In case you missed it, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles revealed at their 2018 Capital Markets Day presentation that a new “Deserthawk” badge will be coming to join the Trackhawk and Trailhawk within the next few years. Where the Trackhawk moniker adorns Jeep’s most intense, performance-oriented version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, and Trailhawk denotes a certain penchant for off-road capability, the Deserthawk badge will stand for – you guessed it – high-speed desert-running acumen.
The Deserthawk badge is expected to launch by 2020, denoting “eight desert-specific engineering standards” aimed at optimizing the recipient Jeep for high-speed desert driving. Precisely what those “desert-specific” standards are is unknown, but one need only look to the Ford F-150 Raptor for clues as to where Jeep’s head is at. A graphic shown during FCA’s presentation earlier this month showed a Jeep Cherokee in what we gather will be “Deserthawk” spec, suggesting that the compact CUV could be the first to receive the treatment.
When we say “first,” technically, we’re neglecting the Jeep Renegade Desert Hawk – a special version of the Renegade Trailhawk that came with a unique color scheme, standard rock rails, and a new “Rock” mode for the Selec-Terrain system. Jeep’s new Deserthawk designation will include more specialized equipment, and a larger price tag to match; FCA says the badge and corresponding equipment will inflate the sticker price of the recipient model by between $5k and $10k.
Apart from adding a third “hawk” brand and delving into a whole new arena of off-road capability, Jeep’s future plans over the next several years include welcoming 14 new electrified models into its stable, expanding into the supermini CUV, large SUV, and midsize pickup segments, and launching a new combination subscription/loyalty/customer service program called “Jeep Wave”.