New seven-seat Wagoneer Concept wants to be the grandest Jeep of them all
DETROIT - Jeep has whipped the covers off its reincarnated Grand Wagoneer, at least in concept form, but the show car looks production-ready enough to portray the showroom model, which will go on sale in selected markets from 2021.
Jeep says it wants to expand into a more premium arena with the 21st century Grand Wagoneer, which has thankfully left its ancestor’s exterior wood panelling in the history books.
Instead, it does luxury the modern way with spacious seating for seven in a highly digitised cabin that has seven screens, including one for the front passenger and three for the second-row occupants. At the heart of this digital orgy is Fiat Chrysler’s new Uconnect 5 operating system, which is said to be five times faster than the previous generation.
For added effect and to honour its heritage, Jeep added a map of Detroit to sections of the roof and you’ll also find plenty of American flag badges throughout.
Quadra-Lift air suspension ensures a cushy ride and Jeep, as you’d expect, has also put considerable effort into making it bush-friendly, as production models will offer a choice of three different 4x4 systems.
Jeep hasn’t gone into detail about what powers the Grand Wagoneer, but it has stated that a plug-in hybrid drivetrain will be offered, and the American carmaker is also promising “unmatched” towing capability and powerful performance. Given that this vehicle is said to share its ladder frame architecture with the Ram 1500 pick-up truck, there’s also a good chance that there will be a Trackhawk version, featuring the 523kW supercharged Hemi V8 that powers the Ram TRX.
“The original Grand Wagoneer was the first premium SUV, and its timeless design combined with the soul of Americana helped it achieve an iconic place in many hearts,” said FCA design head Ralph Gilles.
“The Grand Wagoneer Concept is inspired by the original, but with a modern interpretation of luxury and freedom. We strived to create an elegant design with a timeless silhouette, featuring countless beautifully crafted details that come together to give it an undeniable presence.”
And with 24-inch wheels, featuring an Obsidian finish and 3D-printed wheels, this Jeep certainly has presence.
At this stage there is no word on whether the production model will be offered in South Africa, but given its Ram underpinnings there is good reason to believe that this will be a left-hand-drive-only affair.