China is an important market for Jeep, which has a long history as one of the first Western vehicles to be built in the country more than 30 years ago. Underscoring the significance of the market is the Jeep Yuntu Concept, a 3-row SUV unveiled at the Shanghai Motor Show as a precursor to a China-only model that would be built by Jeep’s GAC partner.

The sleek looking Yuntu (a name that means Cloud in Chinese) carries along in the same theme as the recently introduced Compass, but is considerably longer to accommodate the third row. In pure show car tradition, it has coach-style doors with no B-pillar to fully show off the interior that has a large center console that extends from the dash into the second row. 

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Floating seats

The seats are mounted on thin stanchions to increase floor space and add to the impression that the seats are floating in the cabin. The backs of the first and second row bucket seats have two screens, a main one topped by an auxiliary screen nestled in the headrest. The dash itself has a display that not only includes a digital instrument cluster in front of the driver and center infotainment screen, but also an additional display in front of the passenger.

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While Jeep offered scant details on the concept, the PHEV badging indicates that when the vehicle goes into production it will likely be a plug-in. China has an aggressive electrification program with incentives for manufacturers to build both pure electrics and plug-in hybrids. Jeep did say that the vehicle was presented as a China-only proposition, but given the strength of the 3-row SUV market in the U.S., Yuntu could be an indication of the company’s thinking on its next generation Jeep Grand Cherokee, which currently offers only 2-row seating.

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