Grand Wagoneer Concept introduced as a Jeep model – and sub-brand
Jeep has introduced a new Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer concept as a full-sized, three-row SUV in the premium segment. The Grand Wagoneer shown has much in common with the Grand Cherokee, and likely shows what the Wagoneer name would mean to other Jeep models.
The Grand Wagoneer Concept was introduced with many platitudes that included "American" as an adjective. "American craftsmanship and heritage" and "American Premium" (a trademark) and so forth were a big part of the Wagoneer’s introduction. Heritage was also a heavy part of the presented showcase, which included the first Wagoneer, that entered the market in 1963, and the first Grand Wagoneer, which appeared in 1984. The concept shown is a production-ready one, with Jeep promising both a Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer to be made in Detroit sometime next year.
Jeep is clearly positioning the Wagoneer nameplate as a sub-brand, calling it a "premium extension of the Jeep brand" and clearly using "American Premium" as its tagline. "Our new Grand Wagoneer Concept marks the first step in the rebirth of Wagoneer – a true and rare premium American icon," said Christian Meunier, global president of the Jeep brand – FCA.
Also front and center for the Grand Wagoneer Concept’s unveiling was electrification. The full-sized, three-row SUV will have a plug-in electric powertrain. Jeep was not clear as to whether this is standard or if it would be an option for the Grand Wagoneer, and gave no details as to the powertrain’s details and components. Our best guess is a matchup similar to the inline four-cylinder turbocharged engine found in the new Wrangler 4xe model, but perhaps with a Pentastar V6 (as in the Pacifica Hybrid and expected Ram 1500 plug-in) in place of the four.
The Wagoneer will be a two-row version of the Grand Wagoneer. Both of them will feature near-luxury components and design elements to compete in the realm that Buick and similar brands occupy. Three available four-by-four systems (details unspecified) will be available for the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, along with the Quadra-Lift air suspension found on the Grand Cherokee.
The exterior of the concept includes LED lighting for many facets of the exterior, including in and around the Jeep-brand slotted grille. The Wagoneer name is lettered throughout the exterior design of the new Jeep concept in a custom-made font from Jeep’s designers. The front headlamps are LED projectors and are outlined in teak wood. Below those sits a black-aluminum skid plate and accented front tow hooks.
The profile of the Grand Wagoneer Concept is very much derived from the Grand Cherokee, with a squared-off appearance and high-stance SUV balance. It’s more refined and modern, however, with a more angular rear quarter to accent the larger rear space required for a third row of adult-friendly seating. Jeep added aerodynamic bodywork and diffusers to counteract the square-body design.
On its interior, the Grand Wagoneer Concept features a large greenhouse and full-roof panoramic glass roof. An onyx glass mid-bolster runs the length of the instrument panel, and floats above a structural wing made of aluminum. That aluminum carries in the door speaker surrounds, shift knob, and vent surrounds. Heat-treated lacewood runs across the instrument panel and front doors.
Jeep emphasizes the sustainability of most of the interior’s components, which are reportedly made from abundantly-available materials that can easily be recycled. Some of them have been for this concept, including the aluminum mentioned. Fibers used for the upholstery and headliner are also sustainable synthetics or natural products.
Technology was another focus for the Grand Wagoneer Concept. The front dashboard has nearly 45 inches of total screen, including a 12.3-inch driver information screen, a 12.1-inch horizontally-placed infotainment toughscreen, and a 10.25-inch "comfort" touchscreen for climate controls. The front passenger also has a 10.25-inch touchscreen to use. At the rear, there are two more 10.1-inch touchscreens for entertainment plus another 10.1-inch screen at center (back of the storage bin) for rear climate control. Fiat-Chrysler’s new Uconnect 5 infotainment interface powers all screens.
To further differentiate itself, the Jeep Grand Wagoneer Concept uses a McIntosh audio system with 23 speakers and a 24-channel amplifier. The Jeep becomes the first vehicle to use a McIntosh vehicle audio system from the factory.
Production models of the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are expected to come in 2021. Jeep has promised more details and information on those models as their production nears.