We got the privilege to join Jeep on an unforgettable journey that lasted two days in Sicily, Italy.
We enjoyed the adventure of our lives passing through the Mount Etna volcano, Sicilian Jungle and crossed a river with our Jeep. We survived the most hush environments for a vehicle and lived to tell about it. The Jeep experience days is an event inspired by the legendary “Easter Jeep Safari” held in the United States and we were among the lucky few to re-live this experience in Italy. Just imagine testing the full Jeep range on an off-road route through the spectacular Sicilian scenery, but for now enough talking let’s hit the roads.
The first day started with our arrival to Donnafugata Golf Resort & Spa where we got our briefing and saw the amazing lineup of Jeep vehicles just waiting there to be taken on the adventure of a lifetime. Keys in my hand and engine START, we joined the convoy with the all new Grand Cherokee heading our way towards Mount ETNA.
We drove for 2 hours exploring every aspect of the Grand Cherokee along the way. On paved roads, this vehicle is one of the most luxurious and most comfortable vehicle in its range, the ride was amazing. However this was not the purpose of the drive, we wanted to see if the Grand Cherokee has what it takes to be called Jeep, I mean refinement and elegance is needed for such vehicle and so is the offroading capabilities. So we took a right turn hitting the unpaved roads of ETNA, our hearts were beating so fast you can feel it literally ripping off our chest as we moved slowly while driving on volcano magma paving way towards our thrilling destination.
At the altitude of more than 3000 m directly at the feet of Mount Etna, Europe’s largest volcano and the world’s second largest active one, we made it with the Grand Cherokee. It was unstoppable no matter what type of terrain and obstacles we were facing. We used almost every function there is to reach our destination: 3 different traction systems, 5 modes of terrain selection, air-suspension Quadralift and more. On the outside, it was freezing cold and on the inside it was warm and cozy, nevertheless and as we were face to face with an erupted volcano, we’ve decided to step out of the door and face our fears for an ultimate thrill. It was an incredible journey and escapade; we experienced freedom at its peak.
Moving forward, it was time to hit the roads again driving downward towards the city of Ragusa. It was a long drive and nightfall was just around the corner, however the Grand Cherokee made our journey the safest with its state of the art safety systems and also an enjoyable ride with its Uconnect 8.4 touch screen infotainment.
Arriving at our destination and just when we thought the day was over; the guys at Jeep gave us the surprise of a lifetime; directly outside our rooms, there was a lineup of some of the best Mopar vehicles, some of them were even premiered for the first time: Three Wrangler-based concept cars – Rubicon Sunriser, Rubicon Stealth and Sahara Black Revenge – packed with Mopar accessories for the most extreme off-road use, the Jeep® Renegade “Montreaux Jazz Festival”, designed together with Garage Italia Customs for the famous music festival and the Jeep® Renegade “Harley Rat Rod” and much more.
The day ended with a blast when we got the chance to go for a night ride in these amazing Mopar vehicles.
Woke up the next morning, refreshed and ready to move on our next adventure. We switched vehicles and got into the latest creation from Jeep the “Renegade”. In our heads the idea was that this Jeep is the smallest among its family and won’t be able to take on the beating that the wrangler usually do, but hey we are here to test, so we took on the challenge.
Inside the “Renegade” was the big surprise, the vehicle is roomy and has so many capabilities it even competes with its big brother the wrangler. Moreover, we were really surprised to see the amount of design details that the guys at Jeep have put into thoughts, the speaker covers were Jeep branded, the rear view mirror as well and the design coordination between the exterior and interior is beyond compare. Frankly I’m thrilled to say I loved it, it reflects the true values of Jeep: passion and authenticity.
All of that is great, now it was time to put it to the test of hush terrains. We took on a journey passing through the Sicilian Jungle on a hard off-road track setup by the guys at Jeep. The Renegade with its various terrain mode selections passed the test. We crossed on paved roads, unpaved roads, rock, slippery roads, obstacles, descents, side slopes and of course lots and lots of mud to eventually take a pause in front of the river double thinking what the heck are we doing? Will the Renegade be able to pass through a running river? And SPLASH!!, without any hesitations, we dived into the river and took on the off-road vehicles’ worst nightmare with great success.
The “Renegade” proved to be a capable vehicle with great funky design. Jeep demonstrated its capabilities to produce a small SUV that is proficient and able to meet the values of Jeep. The “Renegade” also introduced for the first time a nine-speed automatic transmission that contributed very much in this vehicle on-road and off-road power. We can say that this new comer is a topnotch on-road and off-road vehicle with complete refinement, fuel efficiency, safety features, technology features and amazing looks.
The “Jeep Experience Days” was an outstanding experience that got us behind the wheels of every Jeep there is for a true exciting and challenging drive and gave us the opportunity to learn up-close and personal about each Jeep vehicle’s capabilities.
At the end, we head to our last location on this journey, thinking that this is it once more; the guys at Jeep had different thoughts installed for us. The journey wouldn’t have been a complete line up without the sight of the all mighty SRT.
We entered on a private jet landing strip and we got our treat for the day, two Jeeps Grand Cherokee SRT equipped with a 6.4-liter HEMI® V-8 468 hp engine and eight-speed automatic transmission gave us an extraordinary demonstration of power and speed reaching 250 km/h and accelerating from zero to 100 in just 5 seconds, what a thrill. It was the perfect way to wrap up an event that I and all participants will never forget.
The Jeep experience two days ended just like it started with a blast. We drove on mud, rock, water and tarmac, we lived a unique experience testing the Jeep range with the best and the most awarded SUV line up ever. The event expressed the true values of Jeep freedom, adventure, authenticity and passion.