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CherokeeDisguised Next Generation Cherokee Captured On Film
Posted by mike on 2000/5/12 0:00:00 (980) reads

The guys over at Car & Truck News have done it again with a major scoop - one of their spies captured a convoy of disguised next-generation Cherokees (KJs) on the road and managed to grab his video camera and capture it on tape. Here's a snippet of what they saw:

The sides of the vehicle are also elaborately camouflaged. But this isn't the standard black vinyl covering, instead these sections have been padded to create a false profile. By viewing multiple frames the thickness of this padding is evident, the idea was to make the test mules resemble a Toyota RAV 4 or a Honda CRV.

Underneath all that padding, the KJ's side profile is much flatter. It's somewhere between the completely flat sides of the Dakar concept and the sides of the last Jeep Grand Cherokee. The vehicle definitely has a tall, upright look. The rear of the vehicle appears to be similar to that of the Dakar concept.

The front clip is the most heavily disguised section. The front quarter panels have been heavily padded in an effort to hide Jeep Wrangler like front fenders. The hood is also stuffed in order to give it some curvature. Close analysis reveals what appears to be a similar to a Wrangler hood.

To disguise the nose, engineers stretched a black cover from the leading edge of the bumper back to the hood. Then they added a screen to mask the front grille. From the shot above you can see how far back the actual front is. If you look closely, you can also make out a distinctive Jeep seven slot grill.

James spotted a total of three KJ running in a convoy. Two of them were pulling U-Haul trailers (packed with computers no doubt), but the third one was hauling a big dual axle travel trailer. All tree used equalizer trailer hitches. He reports being "amazed by the lack of squat from the rear of the vehicles pulling the trailers. Whether this was due to the equalizer hitches or beefed up suspension, I couldn't say. They were stable though, and tracked very well." That big trailer seems to prove that the new 3.7 V6 is definitely up to the task of powering the KJ.

Be sure to check out the entire article - the pictures are not to be missed!

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Poster Thread
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Barb finley
here is my comment As my sweety says, leave the capability of one of the formost vehicles ALONE! We go out in the desert, up rocky old dry waterfalls, and down some of the roughest areas of so. cal. We take pride in being able to squeeze in to small trails and not leave 16 inches of plastic gee gaw all over the rocks. Oh yeah, I DO A LOT OF THE DRIVING! Stevie is better at spotting and coaching me over and around the obstacles. [He is also better with the cameras to record our "adventures"], Also, you gals , take the wheel it's a ball! Our 92 wrangler has been up and down most of the 4 corner states and is still ginding along. [all though, some of the paint is still in "last chance canyon", but that is another story!

Poster Thread
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: carl j
here is my comment: It appears to be no mystery. As the Ford Ranger and Ford Explorer have the same fron hood and lines, it would stand to reason the already released photos of the 2002 Wrangler will be a clone to what the front end of the new generation Cherokee will look like. My only concern is ground clearance and a true four wheel drive system. If it cant't chase mountain goats on a forty degree slope, it isn't really a Jeep Cherokee.

Poster Thread
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: JACK

Poster Thread
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: steve citron
here is my comment This is all very interesting, BUT, WHY? The wrangler is fine as it is and the mid-size cherokee has been the best selling part of the jeep suv's for 12 yrs! Those of us who REALLY DO go off road, appreciate the flatish sides and utility of the cherokee and wrangler. If I had my preferences, the carpool moms can have mini vans and I will go with the utility of the profile of the REAL Jeep! thanks for letting me vent. steve

Poster Thread
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: John
here is my comment

My observation from reading this article and various articles confirms several things:

1. Hire engineers who have and know Jeep vehicles (meaning they have driven, owned, repaired Jeeps for at least 10-15 years), and of course the degree, but it must be both, no exceptions. In other words don't hire engineers and designers who own a Honda Civic, GEO, etc etc, have had a
4.0 GPA, and grew up in the city. In other words hire the true expert, the ones who live breath Jeeps-period!

2. Jeep shouldn't mean comfortable, it means go anywhere capability. If you don't like solid axles, flat panels, and tough cast iron 4 bangers or 6 bangers, then go by a Blazer, etc.

3. This is a typical Daimler-Chrysler Jeep designed by some super smart environmental brain headed new college grad that owned a Saturn, and learned how to drive on his Dad's Yugo-it's not a Jeep!
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