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Jim Morrison Doesn’t Believe That The Ford Explorer Timberline Could Follow The Grand Cherokee Trailhawk Off-Road

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk 4xe
Image via Jeep

The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee lineup debuted last week, introducing a unique blend in power, efficiency and capability with the new Trailhawk 4xe trim level. Considering how much off-road adventuring is woven into the Jeep identity, and how well its been working for the brand, others are – perhaps finally – taking a similar approach by making some of their SUV models more rugged and appealing for the more adventurous among us. Subaru, for example, has introduced the Wilderness variant to the Outback. Chevrolet and GMC have introduced the Z71 and AT4 to the Tahoe and Yukon models, respectively. And Ford Motor Company continues to burrow itself further in that direction with the Timberline trim level to both the Explorer and Expedition SUVs, with expectation for it to expand to other nameplates down the road.

However, Jeep North America President Jim Morrison doesn’t think his competition would be able to follow the 2022 Grand Cherokee Trailhawk very far into the wilderness.

Jeep North America President Chirps The Competition

“I actually feel sorry for (Ford Explorer Timberline) customers that get tricked,” said Morrison in an interview with MC&T. “You can paint a tow hook red. It doesn’t mean that behind the tow hook it would even hold up in the right moment that it needs to.”

This isn’t the first time Jim Morrison took pot shots at Ford. During the recent Detroit 4Fest at Holly Oaks, the Jeep North America President commented that attendees were unlikely to see many Ford Bronco SUVs at the event, on account of the rain and the vehicle’s well-documented roof supply issues.

“We design all of those Trail Rated elements from the ground up… it’s not just a marketing term, it’s capability that’s bred in. You don’t just put stickers and paint on things. We build it in with incredible capability,” Morrison added.

Morrison then pointed us to a photo of the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk climbing a slope in the middle of a cragged desert.

“The Timberline would have made it to about *there*. That’s a 65 grade incline, and it wouldn’t have made it by there,” he claimed.

2022 WL Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk
Image via Jeep

2022 WL Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk Details

The new Trailhawk features standard Goodyear Wrangler all-terrain tires wrapping 18-inch wheels, integrated off-road camera, an updated air suspension with up to 11.3 inches (28.7cm) of ground clearance on its max height setting, improved approach, departure and breakover angles from before, along with an active transfer case, a rear electronic limited slip differential, and a Selec-Terrain drive mode selector. The SUV can be easily identified from the pack thanks to its red tow hooks, and a glare-proof black-and-red matte “Trailhawk” hood decal. On Grand Cherkokee 4xe Trailhawk models, these accents are blue instead of red.

What really separates the WL Grand Cherokee Trailhawk from the others is the following:

  • Class-exclusive sway-bar disconnect to allow for improved articulation and traction over rocks and rough terrain; an uncommon feature on unibody designs.
  • Selec-Speed Control for managing vehicle speed in 4LO while traversing off-road terrain, allowing for one-pedal driving off-road at low speeds.
  • High-strength steel skid plates
  • Increased water fording capability of up to 24 inches (61 cm)

Pricing for the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee lineup has not yet been announced.

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee WL Trailhawk
Image via Jeep

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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