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Diesel Engines And V8s Headed To Jeep?

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On: Wed, Apr 13, 2011 at 11:27AM | By: Chris Weiss

Diesel Engines And V8s Headed To Jeep?

Carmakers just love to jump the gun, don't they? You would have thought that Chrysler could have waited a week or two to show off its special edition, Mopar-ized Jeeps. After all, the Easter Jeep Safari in Moab is really the kind of place where people interested in hardcore, off-road-ready Jeeps tend to congregate.

But, alas, Chrysler couldn't quite hold it to the finish line and did a full sneak-peek event in Auburn Hills, where you won't likely see many people actually driving big-tired, stripped-down rock crawlers. While the special editions were interesting to look at, they're not bound for production and are basically showpieces designed to highlight what Mopar parts can do. More interesting were some comments by Jeep chief Mike Manley that point to some possible new engine options in Jeep's future.

First off, I just have to say it: Mike Manley—what a great name for a Jeep CEO. Now onto the news...

We've covered the new special edition Jeep and Dodge vehicles here and here. Today's story is about the possibility of some interesting engine alternatives for the Jeep line. According to the Detroit Free Press, Manley confirmed that Jeep may offer diesel engines within three years. The engines would make their way into models like the Grand Cherokee and Wrangler, but Jeep has not yet made a final decision.

Diesel engines would help Jeep to increase the efficiency of their overall line and would help consumers battle rising gas prices. They're also a logical choice in models that are often taken off-road, far from the nearest gas station, thanks to that increased efficiency. The diesel engine would deliver more power at lower speeds, something that would help in off-roading.

Jeep offers diesel models in other parts of the world, including about 80 percent of models sold in Europe. The higher prices and additional technology involved in installing diesel engines are obstacles for U.S. diesel Jeeps, but the company seems to think the timing is right.

Manley said simply: "Diesel in some of our models makes absolute sense."

However, Jeep later backed off the statement when the New York Times called to confirm.

After Thursday's event, the Detroit News reported that Manley also said a V8-powered Wrangler is under consideration. He later backed off that statement as well.

Despite the cat-and-mouse media game, it seems clear that Jeep is at least thinking about some engine alternatives for the future.


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