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We Drive Chrysler’s 2007 Concepts Page 3


 

That short-lived SUV/pickup would seem to make a perfect addition to the lineup, and the JT — literally, Jeep Truck — suggests that Chrysler is listening. Like the Caliber Targa, this was a skunkworks project, rather than a conventional concept vehicle. And it was a surprisingly simple effort: start with the new, Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, chop off the rear doors, seal it up and turn the back end into a compact pickup bed.

 

Chrysler showed an alternative approach several years ago with the Gladiator concept, but Dehner suggested the JT involved “a lot more discipline and thought” about what it would take to make an affordable production model. So, we’ll take that as a hint of what may be coming.

 

2003 Lincoln SUV

2003 Lincoln SUV

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Sadly, another concept we were hoping to drive was parked, with keys hidden. The Jeep Trailhawk had been driven a little too hard before we got there, it appears, and the prototype’s transmission had locked up in fourth gear. Too bad, because the show car is one of Chrysler’s best efforts in recent years.

 

At first glance, you’d be likely to think of the Trailhawk as a potential replacement for the current Grand Cherokee. Though that still might be possible, the concept ute is actually based off of the same platform as the new Jeep Wrangler. The overall dimensions have been stretched to Grand proportions, though the roofline has been chopped by three inches, giving the show car a striking and stylish feel. Meanwhile, the low brow over the headlights gives Trailhawk, “the look of a bird of prey,” said design boss Trevor Creed.

 

The prototype ride massive, 34-inch tires, and draws power from a 3.0-liter Bluetec diesel V-6, borrowed from Mercedes-Benz. It makes a strong 376 lb-ft of torque. And if Mercedes’ diesel-powered ML and GL models are any indication, we were expecting to experience impressive off-line acceleration. Now, we’ll have to wait for another opportunity.

 

Exactly how the Trailhawk might fit into the Jeep lineup is unclear. Instead of using two separate platforms for Wrangler and Grand Cherokee, it shows both size segments could be handled with one flexible “architecture.” That provides an interesting alternative that the new, cost-conscious owners, the folks from the dogs of hell, might like.

 


Related Articles

 

Tell us which Chrysler concept should be built at our blog

 

Chrysler Drums Up Nassau, Trailhawk by TCC Team (1/8/2007)
Concepts range from HEMI power to diesel.

 

Will Dodge Deliver the Demon? by TCC Team (3/6/2007)
Roadster concept appears at Chrysler turning point.

 

Ten Concepts Detroit Should Have Built by TCC Team (4/11/2007)
Sheetmetal fantasies that deserved a wake-up call.


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