The 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit kicked off press week with Chrysler unveiling an update to its iconic Jeep brand. Consumers will now be able to purchase a diesel-powered Grand Cherokee starting with the 2014 model.

This is the first time Jeep will offer its flagship SUV with the high-mileage diesel engine. Chrysler says the 3-liter EcoDiesel V-6 engine will offer a class leading 30 miles per gallon in highway driving, with a full tank capable of 730 miles of travel.

Chrysler won't phase away the current model engines for the Grand Cherokee. A 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine, offering 25 mpg on the highway, and a 5.7-liter V-8, which gets 21 highway mpg, will also be available. All engines will adopt Chrysler's eight-speed automatic transmission, giving the vehicles a boost in fuel economy and performance.

In related news, Jeep president and CEO Mike Manley announced that the company could enter a partnership to produce vehicles in China. Italian auto manufacturer and majority Chrysler owner Fiat is close to reaching a deal with Guangzhou Automobile Group to use one of their plants in the Asian country.

“We have had some very fruitful discussions with Fiat’s partner,” Manley revealed at the press conference. “There will be news very shortly.”

According to the Detroit Free Press, the Guangzhou plant has the capability to produce 140,000 SUVs annually, with goals to eventually increase that number to 500,000. Jeep sold 700,000 of its vehicles worldwide in 2012, the most in the company's history.

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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