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Looking at the next Chrysler

by David Zatz on

We are expecting two new Chrysler SUVs, and possibly three, within the next three years. The first is likely based on the Chinese Jeep Grand Commander, which shares a good deal with the Cherokee;  the second may be based on the Pacifica; and the third would be  based on the 2019 Ram 1500, giving Chrysler not one but two full-size, three-row SUVs and reminding one of the brand’s 1960s-70s lineup.

chrysler cuv

The rendering above, based on current Chrysler styling trends and, honestly, the Buick Enclave, shows one possible direction for Chrysler’s styling. This would be for the long-Cherokee (Yuntu, Grand Commander) version, most likely powered by a choice of a V6 engine and the eTorque four-cylinder-turbo-hybrid setup. It could also have a four-cylinder turbo without the hybrid, if it’s light enough to get away with that. The Pacifica-based and Ram-based Chryslers would almost certainly not be light enough to get away with a four cylinder turbo.

Why not make the body-on-frame SUV a Dodge Ramcharger? Ignoring the number of doors — purists insist that Chargers and Ramchargers only have two doors — it would not be an especially performance-oriented vehicle, and Dodge is moving to being more performance-focused.  Likewise, Ram is being aimed at the commercial-vehicle market even if most buyers of its pickups are still regular folk.

As for names, we believe Atlantic will be assigned to at least one of the new vehicles; the rest are anyone’s guess. Aspen may re-appear, but neither Aspen made the history books as the most desirable car of their era, and that name might be best left buried. Chrysler does not have a long history of making trucks and SUVs, and perhaps a nautical theme, following Pacifica, makes as much sense as anything.

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