A new Mercedes-Benz-designed three-litre V6 diesel engine is an entry-level model highlight of the European-specification (and assembled) Jeep Grand Cherokee going on sale across Europe in the next few months.

The new motor - also destined for Chrysler 300C models built in the Magna Steyr plant in Austria - delivers 33% more torque and 28% more power than the five-cylinder 2.7 litre Merc oil burner used in the previous Grand Cherokee.

Maximum power of the 3.0 CRD engine is 218 hp DIN @ 4000 rpm and peak torque is 376 lb.ft. from just 1600 rpm. Top speed is 124 mph and 0-62 mph is despatched in nine seconds.

Petrol heads - who'll need deep pockets given the price of the fuel in Europe - will be able to opt for the mighty 5.7-litre Hemi 326hp multi-displacement V8 or a 231hp 3.7-litre V8.

Euro-spec Grand Cherokees get the Quadra-Drive II four-wheel drive system with electronic limited slip differentials and also have ESP, traction control, side curtain airbags and a tyre pressure monitoring system.

The European Jeep Grand Cherokee is claimed to deliver class-leading towing capacity of 3500 kg (7716 lbs including nose weight).

European models get a three-year/60,000 mile/100,000km mechanical warranty, seven-year anti-corrosion warranty and 12 months roadside assistance.