HOUSTON – The Jeep brand has introduced a new, production-intent concept version of its award-winning Grand Cherokee, a unique model with distinctive yet stealthy exterior cues designed to attract new Jeep Grand Cherokee enthusiasts and customers.

Showing the vehicle publicly for the first time this morning at the Houston Auto Show, Jeep also announced that it has created an online contest for consumers to name the new production-intent Grand Cherokee concept.  The person who chooses the winning name will have an opportunity to win a new 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

“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.  “Jeep enthusiasts have always appreciated limited-edition models and the ability to customize their vehicles.  This new Grand Cherokee comes with a unique, ‘factory-customized’ stealth appearance directly from Jeep, and is certain to attract interest from an array of potential customers.

“We plan to garner feedback from consumers at the Houston Auto Show, and via our online Jeep ‘Name My Ride’ contest,” Manley added.  “If the level of excitement is what we anticipate, this new Grand Cherokee will be in Jeep showrooms this spring.”

Motor Trend’s yearly awards are interesting to readers and can create great headlines for vehicle manufacturers, so it’s always interesting to hear that an off-road-related vehicle is up for an award. That is the case with the new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee (see the Off-Road.com review here).

Motor Trend recently discussed that the new Jeep is in contention as Sport/Utility vehicle of the year. The all-new platform is noted in the piece as taking direct aim at vehicles such as the Mercedes-Benz M-Class as being a more capable off-road vehicle.

2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee AssemblyThe Jeep Channel, Jeep’s You Tube channel, has a cool new video posted showing the assembly of the new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee at its Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit, Michigan. The process of human and computer interaction during the build is pretty interesting. Plus, it’s a unique view into the assembly of an American-made vehicle.

Check out the video here.

As we all should know, nothing is as easy as it looks.  Sure, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is an off-road icon but unfortunately it doesn’t come installed with off-road skills, the guys in this video may have not thought this maneuver through fully, that’ll learn ’em!

Click the jump to see the video.