The Grand Jeep Cherokee is the vehicle that commemorates the second 50 years of Jeep. The Grand Cherokee was built at Chrysler?s Jefferson North Assembly Plant using only top-of-the-line Jeep auto components such as Jeep headlight door. The said assembly plant is located in Detroit. The year 1993 marked the debut of the Grand Cherokee.
Jeep and its XJ, ZJ and WJ
The engineers at American Motors have a hard time in developing the ZJ as early as 1985 but then two year after the company is again confronted with a problem and that is whether to build a minivan or an SUV. And of course even those with zero math skills can figure out which design won. An additional 18 months was spent in creating the ZJ which according to Jeep would become its flagship (or in short the priciest or leatheriest).
In fairness to ZJ it is one of those few vehicles ever made in the history of the automotive world that virtually resembles its concept predecessor-. The five-seater ZJ was launched in the spring of 1992 as ?93 model. Its unibody construction is likened to that of a baby Cherokee only its 10 inches longer and 4 inches wider than the XJ. It has become a hit due to its driver-side airbag and four-wheel abs. it was also the very first Jeep to feature a split-bench rear seat.
The ZJ was offered in three levels: base called the SE, Laredo, and Limited. In the year 1993 the short timer Grand Wagoneer was equipped with wood and a standard V8. Then in 1995 the outdoorsy Orvis came and was produced only until 1998. Despite its not so appealing name it was equipped with a two-tone interior. At the cease of Orvis came a sportier TSi model.
A massive makeover happened for the ?99 model year and by this time all but 127 ZJ parts remained. This is also the very same year that the Grand Cherokee was made rounder, slightly longer (106 plus inches but the wheelbase remained) and received its second-generation WJ designation. Both the Laredo and Limited were retained, while the headliner Overland was added in 2003, and SE and Sport came and go.
For 2004 Chrysler Group added to the lineup the following models: Special, Freedom, Columbia, and Rocky Mountain Editions. A year later, 2005, the Grand Cherokee gets another makeover and this time morphing into the WK, the Laredo Limited, and Overland. The remodeled Grand Cherokee offered for 2005 features 109.5-inch wheelbase and an overall length of 186.6 inches. It was often criticized for looking like a minivan which was a subtle way of calling it ugly. The considered high performance Grand Cherokee includes the ?98 5.9 Limited and the street-made SRT8 which became a hit in 2006.
To celebrate its 65th Anniversary last year Jeep created the 65th Anniversary Edition Grand that employ the Laredo E-package as its muse. The idea for the rear suspension equipped on the ?93 Grand Cherokee was doodled on a cafeteria napkin, just in case you readers may want to know.