2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee
2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee - Click above for high-res image gallery

Remember the last time Chrysler and Maserati collaborated? It was the late '80s, the car was called the Chrysler TC by Maserati,and it didn't go nearly as well as the men in charge of the project had hoped. Now, 25 years later, Sergio Marchionne heads both companies and he wants to try another tryst. It will again be a Maserati body on a Chrysler platform, this time a Maserati SUV on the Jeep Grand Cherokee's underpinnings. The vehicle has actually been rumored for some time now, with earlier reports suggesting that the off-road Maser is likely to receive Ferrari power, but this is the first time we've heard such clear and concrete talk from a high-ranking official like Marchionne.

Marchionne has confirmed the vehicle's arrival to The Wall Street Journal, going so far as to say, "This is just a great architecture. Why wouldn't I put a Maserati on it?" To be fair, the same platform does duty under the Mercedes M-Class, which is built in Alabama, and that line runs in price all the way up to the $92,590 M63 AMG so there's no reason it won't suit a properly engineered Maserati.

Yet while the TC by Maserati was built in Milan with hand-finished bodies, this SUV will apparently be produced on the same line as the Jeep and Dodge Durango in Chrysler's Jefferson North plant in Detroit. No date has been mentioned for when it will appear, nor do we have any idea of what it will look like. But if it truly sticks to Maserati values – other than the part about being made in Italy – it will probably compete with the Porsche Cayenne, Range Rover and Mercedes G-Class. Hat tips to Prhime and Ryan!


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Photos copyright ©2010 Zach Bowman / AOL

[Source: The Wall Street Journal]