Auto News for Jan. 16 – New off-road vehicles announced



 A redesigned Jeep Cherokee was unveiled this morning at the Detroit Auto Show, the last ceremony of its kind at this year’s event.

 It sports a new look up front but retains the seven slot grille demanded by Jeep fans. Like so many new models at the show it has have dieting.

 Jeep said the new Cherokee is 200 pounds lighter while retaining its legendary off-road abilities. The cargo area has been expanded, the standard infotainment screen is now two inches larger at 7 inches, while the 8.4 inch display remains an option.  

 There is a new engine option, a 2.0-liter turbo four with 270 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque and that is more torque than the 3.2-liter V6 which carries over along with the 2.4-liter four. The new four is matched to a 9-speed automatic.

 Also new is a hands free power liftgate.

 Look for the new Cherokee in the first quarter.

 Mercedes displayed its new G-Class off road vehicle with LED headlamps, advanced driver assistance systems, a high-quality interior with leather seats and a new suspension. Additionally, options such as the Exclusive Interior Plus with diamond-stitched leather provide even more customization.


 Under the hood is a 4.0-liter V8 biturbo with 416 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque matched to a new 9 speed automatic with a torque converter specially designed for those going off road.

 Occupants benefit from more space in virtually all areas, with an option of multicontour seats with various massage functions, rapid heating and ventilation.

  But make no mistake, this is a premier off road vehicle despite all the luxury touches thanks to its standard ladder-type frame, the three 100-percent differential locks and low range off-road gear reduction – the G remains a true G.

 Ground clearance is a hefty 10.6 inches to the front axle gear and an improved 9.5 inches between the axles.

 The new G wagon will go on sale here in the U.S. later this year.


 GM is optimistic entering 2018 and it is projecting record 2017 earnings per share adjusted at the high end of the previously stated range of $6.00 to $6.50 a share.  

 One reason for future optimism is expected strong demand for the new Silverado pickup with the revamped GMC model to follow.

 “The all-new full-size truck family that launches this year will generate very strong returns for years to come,” said GM President Dan Ammann.

 Several readers have asked how the Lincoln Navigator could win the “North American Truck of the Year” award without an open truck bed to the rear.

 The journalists who vote on the winners spent a considerable amount of time talking about this very issue.

 For Mark Phelan of the Detroit Free Press it came down to this:

 “If it tows like a truck and hauls like a truck, it’s a truck,” he said in the paper.

 The Navigator can tow 8,700 pounds and that sets it apart from vehicles such as the Volvo XC90 and that is how it ended up in the truck category, he added

 I wonder if another award category should be added to end the confusion, but I guess if we can have 4-door coupes …

  Fiat Chrysler could be cash positive by June, a prime goal of CEO Sergio Marchionne. Further, he said the company would not be sold off to Chinese auto firms in whole or in part.

 Marchionne is expected to step down as CEO later this year or early next year.








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