Posted by mike on 1999/12/3 0:00:00 (1088) reads
The January, 2000 print issue of Motor Trend has a special section featuring next-generation sport cars, pickups, and SUVs. Here's what they had to say about the 2001 Cherokee:
On the 1997 auto show circuit, the then Chrysler Corporation unveiled a concept vehicle called the Dakar. Somewhat more reminiscent of a Land Rover than a Jeep, it appeard ready to traverse the deserts of North Africa or the rain forests of South America with equal ease. At that time, Chrysler hinted that the Dakar could be a four-door Wrangler in the future. Instead, the now DaimlerChrysler company plans to borrow Dakar styling cues for its next-generation Jeep Cherokee, schuduled to debut in January 2001.
Among the most prominent shared visual aspects of the Dakar and new Cherokee will be their overall profiles. The next-generation Cherokee promises to be significantly taller than the current model (last restyled for '97), perhaps by up to 10 inches. Its front-end detailing also displays much of the flavor of the boldly contoured Dakar's nose and lighting treatment. Round headlamps will dominate the front fascia - a pair on either side of the grille. The air inlet will contintue to be quite prominent and retain Jeep's classic vertical bars-and-slots motif.
Overall, the 2001 Cherokee should embody the same types of subtle styling changes as wrought on the Grand Cherokee, moving from a fairly boxy shape to a more rounded character. Unlike the Grand Cherokee, which relocated its spare tire from inside the cargo bar to an under-floor position, it appears likely that the new Cherokee will maximize its internal storage by mounting its full-size spare externally on the back gate.
Underhood changes are also due for the next-generation Cherokee. Expect the new top motivator to be an aluminium 3.7-liter SOHC V-6 of 180-190 horsepower, derived from the slick 4.7-liter/235 horse V-8 of the Grand Cherokee. Although it'll replace the veteran 4.0-liter/190-horse OHV I-6 used currently, the workhorse 2.5-liter/125-horse pushrod four-cyliner is likely to carry over as the base Cherokee engine.
The Motor Trend website also has a special future vehicle section where they have this to say about the 2001 Cherokee:
A soft-edged Cherokee has been spied testing recently. The first all-new Cherokee since 1984 (no typo!), the new sport/ute is expected to be powered by refined versions of the current 2.5- and 4.0-liter powerplants. It will be assembled at the Toledo, Ohio, plant beginning in January 2001.
Motor Trend is the world's automotive authority and something no auto enthusiast should be without. The magazine informs and entertains with monthly features on the testing of both domestic and import cars, car care, motor sports coverage, sneak peeks at future vehicles, and auto-industry, environmental and government news reports.
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