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Unwrapping the 2018 Jeep Wrangler

Back to basics...but some modern touches.

by on May.12, 2017

A thinly camo'd 2018 Jeep Wrangler.

The new Jeep Wrangler is one of the most eagerly awaited models due to debut for the 2018 model-year, but the automaker isn’t saying much about the first complete makeover of the iconic SUV in more than a decade.

It’s not quite a red cape, but Jeep has been teasing Wrangler fans by placing what appears to be the next-generation SUV out front of its Toledo, Ohio assembly plant. The problem? It’s covered in a big white sheet. So, we asked our spy photographer Jim Dunne to try to capture images of what’s underneath.

The Last Word!

While these three shots of what is internally codenamed JL still leave some details covered up by camouflage, they offer the best look we’ve had, to date, of the 2018 Jeep Wrangler, and while the basic shape carries over some of the boxy cues that fans have long loved, there are some key updates that appear to bring the next Wrangler into the modern era.

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Spy Shots: Ford Expedition Goes Aluminum

New full-size ute to share lightweight F-Series underpinnings.

by on Dec.14, 2016

The new Ford Expedition should shed 100s of pounds switching to an aluminum-intensive body.

In some instances, what you don’t see can be more interesting than what the eye initially sees. And that’s the case with these spy shots of the next-generation Ford Expedition.

Ford will be giving options to those who want big and bigger, as the 2018 Expedition will come in two different sizes when it’s launched next year. And, yes, the big SUV will have more curves in its body design and window shape.

Stay in the Loop!

But the most significant change will come with the shift in sheet metal. Like the Ford F-150 and, for 2017, the Ford Super Duty pickups, the Expedition is migrating to lightweight aluminum for much of the body, as well as some chassis components.

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Spy Shots: 2017 Lincoln MKZ

Modest update to midsize sedan.

by on Oct.19, 2015

The midcycle update will give MKZ the basic new grille seen on the Lincoln Continental concept. Photos: Jim Dunne, CarSpy, unless otherwise noted.

With the unexpected debut of the Lincoln Continental concept at the New York Auto Show last April, Ford’s long-struggling luxury brand appeared to be setting out on a new course intended to make the brand a more serious player in the upscale market.

Even as engineers push the Lincoln Continental towards production, they’re also working up a mid-cycle update of the mid-range Lincoln MKZ– along with its sibling sedan, the Ford MKZ. These spy shots suggest that the bulk of the exterior changes will be seen front and back.

Know the Real Story!

The Lincoln Continental concept introduced an all-new face for the brand, abandoning the split-wing grille first introduced on the current MKZ. And we can expect that under the camouflage, we’ll be seeing the midsize model sharing that new look.

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Spy Shots: 2017 Lincoln Continental

A little less the Bentley clone?

by on Jul.21, 2015

Not quite the Bentley we saw when the Lincoln Continental Concept debuted in NY.

Lincoln’s reentry into the premium luxury sedan market begins early next year when Ford Motor Co. takes the wraps – make that the jigsaw camouflage - off of the production version of the 2017 Continental.

While we’ll have to wait to see the final sheet metal, our spies captured some first images of this road-going prototype undergoing testing. One of the biggest questions has been whether the final version will be so nearly as much Bentley-esque as the concept version that made its surprise debut at the New York Auto Show in April.

Product News!

But from what we can see through the camo, you can spot some major differences between the 2017 Lincoln Continental and the Bentley Flying Spur. So, maybe the U.S. maker will have cut some of its stamping dies, after all.

Compared to the Concept Continental, we see rear fenders that are higher, rear quarter windows that have sharper angles, a front end that is more blunt, headlights that are horizontal and rectangular, and a belt line offering less slope at the rear.

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Spy Shots: Ford Super Duty Goes Aluminum, Too

But wait – there’s more.

by on May.13, 2015

Ford's 2016 F-Series Super Duty in full disguise, although some changes can be seen on this version.

Almost lost in the fanfare surrounding the debut of the all-new, “aluminum-intensive” 2015 Ford F-150 has been the fate of the Super Duty models to follow. While the light-duty F-150 may make up the majority of the sales, the heftier F-250, F-350 and even bigger trucks have a significant following, as well, and appeal to buyers who make some tough demands.

No surprise, then, that Ford is taking a little longer to roll out their replacements. But if anyone is still wondering, they, too, will migrate from steel to aluminum when they make it to market for the 2016 model-year.

Stay in the Know!

A closer look at these photos of the 2016 F-250 prototypes shows some major (how major can you get in a pickup’s design?) changes are coming in the big boys from Ford. For one, the grille is more detailed in appearance with multiple horizontal bars above and below the centered Blue Oval icon. At the bottom is a redesigned – flattop – bumper and square corner air deflector. (more…)

Spy Shot: 2016 Chrysler Town & Country

Chrysler's new Mom-mobile caught in testing.

by on May.05, 2015

Chrysler is set to idle its Windsor plant to retool for the launch of the 2016 Town & Country.

