Is Jeep planning a nose job for the 2014 Cherokee, even before its official unveiling this month in New York?
A mule spotted last week by an Automotive News reporter in Los Angeles shows that they're at least testing the idea.
Beneath its covered front fascia, the hacked-up Alfa Guilietta mule -- the Cherokee is based on the Guilietta's platform -- has Jeep's seven-slot grille and a new light placement. The lights are higher and the grille is more vertical than the polarizing design Chrysler Group showed late last month after photos of earlier Cherokees leaked out online.
A Jeep spokesman said the brand has "a number of pre-production vehicles undergoing testing and evaluation at various locations around the country. We don't discuss any details regarding potential future products."
Fair enough. But figuring out what this mule is testing is far easier than figuring out why such testing is taking place.
The mule is identifiable as a test platform for the Cherokee because the Cherokee's body code -- KL -- appears in the window. It was photographed following a Chrysler 300, also sporting manufacturer's plates, that had a camera or other sensing device mounted on its rear roof. Only the front fascia of the Cherokee is hidden from view.