Jeep Trailhawk (2007): first official pictures

Published: 09 January 2007

Looks pretty mean. Will they build the Jeep Trailhawk?

Not in this motor show flight-of-fancy guise, but the new Detroit show concept informs us of how the new Cherokee could look. Jeep staff openly predicted that the front half of the Trailhawk would influence its next-generation 4x4. The new Cherokee is due in the first half of 2008; it'll share its platform with the new Dodge Nitro.

So what'll be the difference between the Cherokee and the Nitro?

Although they'll share their basic mechanical package, the cheaper Nitro will be more road-focused, doing without the next Cherokee's low-range gearbox and hard-core 4x4 system. DaimlerChrysler's plan is for the Jeep products to remain rugged, go-anywhere devices, whereas the Dodge brand will be more attainable, majoring on attitude and value for money as much as mud-plugging ability. Hence this Jeep Trailhawk concept. It does look like it could demolish most obstacles in its way, as its name implies...

So tell me more about the Trailhawk then

It's like a cross between a tough Wrangler and the swisher Grand Cherokee - a four-seater, open-air rugged 4x4. Three glass panels in the roof remove for that al fresco off-roading experience, and you can even detach the stereo for some campfire music while you're traversing the desert. In profile, the Trailhawk sports a stubbily, low-slung, slammed look that gives it some real presence (it's three inches lower than the existing Grand Cherokee). Expect to see the chunky wheelarches, headlamp treatment and proud grille feature on next year's new Cherokee.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet