Following major updates to first the Jeep Wrangler and most recently the Grand Cherokee, the next model in the Jeep lineup to get total makeover is the Liberty. And unlike its stablemates, which got what essentially amounted to comprehensive refreshes, the new midsize Jeep amounts to a stick of dynamite up the tailpipe and a push down on the detonator handle of the old Liberty. It shares literally nothing in common with its predecessor, and if a report from The Detroit Bureau is to be believed, it may not even share the same name.
It seems unusual that something as significant as a model name would be undetermined less than two months away from the public debut, but Chrysler has long been known for its agility and quick decisions. The Cherokee name has been used consecutively on the Liberty sold in Europe, and some believe the name could be resurrected in the U.S.
Test mules and even late-stage prototypes of the new SUV have been seen, so its basic shape is no longer a mystery. However, specific styling details remain to be seen. Some variation of the traditional Jeep seven-slot vertical grille is sure to be part of the styling, and some surprisingly revealing interior photos show adoption of Chrysler's large 8.4-inch touch-screen interface on at least some models, if not across the board.
The Liberty successor is also expected to be the production debut of a new nine-speed automatic transmission and a downsized 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6, both of which are expected to also be used in future Dodge and Chrysler passenger cars.