2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8: Diesel Grand Cherokee In the Cards
November 05, 2012
Not to get too personal, but the fuel door on our 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 is huge, and its utter massiveness reveals something interesting about the near-term future of the Grand Cherokee.
All you need do is open it and take a gander at the extra real estate to the right of the gas cap. There's so much empty space that we can make a pretty good educated guess that it will eventually house ...
... the same sort of Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) fill port seen on diesel-powered Ford Super Duty pickups (above) and other modern clean diesels.
Now, a diesel-powered Grand Cherokee is no new thing; they've existed in Europe, Australia and elsewhere overseas for awhile. But last time I checked the European and Aussie diesels don't need DEF the second downstream SCR catalyst it's injected into to meet local emissions requirements. If that's truly the case they won't have the second filler cap shown above.
So our GC's extra large gas door and the extra space it conceals seems to be a sign that a US diesel model -- which would absolutely need the DEF additive and an SCR catalyst to pass our emissions regs -- has been in the cards for this generation of Grand Cherokee since Day One.
Earlier this year the rumor mill pegged 2013 as the model year the US-spec diesel version would appear. But we've got 2013 Grand Cherokee pricing and order guides and they contain no mention of a diesel powerplant.
That doesn't make diesel a dead issue; Jeep could release a 2013 Grand Cherokee diesel in the next few months and still call it a 2013 model. Or they could release it when the 2014 Grand Cherokee changeover happens next fall. So far there's been no official word.
Whatever happens, it would seem that the prospect of a US-spec diesel Grand Cherokee was strong enough at the outset to warrant a fuel door design that was compatible with the eventual fitment of a DEF tank and filler neck.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 12,500 miles, or something