Car and Truck News has a couple of interesting articles about the future of the Cherokee. The first one discusses the fact that Daimler Chrysler may continue to manufacture the current Cherokee for foreign markets while the all new Cherokee is produced for the US, Europe, and Japan. The article goes on to discuss a couple of the rumored design characteristics of the new Cherokee and even offers an artist's rendering of the new KJ.
The second article has a couple of reports from sources who have seen the new Cherokee:
...its front end looks a bit like Ram/Dakota (i.e., similar front fenders) while the rest resembles the current Grand Cherokee. He adds that the vehicle he inspected had disc brakes and coil suspension on all four corners.
Yet another source reports that the vehicle looks more like a Japanese sport ute, specifically, the ugly Isuzu Rodeo. He also reports that KJ may be as much as 800 lbs heavier than the current model (which weighs 3,194 lbs. in its heaviest trim).
Finally, the article has information about the two engines that will be available with the new KJ - an all new Powertech 3.7-liter V6 as well as a turbo-charge 4.0L-V6.
If you're interested at all in the 2001 Cherokee, you need to read these articles!