It’s been several months since we saw the futuristic Yuntu concept at the Shanghai motor show and we must say that the three-row plug-in hybrid Jeep sure seemed an intriguing prospect. Now, our snapper has just spotted a heavily camouflaged prototype running around near FCA’s headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan and even though at first glance the upcoming model looks decidedly less flashy than the one that was on display, it will still likely be a massive hit in China, its intended market.
The windscreen is a little more upright than that of the concept and of course it retains the corporate seven-slot grille flanked by a pair of slim LED headlights.
As for the profile, the familiar square wheel arches are present but sadly, the suicide doors didn’t make the cut and nor have the flush door handles. Around the back, it features a narrower rear window, two large exhaust tips and the independent suspension arms look as if they’ve been bolted on to the AWD case perhaps in a weight saving measure.
There aren’t any details as yet of the hybrid drivetrain (rumours are the Yuntu — which means cloud in Chinese — will have Chrysler’s e-motor) and it won’t be a serious off-roader (check out the low approach and departure angles) but whatever it is, FCA will need it to be really good if it is to compete with other mainstream automakers.
If it does well in China, it might just make it to other shores wearing the Grand Wagoneer moniker — but we wonder if Jeep would be brave enough to stick any wood panels on the body...