Thursday, February 28, 2013

Chrysler design head defends new Jeep Cherokee

Although public reaction hasn't exactly been kind to Jeep's all-new Cherokee mid-size SUV, Ralph Gilles, head of Chrysler design, is defending the Liberty-replacement's look as “cool.”

The new Cherokee is a radical departure from both the previous Liberty and the original Cherokee, leaving many to question Jeep's new design direction. However, Gilles touts the 2014 Cherokee's look as an evolving aesthetic.

“When you contrast it to the outgoing Liberty…I think it’s a huge departure, obviously from the previous one,” Gilles told WardsAuto. “But it’s also going to be seen as very current in the way that Jeep has evolved its aesthetic to a very contemporary place. That was very much a purpose for us.”

He added: “There are dynamics we have to take care of. There are certain things this new styling has to respond to. I personally see a very cool DNA strain going back to the Grand Cherokee.”

Although it hasn't been sold on these shores for several years, the Cherokee, along with its boxy styling, still enjoys a loyal following in the United States. It remains to be seen, however, if Jeep purist will take to the design language of the new Cherokee.

The 2014 Jeep Cherokee is scheduled to be unveiled at next month's New York auto show.

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