2007 Detroit Auto Show: Jeep Trailhawk Concept

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Boy, would this be a good-looking future Grand Cherokee. Sure, the Trailhawk Concept you see here has an open, truck-like rear, a squashed greenhouse and probably zero visibility — and it’s built on the Wrangler’s more truck-like platform — but forget all that. This would be a great Grand Cherokee. The only problem is that the Grand Cherokee — like most large SUVs — isn’t selling so well these days.

Plus this isn’t supposed to be a future Grand Cherokee; it sports more off-road heritage because of those Wrangler underpinnings. Didn’t Jeep just come out with the four-door Wrangler Unlimited to satisfy the need for something like this? We’re not quite sure what to make of the Trailhawk, but if Jeep took some of the styling cues here and integrated them into the next Grand Cherokee — and came up with some more-efficient power plants for it — it would probably pick up some sales. Especially with those huge T-Tops.

That’s why these are called concepts. Not every one is perfect for the dealership, but they sure look good at car shows.

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Former managing editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon. Email David Thomas

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