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Production-ready Jeep concept appearing at D.C. Auto Show today

Jeep debuted a production-intent Grand Cherokee at the Houston Auto Show yesterday, and the new ‘stealth mode’ GC will show its black-gloss face at the Washington Auto Show today.

In a post on Chrysler’s blog, the company described the ‘concept’ as having a stunning exterior with distinct, aggressive flair. Paired with the vehicle’s showings at a the two metropolitan car shows is a contest for Jeep fans and enthusiasts to name the new package.

The Jeep ‘Name My Ride’ contest offers consumers the opportunity to win a 2012 Grand Cherokee to the entrant who selects the most popular name – but you’ll have to keep it under 20 characters. Depending how successful the contest is (it runs through mid March), customers could see the newly badged trim level at dealerships this Spring.

The production-intent ride is based on the Laredo-X platform. Changes to the vehicle include various exterior design updates to the grille, lower fascia and the wheels, giving it a sleeker ‘blacked out’ look.

Production-intent Jeep Grand Cherokee Concept (Photo via Chrysler-Group Flickr)

“Highlighted by a unique platinum-chrome front-end appearance and distinctive black-gloss 20-inch wheels and exterior treatments, our new Grand Cherokee concept provides a completely new look – one that is edgy and aggressive, and certainly different than any Grand Cherokee on the road today,” said Mike Manley, President and CEO – Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC.

Vehicle customization has been trending more with consumers over the past few years. Automakers like Kia, Hyundai, Scion and Honda often offer customers stock upgrades straight from the manufacturer. Given that trend and the 127,744 units Jeep sold in the U.S. in last year (up 51% over 2010), the Detroit-based carmaker could be slated for another jump in sales in 2012.

Come by the Washington Auto Show Friday, January 27 through Sunday, February 5 to check out the Jeep GC concept. Go to www.jeep.com/namemyride to learn more about the vehicle and enter the ‘Name My Ride’ contest.

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Melanie Batenchuk

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