The Jeep Grand Cherokee goes all electric
By C.C. Weiss
January 5, 2012
The AMP Jeep Grand Cherokee, to be unveiled next week at the North American International Auto Show, is a 100 percent electric-drive vehicle with all the cargo space and utility of a true SUV. AMP trades out Jeep's V6/V8 powertrain for a combination of two Remi electric motors and a 37.6 kWh lithium iron phosphate battery. Because the motors are direct drive, the electrified Grand Cherokee does not require a transmission. The motors combine for 152 kW (203 hp), and the model will travel about 80 to 100 miles (129 to 161 km) per charge.
In the base model, AMP mounts both motors to the rear axle, so the Grand Cherokee won't offer all the off-road handling benefits of a four-wheel-drive Jeep. However, it maintains other advantages of a Grand Cherokee, including passenger and cargo room. Despite the addition of the large battery pack, you still get room for five people and adjustable cargo space with split-folding rear seats. AMP will also launch an AWD model offering improved off-road handling and performance.
Beyond the powertrain, the AMP model keeps the Grand Cherokee's standard equipment and components. From the outside, the only thing distinguishing the AMP from gas Grand Cherokees is the "100 % Electric" badging on the former.
An AMP representative told the New York Times that the Grand Cherokee's pricing will be competitive with the Tesla Model S. That's somewhat ambiguous, as you can practically pick any price between US$50,000 and $90,000 and find a Tesla Model S variant to match. A representative did clarify to Gizmag that base price will be in line with the base Model S, which costs $57,400 before any tax incentives. That puts the model about double the base price of a gas Grand Cherokee.
AMP plans to unveil the electric Jeep Grand Cherokee at the North American International Auto Show next week, where it will have both RWD and AWD models on show. It will offer additional details then, including pricing and availability. The event takes place in Detroit and opens to its doors on January 9.