The New Jeep Cherokee Was Absolutely Not Designed To Be An Alfa Romeo

Hey, remember when the Wall Street Journal made waves by reporting that the 2014 Jeep Cherokee was based on an Alfa Romeo design? That's a fascinating tidbit. The problem is, it's not true, according to the American guy who designed it.

On Monday the Journal reported that the Cherokee "is based on a design first developed for Fiat's Alfa Romeo — a sharing intended to spare Chrysler hundreds of millions of dollars in engineering costs and shorten the time it takes to get new vehicles to market."

We echoed their report in a Morning Shift story earlier this week, and it seemed to make sense considering how out there the new Cherokee looks compared to the old XJ or even current Jeeps.

But that's not correct, according to Jeep chief designer Mark Allen, who is not, in fact, Italian.

"It's absolutely false," Allen said at the New York Auto Show today. "It was done completely in Detroit, 100 percent."

It is possible the Journal's report confused the word "design" for "platform," because the Cherokee does in fact ride on a Fiat platform that is also used in the new Dodge Dart.

Allen, who owns an XJ Cherokee and said he is mindful of the car's controversial looks, said he and other designers were allowed to go a little nuts.

"Our guys had the appetite to go a little wilder," he said. "I think it's great."

So love it or hate it, the new Cherokee's design is all-American, baby.