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Forget Trail Rated, Jeep Is Going Desert Rated:

New Trim Level Will Launch First-Quarter Of 2020...

Back in 2015, Jeep introduced the Jeep Renegade Desert Hawk Concept. The Desert Hawk featured a bunch of aftermarket Mopar / Jeep Performance Parts and made the Renegade into a desert adventure vehicle. The vehicle really was more of a highlight of the Mopar / Jeep Performance Parts catalog than a hardcore desert machine.

As recently as 2017, Jeep introduced the Renegade Deserthawk special edition. It brought the Desert Hawk Concept look to production. The Deserthawk only lasted for the one model year. This is only a small taste of what Jeep had in store for the brand.

2017 Jeep Renegade Deserthawk. (Jeep).

Fast forward to the 2017 model year, Jeep introduced the Renegade Deserthawk special edition. It brought the Desert Hawk Concept look to production. The Deserthawk only lasted for the one model year. This is only a small taste of what Jeep had in store for the brand.

The next thing Jeep did was created the wicked Jeep Sandstorm Concept. Inspired by Baja desert racers, the Jeep Sandstorm concept was all about blitzing long, sandy straightaways while still being capable of handling the daily driving duties. To accomplish this, the Sandstorm featured off-road hardware that would handle both with ease, including an extreme-duty suspension system and a powertrain with excess power on tap.

2018 Jeep® Sandstorm Concept. (Jeep).

Less than two months later the Jeep brand announced during their 5-Year Plan Presentation in Turin, Italy it was creating another trim level, focusing certain vehicles in the brand to become the ultimate sand performance machines.

Introducing the “Deserthawk” trim level, the ultimate high-speed sand running capability. This new trim level will have eight desert-specific engineering standards, to make a Jeep vehicle live up to the “Deserthawk” name. Instead of the circle badge like the Trail Rated badges that adorn the hardcore offroad Jeeps on their left fender, the Desert Rated models will feature a triangle shaped badged outlined in orange writing.

2020 Jeep Cherokee Deserthawk. (Ralph Gilles’ Instagram).

Like their offroad counterparts, Deserthawk models will feature unique tow hooks. Instead of the red tow hooks found on Trailhawk models, the Deserthawk will get bright orange ones. We know very little about the specifics of the new trim level. We know that Jeep expects that the trim will account for a 10% mix of it’s vehicles. Depending on the vehicle that gets the Desert Rated badge, it will add about $5,000 to $10,000 to the sticker price.

Here is what we know. The first vehicle to be launched with the Deserthawk trim will be the Jeep Cherokee. The Jeep Cherokee Deserthawk will be launched in the first-quarter of 2020. The vehicle was teased during the 5-Year Presentation in Turin, Italy.

2020 Jeep Cherokee Deserthawk. (Ralph Gilles’ Instagram).

The Cherokee Deserthawk not only features revised front and rear fascias, but gets aggressive side sills,  oversized BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2s on what looks like OZ Racing rally monoblock wheels and a 2-inch lift over the standard Jeep Cherokee models.

The lower front fascia has massive openings for cooling, while carrying bright orange tow hooks and still is equipped with LED fog lights. The hood has a huge extractor vent in the middle of it as well, surrounded by a black hood graphic.

It seems that FCA has the high performance sand bug with upcoming vehicles like the 2021 Ram Rebel TRX and the Jeep Cherokee Deserthawk. But that is okay for performance geeks like us. We can’t wait to start seeing these new desert vehicles on the streets or on the dunes.

 

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