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To This Day, The Original Jeep Grand Cherokee Debut May Be The Most Legendary Detroit Vehicle Reveal Ever

2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee 30th Anniversary Edition Detroit Auto Show NAIAS Bob Lutz
Image via Jeep

Jeep is celebrating three decades of the Grand Cherokee with a special limited 30th Anniversary Edition model. Some of you may remember the original Grand Cherokee’s debut those three decades ago, which is still one of the boldest vehicle reveals the world has ever seen.

On January 7th, 1992, the Jeep Grand Cherokee lived up to its name when it was revealed in the grandest way possible, smashing through the window of the then-Cobo Hall to an audience of astonished journalists. Behind the wheel was the legendary Bob Lutz, and in the passenger seat was the then-Mayor of Detroit Coleman Young.

The Grand Cherokee was the first SUV with a standard passenger airbag, which worked well for driving precious cargo through the window. The optional 5.2-liter V-8 engine with a Dana 44 rear axle also helped with driving up the steps. Immediately, Lutz demonstrated the capability on what would be one of the best selling and most awarded SUV nameplates ever.

“When the original Jeep Grand Cherokee debuted in 1992 by famously crashing through the glass at Cobo Hall, it literally shattered expectations and redefined what a premium SUV could be,” said Jim Morrison, senior vice president and head of Jeep brand North America. “Three decades later and more than 7 million Grand Cherokees sold, the most awarded SUV ever is still forging new ground with the electrified plug-in-hybrid 4xe model. The Grand Cherokee 4xe 30th Anniversary edition underscores how far the Grand Cherokee has come and is yet another example of the Jeep brand’s goal to be the electrification leader in SUVs.”

Image via Jeep

2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe 30th Anniversary Edition: Details

Fast forward 30 years, and we’re no longer driving vehicles through glass windows, but instead, using them in place of buttons and knobs, with features such as Android Auto and Apple Carplay available at our fingertips.

The 30th-anniversary edition features a number of special touches to set it apart from standard Grand Cherokee models, in addition to the unique 4xe features.

The exterior of the Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe 30th Anniversary special edition is blacked-out with a modified front fascia, while new 20-inch black wheels and flares give it a sinister look. The signature blue tow hooks of the 4xe are set off by the shadowy exterior, as are the dual exhaust and dual pane sunroof. The looks are finished off with special-edition badging and body-color rear fascia, lower moldings, and sill claddings.

Image via Jeep

Even without a V8 engine, the 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe manages to impress in the power category with 375 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque from its combined hybrid setup. The 4Xe delivers 25 miles of all-electric range and 56 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) equivalent.

The inside of the 30th-anniversary model features black Capri leather seats which are ventilated for the front, a wireless charging pad, a nine-speaker Alpine audio system with Uconnect 5 with a 10.1-inch touchscreen, plus navigation with 3D graphics.

A suite of safety features such as front/rear park assist, Intersection Collision Assist, passive entry, rain-sensing windshield wipers, digital rearview mirror, and 360-degree surround view camera system is standard.

The 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe 30th Anniversary edition is available for a limited time with an MSRP of $4,700 on top of the price of a regular Grand Cherokee 4xe. Orders for the model open later this year, with vehicles scheduled to begin arriving at Jeep dealers by early 2023. For a closer look at the SUV, it will be on display at the 2022 North American International Auto Show in Detroit during public days, Sept. 17-25, 2022.

1993 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe 30th anniversary edition
Image via Jeep

Written by Alex

Alex is a freelance automotive journalist hailing from the Toronto area. He considers Michigan to be a warm place.

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