An article in Automotive News lavishing praise on the Chrysler/Fiat
merger of equals marriage inadvertently spilled the beans on a couple upcoming products from Marchionne’s minions.
The AN piece, which focuses on the birth of the miracle child known as the Dodge Dart, briefly touches on the car’s platform, known as CUSW. Discussing the ability for CUSW to underpin both C and D segment vehicles, AN states
“Some of those next vehicles are already out in testing, including the successor to the Jeep Liberty that will be built at Chrysler’s Toledo (Ohio) North Assembly plant and a Chrysler 100 hatchback that will join the Dart on the line in Belvidere, Ill. Both of those vehicles are expected in 2013.”
That should provide more grist for the online automotive content mill for the next few weeks. At the very least, all those spy shots of jacked-up Alfa Romeo hatches conclusively prove that the newest Liberty is going to become an American pseudo-Q5 (in the same way that the Grand Cherokee is an American-flavored premium SUV) while the Chrysler 100 exists largely as an offering to Lancia.
If the new Liberty really is going to be a smaller version of the Grand Cherokee – an off-road capable SUV that’s primarily concerned with luxury and on-road manners, then re-naming the car as a “Cherokee” makes a lot of sense. The 100 now looks to be a go after a series of long, drawn out teases from Sergio himself.
And with that said and done, let’s pour one out for the mail Jeep.