Spy photographer Brenda Priddy tells us that this crossover is what sources close to the Dodge division are calling the Crew.
“For a ‘top-secret’ vehicle, we've managed to catch this four times since January, all across the country,” Priddy says. “Now it appears that the folks at the Desert Proving Grounds have nearly a dozen of these vinyl-clad prototypes in their possession.”
The Crew (although that may not be its final name) will be built in Toluca, Mexico, on the Sebring platform, with production scheduled to start in December 2007 and an on-sale date of early 2008.
Chrysler may also get a version of this. Referred to as the "JZ49,” Chrysler's Sebring-based crossover will likely not arrive before the 2010 model year and could replace the retro-styled PT Cruiser. Wearing completely unique sheetmetal, the Chrysler model will only account for 25% of the total units built.
Size-wise, the new crossover measures in a bit larger than Honda's CR-V, Hyundai's Santa Fe and the Toyota RAV4, and domestically it looks to compete with the Ford Edge. Priddy says, however, that her team has spotted it in consumer clinics being compared alongside the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, Nissan Murano and Hyundai Santa Fe.
“The car-based crossover will be offered in a FWD configuration and an optional AWD,” Priddy adds. “We've heard a lot of speculation regarding engines and transmissions, but the 3.5L V6 from the Sebring is guaranteed to be one of the several offerings, as is a 2.4L powerplant with 170-plus horsepower.”