Although we can't confirm the designer and supplier of the retractable roof, there is good indication that ASC is involved in the development.
The new legend
Yes ... We know that there are pictures circulating of an uncamouflaged 2008 Jeep Cherokee, but those were shot at street level and may have overlooked one of the most interesting features that will be offered on the new Cherokee: A huge retractable fabric roof! When we first started inquiring about the upcoming Cherokee, our sources seemed to switch subjects and asked us if we saw the ASC Cosmos Hummer H3 that was shown at the 2006 NAIAS. With that in mind, our focus on a camouflaged Cherokee was from above – paying special attention to the roof. And sure enough, the roof had unique camouflage – covering what apparently is Jeep’s biggest secret: a fabric roof system, which will put the Cherokee in a class of its own.
Although we can’t confirm the designer and supplier of the retractable roof, there is good indication that ASC is involved in the development. In addition to exclusive pictures from above, we also managed to grab an interior picture as the engineers were moving about, unaware that we were just a few metres away with a loaded camera. The new Cherokee, internally know by the code name KK, will start going down the production line in July of 2007. There will be two V6 offerings: a 3.7-liter as the base engine, and an optional 4.0-liter powerplant, with a new diesel engine available in late in the 2008 model year, or possibly for 2009.
The 2008 Cherokee will also have the Load ‘n' Go sliding cargo system that debuted in the Dodge Nitro. Also expected are such features as stability control and hill decent assist. Another major change is the spare tire moving from the tailgate to under the vehicle. It will still have a 2 piece tailgate however, with the glass being able to lift up independently from the gate. And, although we couldn’t get a picture, we saw that the tailgate also lifts up now, instead of to the side. And although some may think of the new Cherokee as Jeep’s version of the Nitro (or vice-versa), the Cherokee will prove to be more off-road capable than the Nitro, giving it rights to the Jeep nameplate.