AutoGuide.com

Elongated Jeep Cherokee Spied. What Does it Mean?

9

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.