Coming to your Chrysler dealer soon…

Here’s a look at what Chrysler has planned for the next generation of its Town & Country minivan. No, the camo-wraping is not part of the introduction package, just Chrysler’s way of hiding the completely new 2016 styling of its strong-selling soccer mom vehicle.

Your Informed Source!

Fiat Chrysler’s Windsor, Ontario, assembly plant about to shut down for a summer changeover as the Town & Country gets set for a complete update for the coming model-year. The new design is only part of the story, however. The other big news is the decision by FCA to abandon the Dodge Caravan model to focus on just one minivan – a reflection of the huge slide in demand for these mom-mobiles over the past decade. (more…)

Spy Shots: 2017 Chrysler Town & Country

Down to one.

by on Jan.05, 2015

Chrysler has some big changes in its minivan plans, with a new Town & Country coming for 2017. Photos by Jim Dunne: Autospy.

Chrysler is hard at work preparing an all-new version of the Town & Country van, set for introduction as a 2017 model.

The much-anticipated debut will cap some major changes at Chrysler. At one point, the maker offered a variety of different – though largely badge-engineered – minivans, including not only the T&C but the Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager, as well. From 2017, only the one model will remain, the maker developing a very different sort of “people mover” to replace the Dodge offering.

Your Inside Source!

The big challenge for FCA US LLC – the new name for the merged Fiat-Chrysler – will be to maintain demand for even its one remaining classic minivan. Once controlling more than two-thirds of the market, it has come under withering assault from a handful of foreign competitors, notably the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna. At the same time, the minivan market itself has shrunk drastically since its mid-1990s peak.

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Spy Shots: Jeep’s Jeepster

Jeep rocks out with new entry-model.

by on Oct.21, 2013

A Jeepster mule undergoing testing. Photo by: Jim Dunne, CARSPY.

If you’re a rock fan, the name might bring to mind an old song by the British band T. Rex.  Others, might recall the 1998 concept vehicle that introduced the name Jeepster. What sort of tune you’ll sing likely will depend upon your reaction to this spy shot.

The Jeepster name actually has been around for some time, fans of the off-road brand will recall, dating back to the Willys-Overland Jeepster from 1948, a model described as the auto industry’s last true phaeton design.  The name was revived in 1966 on the AMC Jeepster Commando. And, what with the Cherokee badge returning to the Jeep line-up, it appears the maker is ready to dig even deeper into its archives.

Spy Shots!

Designed to take the Jeep brand even more down-market than the current Compass model, this concept is, at least for now, being referred to internally as the Jeepster, though it remains to be seen if the name will stick when it goes into production.  But one thing seems certain, the concept suggests that Jeep is continuing a dramatic design shift that comes as part of parent Chrysler’s marriage to the Italian automaker Fiat SpA.

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Spy Shots: 50th Anniversary Mustang Edges Closer

Ford slowly reveals its secrets.

by on Aug.23, 2013

The 2015 Mustang is caught in the open testing. All photos by Jim Dunne, Car Spy.

It’s a big year for the folks at Ford Motor Co. Not only are they ready to mark the centennial of founder Henry Ford’s first moving assembly line but they’ve begun the countdown to the Golden Anniversary of the Mustang, the original pony car.

Better yet, the April 2014 milestone is expected to be marked by the introduction of the next-generation Ford Mustang, with well-placed sources anticipating its unveiling to place during or immediately prior to next year’s New York Auto Show – the original ’64-1/2 having been revealed at the 1964 NY World’s Fair.

Auto News From a Source You Trust!

There’ve been plenty of rumors about what Ford has in store for the new Mustang and these spy shots seem to support the conventional wisdom that the muscle car will finally migrate from a live rear axle to a more modern independent rear, in line with what Chevrolet has done with its competing Camaro model.

Long the leader in the pony car segment, Ford has been struggling to fend off that rival since the Camaro returned to the market several years ago, so it won’t have much room for error when the new Mustang makes its debut.

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Spy Shot: 2014 Chevrolet Tahoe

New model full-size SUVs get extensive makeover.

by on May.10, 2013

It appears that major change ares coming for the 2014 Chevy Tahoe. Photo credit: Jim Dunne CAR SPY

If this spy shot of the next generation Chevy Tahoe is any indication, General Motors plans major changes in the design of its 2014 model-year full-size SUV lineup, which includes Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade.

Though the camouflage covering the vehicle is extensive, hiding much of the new sheet metal, some differences from the current models can be seen clearly. Multiple horizontal bars fill the familiar grille design, with its shield-like outline, centered “Bow Tie” emblem and heavier center bars.

Your Auto News Source!

Flanking the grille are new headlight composites with over and under headlights and LED running lights. The front fascia will also feature a flatter face on the bumper grille housing rectangular parking lamps.

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