Design

Stellantis crowns amateur vehicle designers as Drive for Design winners

Twelth-grader Vincent Piaskowski took top honors in the Stellantis competition.

Photo courtesy of Stellantis
Stellantis, formerly known in the U.S. as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, has just wrapped its annual Drive for Design contest and has crowned three impressive winners. The contest gives high school students an opportunity to win prizes, meet influential member of Stellantis' vehicle design teams, and spend time at the College for Creative Studies.
  • First Place: Vincent Piaskowski, 12th grade from Michigan
  • Second Place: Rocco Morales, 10th grade from Michigan
  • Third Place: Alex Wang, 12th grade from California

Second place winner Tenth-grader Rocco Morales won second place.Photo courtesy of Stellantis

The winners submissions were impressive, but the prizes they won are pretty cool, too. First place took home a Wacom MobileStudio Pro 16, a Virtual Day of Design that includes a one-on-one portfolio review with Stellantis design leaders Ralph Gilles and Mark Trostle, and a scholarship for a four-week virtual summer program at the College for Creative Studies. Earning a second- or third-place price wasn't so bad, either. Those two got an Apple iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, a visit with Head of Ram Truck and Mopar Design, Mark Trostle, and the same four-week scholarship.

Before they could claim a prize, artists' submissions were scrutinized in four key areas, each evenly weighted in judging. Craftsmanship, design quality, illustration, and originality were all scored to find the winner. Looking at the top three entries, it's clear that the choice before the judges was a tough one.

Third place winner Twelth-grader Alex Wang took home third place.Photo courtesy of Stellantis

The winning submission was a concept called the Jeep Grand Teton. It's accompanied in the sketches by its own reconnaissance drone, and doesn't look all that far-fetched, as far as concept vehicles go. The second-place submission is called the Jeep Crazy Horse. It's quite a bit more "out there," and features a sliding battery unit to improve vehicle balance off road. Third place, while futuristic, looks to be a throwback to the vintage Jeep Forward Control pickups of decades past. Named the Adversary, the concept features solar cells, tent storage, and a unique cabover design.

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The new Grand Cherokee L is on its way to dealers now.

Stellantis

The all-new three-row Grand Cherokee L was unveiled earlier this year, and features an ultra-premium interior, a load of new tech, and sharp styling that shouts back to Jeep models of the past. Just a few weeks ago, we learned pricing and feature details for the new model, and now Jeep says the vehicle is on its way to dealerships across the country.


Jeep Grand Cherokee L The L is the first three-row Grand Cherokee.Stellantis


In terms of styling, the L's shape has been reworked from previous Grand Cherokee models to be more reminiscent of the Jeep Grand Wagoneer. The automaker says that the grille has been tilted forward and is now wider for better air flow and a more dramatic appearance. The idea was to make the Grand Cherokee L look rugged, but keep it sleek and technical in the process.

The stretched Grand Cherokee retains the engines that powered its predecessors. That means a 3.6-liter V6 is standard, which delivers 293 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. A 5.7-liter V6 is optional, and makes 357 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque. Both engines come paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and either rear- or al-wheel drive. Either powertrain option will provide decent towing capability, but the V8 is unsurprisingly more powerful. With a V6 on board, the Grand Cherokee L can tow 6,200 pounds, while V8-powered models can pull 7,200 pounds.


Jeep Grand Cherokee L The L's styling is modern but nostalgic.Stellantis


Inside, Jeep says the L can be equipped with the latest tech and entertainment features. Running the latest Uconnect infotainment software, the Grand Cherokee L will be capable of wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and can be had with a head-up display, a rear-seat monitoring camera system, and a 950-watt 19-speaker McIntosh audio system. At the top end of the lineup, the Summit Reserve model gets Palermo quilted leather, open-pore waxed walnut wood, and 21-inch wheels.

Pricing for the L starts at $38,690 after destination, which buys the base Laredo trim. The range-topping Summit Reserve model starts at $61,690 after destination. Dealer deliveries are underway now, supported by almost 5,000 employees at Stellantis' Detroit Assembly Complex.

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The Grand Cherokee L features a third-row seat for the first time.

Jeep

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is one of the longest running and most off-road capable SUVs on the market today. But for buyers needing to haul more than a few people, the Grand Cherokee wasn't the roomiest choice. To remedy that problem, Jeep created the Grand Cherokee L, a three-row version of the popular SUV that will go on sale in 2021. Today, Jeep announced pricing for the new stretched Grand Cherokee.


2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Pricing starts under $40,000.Jeep


The Grand Cherokee L is the first three-row SUV to wear the nameplate, and will land in 2021 with a starting price tag that comes in under $40,000. The SUV will include four trims: Laredo, Limited, Overland, and Summit. The base Laredo trim will start at $36,995, the mid-range Limited trim at $43,995, and the range-topping Overland trim at $52,995.

The base powertrain for Grand Cherokee L models involves a 3.6-liter V6 that makes 290 horsepower and 257 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. Four-wheel drive is available. As in previous models, the Grand Cherokee L will be available with a V8. Here, it produces 357 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque.


2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Higher trim levels can be quite plush.Jeep


Even the base Laredo trim gets a fairly generous list of standard features that include adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, LED exterior lighting, an 8.4-inch-inch infotainment display, a 10.25-inch frameless digital gauge cluster, and Uconnect 5. Top trims get upscale features like ventilated seats, navigation, a dual-pane sunroof, an electronic limited slip differential, and more.

The new Uconnect 5 infotainment system enables advanced capabilities, such as wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Grand Cherokee L will also be offered with a head-up display system, a digital rearview mirror, and a 950-watt McIntosh audio system.


2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L The Grand Cherokee L should bring better cargo space with seats folded down.Jeep


The three-row Grand Cherokee L beats its two-row counterpart to market. While the L is expected soon, Jeep says the standard Grand Cherokee and an electrified 4xe version are scheduled to debut later in 2021.

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