Autoblog just heard it straight from the Italian-Canadian horse's mouth: The hot new Jeep Grand Cherokee in North America will – somewhere between soon and the end of 2013 – be getting the same recently improved 3.0-liter V6 turbo-diesel engine that Europe gets. In the Grand Cherokee, this oil-burning powerplant is good for 237 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque, the latter of which is fully delivered between 1,800 and 2,800 rpm. This is music to all Jamboree and Rubicon fanatics everywhere.
It has not been decided whether or not there might be a special six-speed manual shifter offered alongside the W5A580 five-speed overdrive automatic transmission, and an eight-speed automatic is in the works, as well. But the manual with the Quadra-Drive II transfer case on a Trail Rated Grand Cherokee would bring the glee Stateside even moreso.
Fiat Auto CEO Sergio Marchionne is fast becoming the new Bob Lutz in his ability to cast aside all carefully kept secrets of the communications team and talk about the good things that are coming. Only minutes after Jeep's international bosses artfully skirted the issue of a common-rail diesel GC here in North America, Marchionne assured us that one would, in fact, be coming. We respect the Jeep leaders. We dig Sergio.
Not only does the latest generation of the 3.0-liter CRD engine with Multijet II management – built by VM Motori in Italy based on specifications from Fiat Powertrain Technologies – get 19-percent greater fuel efficiency than the previous mill, it produces 20-percent less CO2 emissions. Towing capacity is quoted at just over 7,700 pounds, the maximum for any current Grand Cherokee trim.
But will the Wrangler get the European 2.8-liter CRD inline-four good for 197 hp and 302 lb-ft of torque, paired with the NSG370 six-speed manual and Rubicon Rock-Trac transfer case? Because that, folks, is the holy grail item. Even Sergio was mum on this.
Related GalleryReview: 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Gallery photos copyright ©2011 Zach Bowman / AOL
[Image: Matt Davis/AOL]