A conversation at allpar discussed the lack of a 2022 Jeep Cherokee on the Stellantis media and Jeep.com sites. Given that pundits and analysts have been speculating that the Cherokee plant will be converted to electric vehicle production next year, they concluded that the “KL” Cherokee was being dropped for 2022.
It is a reasonable conclusion, but not the correct conclusion, according to a Jeep representative. The company is already making 2022 Jeep Cherokees, and they are working on finalizing the 2022 model-year press materials.
If the time was closer to the New York Auto Show, where the GME T-6 straight-six engine is reportedly going to debut, we would probably speculate the new engine would appear under the hood of the Cherokee in New York. That would allow Stellantis to close down 3.2 production for good, reducing a little engine-building and parts-stocking complexity. It’s also unlikely, for a few reasons:
- The engine would not fit in a “north-south” configuration, and would generate too much torque for a transverse-mount “east-west” setup. (It’s reputedly only a little longer than the 2.4 liter.)
- The Cherokee was probably not designed to handle that much torque.
A GME T-6 powered Cherokee isn’t impossible, and it could light a spark under Cherokee sales. Even in its mild form, the turbo inline six is expected to provide acceleration equal or better than the 5.7 Hemi V8. While rumors claim the power will beat the 5.7 Hemi, early rumors tend to be overstated—usually by around 50 hp. Multiply the 2-liter turbo’s power by 1.5 isn’t a good method, either. That said, a “6xe” version could well result in better-than-392-Hemi acceleration.
Regardless, we will be on the lookout for the 2022 press materials and any clues as to the long-term future of the Cherokee. Will it move over to Windsor if/when the current plant is converted to BEVs, or switch to a new platform and continue in its current place? Only time, and possibly informal internal sources, will tell!