The Orvis edition-a cooperative effort with America's oldest mail-order company and high-dollar purveyor of outdoorsy clothes and gear-is a new premium offering. Included are the QuadraTrac (full-time) 4WD system, two-tone cream-and-green leather seats, a woody green exterior, Orvis-logo floor mats, et cetera.
Four-wheel-disc brakes are standard on all models.
Manual transmission option dropped.
Calendar-year sales: 252,186
New dual air bags and more available luxury equipment are added. A major effort to smooth the ride and mellow noise and vibration won't be the last. Command-Trac part-time 4WD system dropped.
Total Grand Cherokee sales pass 1 million in less than 5 years.
Calendar-year sales: 279,195
The TSi model debuts, with a sport suspension, alloy wheels, leather seat, and premium audio. Priced between the Laredo and the Limited, it hangs around for two years.
Calendar-year sales: 260,875
A larger V-8 (5.9 liters, 245 hp) from the Dodge Ram pickup appears in the 5.9 Limited. A pair of non-functional hood slats and an extroverted sound track from its low-restriction exhaust announce its presence. The 0-to-60 time is 7.3 seconds.
Chrysler merges with (is taken over by) DaimlerBenz.
The Orvis heads back to Vermont.
Calendar-year sales: 229,135
Second-generation Grand Cherokee (codename: WJ) for '99. It's longer, wider, taller. Redesigned rear suspension for better ride quality. Spare tire moves out of the cargo area under the vehicle. Multiple changes to combat NVH.
New SOHC 4.7-liter V-8 (235 hp, 295 lb-ft) replaces pushrod 5.2-liter; 4.0-liter straight six (now 195 hp, 230 lb-ft) remains the base engine.
New Quadra-Drive 4WD system.
Overland, above Limited, has high-output (265 hp, 325 lb-ft) V-8, suede and leather trim, real wood accents, curtain air bags, 17-inch wheels, Up Country suspension, etc.
Calendar-year sales: 300,031
The 2 millionth Grand Cherokee is built early in the model year.
Calendar-year sales: 271,723
60th Anniversary edition, in black or silver, has two-tone leather interior, special trim, chrome wheels.
Calendar-year sales: 223,612