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Chrysler and Jeep have sure made some changes in their model lineups over the last year. Chrysler discontinued the Chrysler 200 without any replacements in sight, and the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL recently debuted at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show. Without taking a second to breathe, there’s no sign of Jeep slowing down, already moving onto its next project, a turbocharged crossover. Better yet, with the future of Chrysler models up in the air, we may see the same turbocharged crossover rebadged here in the states.
Back in April, the biennial Shanghai Auto Show introduced many concepts to the European-Asian market. One of these was the Jeep Yuntu concept, a seven-seater crossover that looks a whole lot sharper than any model before it and wears a PHEV emblem on the front doors. That means Jeep is already digging into hybrid technology, and the news about a future Jeep PHEV powertrain during the Los Angeles Auto Show was true!
Recently, a patent by Jeep with illustrations liken to the Yuntu was recently registered under the name “Jeep Grand Commander,” so it seems the concept is going into production. The problem? Although Jeep is taking a step towards plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, the Yuntu concept is meant to be sold locally, in reference to the Shanghai Auto Show. That means this turbocharged hybrid crossover will only be seen on the streets of China. However, with crossovers and hybrids gaining popularity in America, not sharing the love overseas wouldn’t be a smart move. Moreover, the future of Chrysler is leaning towards the vehicles of its brethren for upcoming models, and a little rebadging never hurt anyone.
Future Plans for Chrysler
After combing the internet for news on Chrysler vehicles, it turns out there are actually a lot of plans drawn up that have been kept under wraps. Following the discontinuation of the Chrysler 200 sedan, the Chrysler 300 is going to need an upgrade to survive the changing auto market. The answer comes in the form of a planned redesign that will shed some weight and improve the vehicle’s fuel economy for the following model year. There’s also rumor of a Chrysler 300 Hellcat, but we won’t hold our breath on that one.
Other news popping up is talk about a full-size crossover to resurrect the Chrysler Aspen with modern technology and a hybrid powertrain. If that doesn’t pan out, next on the list is a midsize crossover set for 2019 that will share a platform with the Jeep Cherokee and Dodge Journey. Lastly, the less likely but most desired possibility, is Chrysler rebadging the Jeep Grand Commander for the American market.
With their seven seater Chrysler Pacifica and Pacifica Hybrid winning so many rewards, hybrid powertrains are definitely the way to go. And let’s face it, two models isn’t a whole lot of variety. Chrysler needs to expand a bit more before it becomes a one-trick pony.
How about it? Would you like to see a rebadged Jeep vehicle under the Chrysler name? Or does a shared platform between Chrysler, Jeep, and Dodge sound more fathomable? Let us know on NowCar social media.