While it has gotten less publicity than the new Chrysler 200, the Dodge Journey is expected to be replaced soon with either a new Dodge crossover or a new Chrysler-branded one. Production is said to be moving to Sterling Heights, where the Chrysler 200 is already made, or Belvidere (Dart, Patriot, Compass), making way for a new product at Toluca — which many expect to be a metric-ton-payload pickup truck.
Allpar source “DCXcarbuilder” captured this disguised crossover tooling down a Michigan highway. It is well covered, but appears to reveal Dodge-Charger-style scallops in the doors, and a crossover design that matches the basic lines of the camouflaged Chrysler mid-size car up front. There is no body identification on it, and the main reason to think it is a Chrysler design is the similarity with recent spy shots of what most people think is the next Chrysler 200.
While Dodge appears to be moving towards embracing its muscle-car reputation, rather than trying to refine it into a more European “handles well and doesn’t need brute force” mode, a properly styled crossover could easily fit into that mold; they do not appear to have hurt BMW or Porsche. The current Dodge Journey has not been a sales barnstormer in the United States, but has consistently led crossover sales in Canada. A version of Journey has been fairly successful in Europe as the Fiat Freemont, and will reportedly be built in China for domestic sales (since cars cannot be imported into China without punishing duties).
We believe that the roof comes back into more of a hatchback form than a typical space-maximizing SUV shape; indeed, this could be a Dodge Avenger hatchback style, or a very, very well disguised Avenger sedan, rather than a new Journey. The hints of side sculpting could be an attribute of the camouflage or unfinished doors, so this could still be a Chrysler prototype.
Update: Some readers believe this is actually a Lincoln MKC, which is a higher trim version of the Ford Escape. This does not explain why the support cars are all Mopars.