Exit Cherokee, enter Airflow: timing, Chrysler Future, and the KN

The current version of the Jeep Cherokee is near the end of a normal car’s lifespan—though, to be fair, it is not quite as long in the tooth as the still-surprisingly-competitive Charger and Challenger. Meanwhile, the Chrysler Airflow, whatever its final name ends up being, is getting closer to actual production.

The Airflow is likely the first in a series of vehicles which assert a new Chrysler, complete with an art deco brand font (as seen above)—or perhaps a sort of early-90s revival. One shows old-time class, the other a kind of modernity. It seems clear that Chris Feuell has a vision for Chrysler, which is a good start; the last person to have a clear vision for Chrysler was Tom Gale, who set up Prowler and (Plymouth-intent) PT Cruiser for Plymouth, and was still toying with Chrysler details when Daimler came in.

Most analysts seem to think the factory that currently makes the Cherokee will be turned over to electric vehicles such as the Airflow, which seem sensible enough. The Airflow isn’t quite large enough to replace the Pacifica; that will likely require another vehicle, which, based on when the Pacifica’s destined to stop production, is likely to arrive by 2028, if not sooner.

Feuell and Airflow

The Cherokee is likely to stay in production through mid-2023, at which point its factory will be converted to BEV production. At that point, many rumors have it moving to a RWD-based platform, though it could presumably share its chassis with the Airflow, becoming a BEV while the Compass takes its place as a midrange Jeep. While the Cherokee is a good vehicle—comfortable, Rubicon capable, reasonably priced, practical—it has failed to take off in the public imagination, and is scorned by many Jeep loyalists while it carries the weight of a vehicle with true-Jeep capabilities. Its replacement will likely either be a BEV with more clear off-road capability (á la Rivian), or a vehicle with fewer pretensions towards off-roading which, in turn, has lower cost and weight.

In the meantime, the Compass is due for a powertrain upgrade, most likely with the 2023 models, and Chrysler is due for several models—including, according to its leader, a sedan. How they will differentiate the Chrysler sedan remains to be seen, but it’s possible the Charger will be gasoline-consuming while the Chrysler will sip electrons. The next year should reveal all.

5 thoughts on “Exit Cherokee, enter Airflow: timing, Chrysler Future, and the KN”

  1. We love our 2016 Cherokee. Not enough interior options on the new ones. We opted for the Linen cloth seats. We also have the 4 cylinder with the trailer towing package. Not available today.

  2. Glad I got mine now. Got a ’21 Limited Elite. Only missing the tow package and the 19s. Now for ’22, no more tow package at all and the 19s come standard in the Elite. SMH.

  3. chrysler group seems to be eliminating choices in option packages in many vehicles, cost cutting, or standardization, or both?

  4. Chrysler moving to a premium all electric brand would honestly be a smart idea. Moving Chrysler to full electric would merit it going after Telsa, Lucid, Audi and other premium electric brands and would be more cost effective since people are willing to pay more for a luxury brand and the premium that would come from it being electric. For Jeep, Dodge and Ram, having electric options is a good idea but Hybrid vehicles would be more of the way to go and moving everything to a rear-wheel drive based platform would truly be ideal. The 4xe powertrain should be the base engine in the majority of the Jeep/Dodge lineup with 375hp/470lb-ft of torque. Nothing should fall below that powertrain. To be honest, the Jeep lineup would be better off with just having the Wrangler/Wrangler Unlimited/Gladiator, Jeep Grand Cherokee/Grand Cherokee L & the Wagoneer & Grand Wagoneer. With the base 4XE powertrain in everything below the Wagoneer Class and then moving up to the 3.0L GME-T6 & GME-T6 “Hurricane-510” To have those three powertrains sitting below and GME-T6 HO hybrid and a full electric variant would truly make sense. The Ram Brand needs an SUV and the Ramcharger should make it’s way back as the stablemate of the Grand Wagoneer but more suited to compete with the Tahoe & Suburban but with Rebel and TRX options as well, being powered by the GME-T6, GME-T6 HO and a GME T6 HO hybrid powertrain options and electric just like the upcoming Ram 1500. There also needs to be a Dakota Revival along with the redone Durango, both on a body on frame platform that would still be very dynamic on the street for street performance vehicles with the same powertrains. Make the Cummins the only option for the 2500 and larger pickups.

    When it comes to the Dodge Brand, however, the 4XE, GME-T6, GME-T6 HO Huricane-510, a Hybrid HO GME-T6 and a electric high performance powertrain should be employed. Would love to see the 800hp “hyrda” actually make its way into existence but the main thing is for Dodge to continue with Direct Connection performance with the GME-T6 powertrain and for the GME-T4 4xE powertrain. My hope is that the Charger follows more of the path of the BMW M8 Gran-Coupe than BMW M5, Eliminating the Challenger all-together and keeping the Durango around and bringing Dodge down to a 2-vehicle lineup. This would effectively put the entire focus on the Charger for performance just how Ford has the Mustang and Chevrolet has the Corvette but the Charger would still be the better all around option over the other two brands. If Dodge were to take the Charger and make it more like the M8 Gran-Coupe, have jailbreak options, different trim levels, Factory backed upgrades from Direct Connection such as suspension upgrades, brake upgrades, wheel upgrades, shaker hoods, spoilers, power packages including tuners, intakes, upgraded intercoolers, downpipes, exhaust system, wastegate upgrades, fuel system upgrades, etc. The cars would be more customizable and more personalized to owners than the mustang, would be larger to accommodate more cargo and give greater passenger comfort, fuel efficient with the I-6 and not a V8, AWD options, cheaper to insure with 4-doors, and all around a better performer and less expensive than a Corvette but still competitive with all three vehicles.

  5. Still have my 2014 Cherokee Latitude V6 with the All Terrain II package. Works like a champ. Got a 3rd party extended warranty, now with over 100000 m. Love it. Gave it to my daughter for her daily driver.

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