Elongated Jeep Cherokee Spied. What Does it Mean?

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An elongated version of the Jeep Cherokee SUV was just spotted in the wild and we’ve got photos to prove it.

From the B-pillar forward this test mule appears to be a standard Cherokee, though aft of this point things get a little bit crazy. Dressed in heavy black camouflage it’s hard to see specific details, but what’s obvious is how much this utility vehicle was stretched. Both the wheelbase and overall body appear longer. The aft doors seem bigger as well.

These changes likely increase the vehicle’s cargo space but they could also provide enough room for a small third-row of seats. With the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 sedans slated to go out of production, FCA is focusing more attention on profitable crossovers, utilities and pickup trucks. These product changes will free up investment capital and manufacturing capacity.

SEE ALSO: 2014 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk Review

Beyond the Cherokee, could this engineering tester be the foundation for other products? Most likely, yes. A new Dodge Journey could be in the works, and something for the Chrysler brand, which is sorely lacking a crossover vehicle. Perhaps this stretched utility will be the basis for lots of new vehicles in the FCA empire.

It’s no secret, the crossover market around the world is HOTT and Fiat-Chrysler undoubtedly wants to cash in on this craze. If properly executed, more and different utility vehicles will help grow their profits and market share.

Discuss this story on our Off-Road Forum.

  • Archknight77

    It means this is likely the 2017 Jeep Cherokee update, that will see a third row or larger cargo area with better rear leg room. The current Cherokee barely makes it to the D segment on the smallest side, but extending it’s wheelbase makes it a better challenger to the Ford Edge and Nissan Murano.

  • Todd Turner

    Chrysler Journey replacement

  • Jamisonjon

    Likely a test mule of the K8, which is a 7-passenger version of the KL (Cherokee) intended for China only. Can’t see why they wouldn’t consider offering it in North America too. FCA will have quite a volume hole to fill when the Durango, Journey, Compass and Patriot are retired.

  • Danielus

    grand Wagoneer?

  • Archknight77

    The K8 code is plugged for 2018 which suggests its the Wagoneer code. The other thing that doesn’t suggest it’s a Wagoneer is because of the FWD layout. Since Sergio said rhr Wagoneer is suppose to compete directly with Range Rover’s top model FWD wouldn’t cut it.

    Someone on another site suggested it was a LWB Cherokee for the Chinese market.and he’s been reliable in the past. Although the wide all season touring tires suggest this is all about comfort which leads me to believe it’s the 2 row D CUV for Chrysler.

  • Jamisonjon

    The K8 program code for China has “D-SUV” as the model name placeholder in the forecast data I’ve seen, start of production Dec-2016. And the RA program code is indeed a crossover based on RU, also with model name placeholder as “E-CUV”, production Jan-2018. Grand Wagoneer = WS, July-2020. Looks like the Journey replacement will be a Chrysler, program code JD, “D-CUV”, also July-2020. Alright, that’s enough vehicle production forecast nerding out for now 😉

  • archknight

    Dude your awesome, thanks for the info!! I also wanted to pick your brain on the RF code.

  • Big Jim

    It means FCA is dumber than we all thought. Give us a break with Cars Rebadged as Jeeps.

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