Several executives from European automakers have recently asked for FCA to suspend production of its 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee, to give them appropriate time to build cost-competitive vehicles. Their issues largely lie with the Trackhawk high-performance variant outdoing their more expensive SUVs. While the executives of the various companies seem to have coordinated their statements, the Jeep response has been directed to each individually and has been generally seen to be a rebuttal.
Jeep’s overall response, handled by brand representative Brett Carson, was simply “Haha, no.”
The representative’s individual responses are detailed below, as are the grievances given by the various automotive executives of the European manufacturers.
“We stake our entire brand on beautiful cars with pleasing exhaust notes- this American monstrosity makes our Stelvio look frail and does it with that irreverent V8 growl! They must be stopped.”
The Stelvio does indeed look rather frail when compared to the beefier and more planted stance of the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee, especially the high-performance Trackhawk variant. The Stelvio attempts to blend some of the Alfa Romeo brand’s sports car heritage into the sheet metal of this new vehicle, but in the end, the Stelvio is still an SUV, not a low sports car.
The Grand Cherokee, meanwhile, has no such pretensions. It has always been a stout and wide SUV yet seems to have even better proportions than the overly upright Stelvio. While the claims of the Alfa Romeo executive do hold water, the Jeep representative’s retort was dismissive.
“Maybe you shouldn’t have put a kissy face on your “truck”.”
“The Ferrari Purosangue was supposed to be the most powerful SUV ever! Without us having to do any new development… But this new ‘Trackhawk’ will force us back to the drawing board! It is not right!”
Ferrari has long been an engine-focused manufacturer that aims to wring every horsepower possible out of their often undersized power plants. The new Trackhawk has more than 700 horsepower, handily outdoing every other automaker’s performance SUVs. While this sort of superiority would be tolerated within the European luxury manufacturer elite, it appears these automakers and their enthusiasts are unwilling to take this kind of brutal thrashing from an outsider. This is especially true of Jeep, whose legacy of war-winning military vehicles is not lost on the German and Italian brands especially.
The Jeep representative’s response to Ferrari’s statements were not focused on war, however, but the racing exploits of the brand’s FCA stablemate.
“After getting beat by Vipers at Le Mans, you people had ought to know there’s no replacement for displacement.”
“I do say, those presumptuous chaps at Jeep really have done it this time. Our off-road systems and capabilities have taken millions to develop, and now these Jeepers have provided the same capability at a third the price! It is downright piracy, I say.”
While Range Rover has been seen as a leader in off-road capability for decades, their vehicles have always carried with them a prohibitively high price tag. Vehicles like the Range Rover are thus far more often used solely for the daily grind of the affluent and rarely get to use any of their capabilities. Jeep maintains a tradition of off-road capable trims for even their most mundane or upscale models, but the Trailhawk variant of the Grand Cherokee is no obscure also-ran. The Trailhawk can climb, descend, and trek along with the best of them when the road runs out.
Jeep’s response to the post-Brexit Land Rover was somewhat harsh.
“At least our so-called ‘Jeepers’ use their off-roaders for more than going to the mall.”
“The audacity of Jeep has proven… substantial. They dare threaten our plans to use our luxurious and exceedingly comfortable interiors to dominate the world SUV market! We would have succeeded already if not for their Grand Cherokee’s sumptuous interior and all the gadgetry it contains… But this is yet a minor setback in our master plan! …As long as Jeep does us a small favor of stopping the production of the Grand Cherokee. Pretty please.”
The tone of the Mercedes communique sounds almost desperate, which is understandable considering the brand has long had a lock on the most comfortable luxury SUV interiors. But now, with the Grand Cherokee, that dominance is not just threatened but destroyed outright. The High Altitude and Summit variants of the Grand Cherokee are especially nice on the inside, though even the lowest trim levels exude a certain elegance and warmth that was until very recently an almost Mercedes-specific trait.
Jeep is unapologetic.
“Your plans have been defeated, just like your interiors.”
“This is outrageous! We have spent years building an SUV worthy of the Lamborghini name! It is built to maximize everything, especially speed! But you, Jeep… Your Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is half the price but comes with essentially the same speed! ONLY WE ARE ALLOWED TO BE THIS OUTRAGEOUS!”
Lamborghini’s statement is resoundingly emphatic and hits important points. The Lamborghini Urus is well over double the price of the Jeep Trackhawk, yet at the same time is less powerful and is only three-tenths of a second faster to 60 miles per hour. Not many truly performance-minded people are going to spend another 130,000 dollars for three-tenths of a second, especially when the Hellcat drivetrain in the Trackhawk has proven to be so easily modifiable. Lamborghini’s entire brand has always revolved around how crazy and intense their vehicles were, but the new Trackhawk offers so much of that ethos without the pointy styling or equally outrageous price tag.
Jeep’s response appears to be aimed at the new owners of Lamborghini.
“Complain to your German overlords; we build fast trucks for the people.”
“Jeep, your new Grand Cherokee’s Trackhawk variant presents a direct threat to our business. While our ethos, our very motto, is “the ultimate driving machine,” your new vehicle has proven to be overly exciting compared to our own X5. We demand you immediately cease and desist.”
BMW has been a leader in offering driving excitement for some time now, offering ever-better cars as the decades went on. However, as the 2000s became the 2010s and their clientele began showing its age, the focus of their vehicles did as well. BMWs became overly heavy, bogged down in computer assistance and fake engine sounds. This unfortunate devolution affected their performance SUV as well.
Meanwhile, according to Car and Driver, the Jeep Trackhawk “is an expletive-inducing thrill ride,” which offers stable handling and powerful bursts of acceleration that just offer more thrills than modern BMW can muster. This truly is a threat to the BMW reputation, but Jeep remains incredibly dismissive of their demands.
“Even when you get your act together, we’ll still blow the doors off whatever lump you stick an M badge on next.”
What Will Jeep Do Now?
Overall, Jeep’s rebuttals have sent shockwaves through the genteel community of European performance SUV makers, forcing the lot of them to make hard decisions on whether or not they can compete with this new juggernaut. The new 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee is a powerhouse both literally and figuratively, and it matches this incredible power with impressive handling. Every model of the Grand Cherokee is filled with plush interiors that have a warm ambiance, but many of them can also tackle a rugged trail with ease or outrun a sports car on the track.
It seems that despite the protests of their competition, Jeep looks to soldier on in beating the tar out of everyone.