FRESH TRACKS Peterhansel Breaks Records with Dakar Victory
Jeep Bringing Back Grand Cherokee Diesel With Refreshed Look
We were expecting a mid-cycle refresh from Jeep on the popular Grand Cherokee, but we weren’t expecting such a comprehensive reworking of the front fascia. Jeep unveiled the new look at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, but it wasn’t just the look that was new on the big chief. Here in Canada, the diesel-powered version of the Grand Cherokee was extremely popular, and Jeep left that engine option out on the latest generation. We’re happy to say that the diesel is back with Jeep’s new 3.0-litre EcoDiesel V6 engine packing 7.8L/100 km efficiency on the highway and a towing capability of 3,357 kg. The new performance is aided by the introduction of Chrysler’s latest darling, the new eight-speed automatic transmission, while more than 60 advancements in safety and security have been packed in, such as an improved crawl ratio of 44.1:1.
10 Trucks Plus
FEB / MAR 2013
The 35th edition of the Dakar Rally seemed like a walk in the park for Stéphane Peterhansel, the untouchable overall leader from the 2nd stage and winner of his 11th Dakar counting all categories, a new record. But his 5th win in a car, over rival and Toyota driver, Giniel de Villiers and teammate Leonid Novitskiy, had more to do with the bad luck of his rivals than with the Mini’s outright performance. The onslaught of quick 2WD buggies like that of Nasser Al-Attiyah, Carlos Sainz and Robby Gordon all fell to the wayside, allowing Peterhansel to manage his comfortable buffer over de Villiers, who also made a costly navigational mistake in Stage 3. Regardless of others’ misfortune, the win was Mini’s second in as many tries, covering first and third spots on the podium, while de Villiers moved up one spot with his Toyota Hilux from last year’s third. Unfortunately, as so many times before, the Dakar did see a fatality. Organizers have confirmed 25-year-old motorcycle rider Thomas Bourgin died after colliding with an oncoming Chilean police vehicle while in transit to the start of a stage.
Trucks Plus February-March 2013 Issue