SHANGHAI -- The Jeep Yuntu, the luxury seven-seat plug-in hybrid SUV unveiled last month at the Shanghai auto show, could inspire a new flagship for Jeep in China.
The Yuntu -- Chinese for cloud -- was designed by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles for its China joint venture, GAC FCA.
"SUVs are the fastest-growing segment in China," FCA said in a statement, "and the Jeep Yuntu Concept showcases the potential for the Jeep brand to keep expanding in the country."
While Jeep says the Yuntu was designed only for China, where government incentives are spurring more automakers and consumers to embrace electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, some media reports speculate the concept could also preview styling cues for the next-generation Grand Cherokee or even the Grand Wagoneer, which FCA plans to revive.
"From 2018, Yuntu's design features will be reflected in the new models of GAC FCA, from fossil fuel to alternative-energy vehicles," Daphne Zheng, Jeep's sales chief in China, said in introducing the vehicle.
The Yuntu can drive up to 40.4 miles powered by batteries only. The batteries can be recharged wirelessly, FCA said, and the vehicle has connectivity features such as facial and voice recognition.