SRT® Hallmarks: 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT exterior design.
Enhance, that was the operative word when the design team began work on the exterior of the 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT®. With a similar exterior design to the previous model, the 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT features very distinct enhancements to the lighting, front fascia and wheels. You could say, mission accomplished.
The design team wanted to remain true to the roots of the Grand Cherokee, while breaking out some styles that would make the vehicle stand out even more. A number of factors played into the tweaks to the exterior of the 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT, including listening to customers and observing some of the modifications that have been made to previous models by owners and enthusiasts. A key for 2014 was that the base model of the Grand Cherokee and the Grand Cherokee SRT were designed at the same time, allowing for use of the same parts, which welcomed innovation and many new ideas.
"The Grand Cherokee SRT came out in 2012, so it's been around for two years," said Vince Galante, Jeep® Exterior Design Manager. "With this Grand Cherokee facelift there are upgraded technologies. What we wanted to do was not redesign the SRT, because it was still fresh in the minds of the public, but take what was there and enhance it."
One of the most visible updates to the exterior of the Grand Cherokee SRT is the concept of "blacking out" several surfaces. The front grille, headlights and taillights all have taken on a "blacked out" look for the 2014 edition. Taking residence on the front headlights is an integrated headlamp washer, while LED lights are present in the Daytime Running Lights (DRL) and turn signals.
"All the insides of the headlights are black," said Galante. "In fact, everything is. It's almost like you put tinted black covers over the lenses. The whole inside of the headlight is black. Also, something that is new to the SRT is that we have signature lighting. The headlight that the SRT gets has probably the most technology we have ever put into a lamp."
The lower mouth area of the 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT is the same as the previous model, but the whole grille area and headlights have been modified. The grille is shorter and has been moved slightly higher, making the vehicle appear lower and wider. Also new for 2014, the front fascia on the Grand Cherokee SRT is colored in gloss black.
"It gives kind of an old Charger/Challenger muscle car type look," shared Galante. "It has a big, chunky mouth down low. With the black headlights, the thing looks pretty evil."
Completely new taillights highlight the brand-new liftgate on the Grand Cherokee SRT. New for 2014 are two separate taillights with body color through the middle and a Jeep badge between them. The LED taillights offer a unique glow at night that adds a certain style to the rear of the vehicle.
While the rear fascia of the Grand Cherokee SRT is the same as last year, there are many subtle enhancements that aid in function and style. The new liftgate includes a touchpad and new handle, with one-touch open. Fixed glass on the back provides better visibility, due to the wiper motor being integrated lower. All of this helped shed weight, which always aids in performance. The spoiler on the Grand Cherokee SRT appears the same as it did on the previous Grand Cherokee SRT, but that's where the similarities end.
"With the new spoiler, we were able to get much more downforce, but better drag," Galante stated. "It gets better drag, which is good for gas mileage and gets better downforce. That's again because we set the targets up front. A lot of wind tunnel work went into that and in the end it worked out really well."
A couple of different available wheels give the 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT even more personality. New this year is the Goliath wheels, which are a five-spoke wheel that have an intricate and sculptural, yet simple look to them. The Goliath wheels come in full polish.
"When we were coming up with names for the new wheels, we wanted to have a cool name for it," said Galante. "We came up with Goliath. The Grand Cherokee is a hulking car that's faster than you think it should be based on the physics. When we thought about the wheels, we thought about a super strong guy holding up the earth, because they had to be super strong wheels to hold up this behemoth of a car."
The design team set out to subtly enhance the award-winning Grand Cherokee SRT and was able to accomplish that and then some. From front-to-back, design elements and styles tell the story of the brand-new 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT.
"We are really, really proud of the Grand Cherokee SRT and we wanted to enhance it in all the areas that we thought would keep it fresh and keep it modern that customers would really like," beamed Galante. "With the design, we wanted people to know it's the new one, but not just because there were lines and things thrown all over it. We wanted to convey this in a nice, clean way, rather than just throw a bunch of style at it for styles-sake."