This won't be the first time that Jeep has used the "Deserthawk" name. There was a limited-edition Jeep Renegade Deserthawk model, but that was basically a Trailhawk model with a custom color scheme. The new models promise more substantial upgrades.
Along with a new triangular "Desert Rated" badge similar to the familiar "Trail Rated" coin, the upcoming Deserthawk models will be underpinned by "eight desert-specific engineering standards" with an emphasis on high-speed sand capability. The specifics of those upgrades hasn't been, well, specified but long-travel heavy-duty suspension, knobby tires and undercarriage reinforcements would seem like good starting points. We should learn more closer to launch.
A Jeep Cherokee is pictured alongside the announcement, but -- like Trailhawk -- we expect the Deserthawk designation can be applied to various Jeep models that meet the standard.
Together, Trailhawk, Trackhawk and soon Deserthawk will serve as performance halos for the Jeep brand and image, but the automaker also hinted that there's room for another unannounced halo with a focus on on-road urban capability.
Jeep expects the new Trackhawk trim to add about $5,000 to $10,000 to the sticker price when it joins the lineup by 2020, according to the announcement made at the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles investor meeting today.