By on April 10, 2017


Chinese car buyers are big fans of stretched American midsize sedans, and extra-long crossovers are seen as the next logical way for U.S. automakers to woo buyers into the brand.

In China, where Jeep began production of the Cherokee in late 2015, a new vehicle has appeared online ahead of the Shanghai Auto Show. Rather than a longer Cherokee, the concept in the image seems to preview an entirely new three-row Jeep that could see a different body and badge in North America.

Discovered by Allpar, the image shows a vehicle that’s miles away, design-wise, from the Cherokee. (It certainly doesn’t scream “long wheelbase,” either.) With a front end bearing more of a likeness to the new Compass and C-pillars that seem to mimic the Renegade, the only thing connecting it to the rumored Asian-market hybrid crossover is the badge and the name on the license plate.

Going by this concept, it seems Jeep wants to turn a stretched Cherokee into a standalone model. The hybrid system planned for the seven-passenger crossover would be an adaption of the Chrysler Pacifica’s, potentially coupled to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ upcoming turbocharged 2.0-liter “Hurricane” four.

Allpar claims that production of the stretched Cherokee, or K8, should begin this summer, with the model bowing as a 2018 model. What significance does this hold for North American readers? Chrysler, a brand that has withered to just two nameplates, plans to produce a three-row crossover for the 2019 model year.

That vehicle, built atop some version of the Fiat CUSW platform shared by the Cherokee, is slated to be built next to the existing (and soon to be refreshed) Cherokee at FCA’s Belvidere, Illinois assembly plant. We’ll keep an eye on what FCA has in store for China when the Shanghai show kicks off later this month, knowing that the model’s dimensions and specifications could crop up over here.

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9 Comments on “Stretched Chinese Jeep Concept Could Preview Chrysler Crossover...”

  • avatar

    An SUV or CUV would certainly help justify Chrysler’s existence as a brand. It needs more than what it has, but I’m not sure a vehicle designed for the Asian market (and likely with design compromises tilted in that market’s direction) is the answer for ‘Murica.

    • 0 avatar

      Not sure where you’re going with this. There aren’t really any design compromises for the Chinese market- it’s a stretched Cherokee (CUSW) that accomodates 3-rows. That could directly translate over to a vehicle usable for the U.S.

      Further, the styling won’t remain the same as it makes a transition from a Jeep to a Chrysler.

  • avatar

    Those K8 photos… when a Kia Soul goes lard ass. Even has the swollen feet.

  • avatar

    Perhaps it is the angle of the picture, but I see Alec Baldwin’s stretched out face in Beetlejuice. Frightening stuff.

  • avatar

    I feel like Chrysler needs a 2 row crossover too. Something to take the place of the defunct 200 and cash in on the Murano/Edge/Santa Fe Sport market. Give it a Mini Coupe/X6 style roofline to piss the B&B off and it will sell by the freight load. Fashion is a priority for cars too and I think a lot of folks are starved for style in the sub $40K market.

  • avatar

    Or it could actually be the 2019 Cherokee. The current model was introduced in 2013 for MY2014, so a refresh/replacement would be due in the next year or two, assuming Jeep actually learned their lesson from the ComPatriot twins. A stretched 2019 model would also make sense since the new Compass already has more interior room than the Cherokee.

    • 0 avatar

      Plus the current Cherokee straddles the uncomfortable line between compact and midsize. A truly midsize Cherokee would eliminate the overlap between it and the Compass.

  • avatar

    Wait, so Chrysler applies the Pacifica nameplate to the new minivan just in time to have a Pacifica replacement in the pipeline?

    What will they call it then, the Newport? Or are we going to see them try to put the Aspen name on it?

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