selec-Track system further distinguish the five dynamic modes: Auto, Sport, Tow, Track, and Snow, enabling drivers to choose a vehicle setting that more ideally meets their requirements and ambient conditions. When Track Mode is selected, 70 percent of the engine's torque is delivered to the rear wheels for a more pronounced rear-wheel-drive experience. Grand Cherokee SRT drivers will notice a vehicle that is more responsive from mid-corner to exit and one that delivers faster lap times at their favorite track.
Drivers can manually choose between the five dynamic modes for specific driving conditions:
The torque split distribution on the 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT - front to rear - is as follows:
Auto 40% 60%
"With the improved and retuned Selec-Track system in the 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT, it's like having five distinctly different vehicles. In Auto mode, for example, drivers get a vehicle that delivers a smooth, comfortable ride. Set it to Sport mode, however, and everything - stability control, adaptive damping, transmission shift strategy, transfer case torque proportioning, Electronic Limited Slip Differential performance, throttle control and cylinder de-activation - instantly gets tuned for a significantly more dynamic driving experience. The result is a vehicle that can carry a family in full style and comfort and a vehicle that can blast around the track," Ruedisueli explained.
The new 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT delivers excellent braking performance, requiring only 116 feet to come to a full stop from 60 miles per hour (mph). Credit belongs to red-painted, Brembo six-piston (front) and four-piston (rear) calipers, and vented rotors at all four corners measuring 15 inches (front) and 13.8 inches (rear).
The Grand Cherokee SRT sports exterior styling enhancements for 2014. Its signature, seven-slot upper grille with black screen insert has been shortened and is flanked by slimmer, adaptive, bi-xenon headlamps that are surrounded by a signature LED character lamp treatment. The grille itself is brawnier and the headlamps feature a unique black background to distinguish SRT from other 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee models while further accenting their jewel-like appearance.
The new styling also enabled designers to incorporate the headlamp washers into the headlamp housing for the first time - rather than on the bumper - for a cleaner more functional appearance.
A new Grand Cherokee badge along the vehicle's sides feature a more distinct, more pronounced font.
The 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT's front light treatment is mirrored in back for a cohesive styling appearance, and features larger tail lamps with signature LED lighting. To further emphasize SRT's performance heritage, the tail lamps feature a black surround, creating the illusion of floating lamps.
Also new for 2014 is a more aerodynamically efficient rear spoiler integrated into the all-new, one-touch liftgate that features a new SRT badge that no longer carries the engine cylinder number reference. Rather than relying on a manual lever, the liftgate is operated electronically with the push of a button. For 2014, the flipper glass has been eliminated, greatly enhancing rearward visibility and reducing weight.
The 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT will be available in the following exterior colors: Billet Silver Metallic Clear Coat, Bright White Clear Coat, Brilliant Black Crystal Pearl Coat, Deep Cherry Red Pearl Coat, Granite Crystal Pearl Coat, Maximum Steel Metallic Clear Coat and Redline Pearl Clear Coat.
The most significant interior enhancement on the 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT is the new Uconnect 8.4AN radio touchscreen. The 8.4-inch display shows a wealth of SRT-exclusive Performance Pages, including recent track times, lateral acceleration, 0-60 mph times and much more. All data is shown in full-color and can now be shared with other SRT enthusiasts via a built-in 3G connection.
The same screen accommodates Uconnect Access Via Mobile, an all-new feature that makes its debut. With it, customers can stream their favorite music into the vehicle using the acclaimed apps Aha, iHeart, Pandora and Slacker.
The display also affords drivers access to Bing Internet searches and facilitates cutting-edge cloud-based features such as voice texting - the transmission of text messages using natural speech.
On the center console, drivers will find a new, leather-wrapped T-handle shifter for the eightspeed transmission that allows the driver to select two driving modes including Drive and Sport. Also new is the redesigned, SRT-exclusive heated three-spoke steering wheel with a flat bottom that features a bevy of comfort, convenience and connectivity controls and more pronounced, more ergonomically efficient paddle shifters.
The new steering wheel is designed and positioned to provide optimal view of the new gauge cluster that now features a 7-inch, full-color, customizable instrument display. This new screen allows drivers to select from a multitude of layout and information to be shown in the center of the gauge cluster.
True carbon fiber trim accent sweeps across the driver's door, instrument panel and front passenger door.
The available 825-watt, 19-speaker premium SRT performance audio surround-sound system from Harman Kardon offers world premier innovation, featuring a 32-volt tracking power supply (TPS) 12-channel Class D amplifier that delivers outstanding acoustics and brings multidimensional, quality sound for all interior occupants.
Uconnect Access is all-new to the Grand Cherokee SRT. Enabled by embedded cellular technology, the system affords direct communication with local 9-1-1 service personnel at the touch of a button - no waiting for go-between call-center operators.
In addition, the 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT showcases advanced safety features from Forward Collision Warning - which alerts the driver to rapidly approaching traffic - to Blind-spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Path detection, which aid drivers when changing lanes or in parkinglot situations.
How do you improve the most awarded SUV ever? The Jeep and SRT teams start by listening to their customers.
"We're very happy with the long list of product and quality accolades the Jeep Grand Cherokee has earned," said Doug Betts, Senior Vice President - Quality, Chrysler Group. "But the most important feedback comes from customers telling us what they'd like to see improved. We are constantly looking at feedback and responding with improvements."
Key upgrades for the new 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee lineup include an eight-speed automatic transmission to improve performance and fuel economy plus the newest Uconnect system that balances advanced technology and connectivity features with easy-to-use controls and voice commands.
From the driver's seat, everything the driver sees, touches - and even speaks to using voice commands - is enhanced to increase function, connectivity and responsiveness. Not only does it work better, it looks better packaged in more premium materials and elegant graphics. This includes a redesigned steering wheel that is optimized for driving position while also providing control buttons for frequently used features like radio, cruise control, phone and voice-activated commands. Customer feedback helped designers and engineers determine the ideal location for fingertip controls so that drivers could comfortably keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
Another significant interior change for Grand Cherokee is the availability of the new Uconnect Access 8.4AN touchscreen. Connectivity and touchscreens involve rapidly changing technology and ever-increasing consumer expectations - both of which have a significant impact on the overall quality assessment of new vehicles. The Uconnect team constantly evaluates consumer feedback, placing a high priority on designing systems that are intuitive for both tech-savvy customers as well as tech-averse drivers who prefer hard knobs to adjust the climate or radio station.
For the past two years, the Jeep Grand Cherokee has earned the title as the Total Quality leader for the medium-size SUV segment by Strategic Vision. The honor is based on new vehicle owner surveys that holistically assess consumers' good and bad experiences with their new vehicle. Similarly, the Jeep team values all comments from customers - especially feedback that leads to enhanced quality and customer satisfaction.
The new 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is built at the 3-million-square-foot Jefferson North Assembly Plant (JNAP) in Detroit, which has been the site of Grand Cherokee production since its introduction in 1992. To meet consumer demand, a third crew of 1,100 workers was added at JNAP in the fourth quarter of 2012.
The year 2012 brought record sales for the Jeep brand worldwide, with Grand Cherokee contributing approximately 220,000 units globally, with 52,000 units from international markets. Since 2009, Jeep Grand Cherokee sales have increased more than 200 percent in the U.S., and 250 percent outside North America.
Owners of any Chrysler Group SRT vehicle receive one day of professional driving instruction as part of the SRT Track Experience, designed to maximize their driving knowledge and skills on the street or track. For more information, visit SRT Track Experience
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