With the Jeep® brand’s recent introduction of its all-new Gladiator Mojave – the first Jeep to ever carry the new “Desert Rated” badge, the iconic off-road brand is getting ready to launch an onslaught of new Desert Rated vehicles over the next two model years. We recently touched on the upcoming Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Mojave model which is expected to debut sometime later in 2021, the Gladiator and Wrangler models will be the only two vehicles utilizing the Mojave nameplate just like the two models are the only two to wear the “Rubicon” name for the Trail Rated models. Instead, the rest of the lineup will wear the new “Deserthawk” badge.
Originally making its debut at the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) 2018 Capital Markets Day presentation, the Cherokee Deserthawk was the very first of the new Desert Rated vehicles from Jeep to be shown to the public. Specific details were absent from the event, however, now thanks to patient records, we see that the Cherokee Deserthawk might be the next vehicle to be launched in the Desert Rated lineup. The design patient for the new Cherokee Deserthawk was approved by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) back on November 5th, 2019.
While we have seen a few images of the vehicle hit the internet thanks to people that were at the event in 2018, like FCA Head of Design, Ralph Gilles, the patient drawings give up a new look at the vehicle’s overall stance. The new Cherokee Deserthawk appears to be much more aggressive in appearance than its Trailhawk counterpart. We also see a much bigger lower grille design in the front fascia and the bold new hood design to allow the Cherokee to get more cooling out on the hot sand dunes.
While not much is known about the Cherokee Deserthawk, we are being told to expect the following features on the new desert runner…
- 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four-cylinder engine delivering 270 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque.
- ZF-Sourced 9-Speed Automatic Transmission.
- 2.5-Inch Factory Lift.
- High-Performance Shock Absorbers.
- 19-Inch Wheels Specifically Designed For Sand.
- Unique Front & Rear Fascias.
- Unique Hood with Three Scoops Integrated.
- Orange Tow Hooks & Accents.
- Black/Gray Interior with Orange Accents & Stitching.
With the current Cherokee (KL) sales continuing to struggle despite being off of a recent mid-cycle refresh which has gained much praise from the media, the Deserthawk might be the missing piece of the puzzle to steer the Cherokee back on track. The Belvidere Assembly Plant in Belvidere, Illinois will start 2021 model year production on Monday, August 31st, 2020, according to sources close to MoparInsiders. We figure we will see the new Cherokee Deserthawk introduced sometime later this year, and be launched in early 2021.