By Steve & Tamami Laser
We knew that Jeep was planning to reveal a new concept for the upcoming reborn Grand Wagoneer this week during an online reveal. We expected it to be retro-themed with design cues inspired by the originals. And we thought it would be based on a stretched version of the current Grand Cherokee.
As it turns out, the new Grand Wagoneer concept is larger and more truck-based than we expected. It appears to be targeting full-size stalwarts like the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, plus the Ford Expedition, instead of the midsize Traverse and Explorer. While the most luxurious Grand Wagoneer is prepping to move Jeep upmarket to compete with luxury models from Cadillac and Lincoln.
Jeep says the new Grand Wagoneer concept encapsulates the future of the ultimate premium SUV with a focus on being both modern and authentic. In addition to its generous proportions and high-tech features, it also sports something buyers crave in this segment – a third-row seat.
“The Grand Wagoneer Concept is inspired by the original, but with a modern interpretation of luxury and freedom,” said Ralph Gilles (above), head of design – FCA. “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.”
“We looked back at what turned people on about the vehicle and they told us that it was the simplicity of the vehicle, the kind of the long lasting shapes,” said Gilles. “The honesty of the proportions, the shoulder line that goes undisturbed front to back, the vertical grille that kind of leans into the wind with a lot of confidence, and then the vertical B, C, and D pillars, you know, some of those things we actually kept going forward.”
This video, from the FCA North America YouTube channel, offers a closer look at the new Jeep Grand Wagoneer concept vehicle. (video: FCA)
The familiar seven slot grille receives a striking new design element for the concept with bold LED halo lighting, while the Wagoneer script above the grille is also illuminated. As a tribute to its predecessors (that were trimmed with woodgrain siding) the concept features real teak wood around the LED headlights.
The Grand Wagoneer concept rides on massive 24-inch custom-designed multi-spoke wheels with 3D-printed elements. It features body-color roof pillars, and is topped with an extra-large full-pane glass roof. LED lighting stretches across the tailgate for a finishing touch.
Under the hood, Jeep says the Grand Wagoneer concept offers an advanced plug-in hybrid electric-vehicle powertrain for a “zero-emission, near-silent driving experience.” The production version is said to offer Quadra-Lift air suspension, three available 4×4 systems, and independent front and rear suspension.
Jeep filled the Grand Wagoneer concept with its latest high-tech features. “A full digital cockpit takes advantage of leading technologies that are beautifully presented with expansive and easy-to-use screens and limited buttons, allowing the focus to be placed on a pleasant and intuitive experience for the driver and passengers,” said Gilles.
The instrument panel has nearly 45 inches of screens, with a 12.3-inch driver information display behind the steering wheel, a 12.1-inch horizontal touchscreen in the center console, a 10.25-inch comfort screen below, plus a separate 10.25-inch screen for the front passenger. FCA’s new Uconnect 5 system is included, and so is an audio system powered by McIntosh with 23 speakers.
Interior appointments employ genuine heat-treated lacewood, plus an onyx glass mid-bolster and shift knob. PUR, a sustainable synthetic material, covers the seats, console, door and instrument panel surfaces. The headliner is made of Dinamica, a recyclable premium microfiber suede, while Thrive fiber, using recycled content, covers the floor.
Passengers riding in the second-row captain’s chairs can enjoy individual 10.1-inch entertainment touchscreens, plus another 10.1-inch comfort display that’s housed in the center console between the seats.
FCA plans to build both Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer versions of the production vehicles in Warren, Mich., near metro Detroit, starting next year.
Originally introduced for the 1963 model year, Jeep says the iconic Wagoneer was the “first four-wheel-drive vehicle mated to an automatic transmission, pioneering the first modern SUV.” Two decades later, the Grand Wagoneer (above) helped to usher in the premium SUV segment.
For more information visit Jeep.com
Note: Concept vehicle images in this story depict a show car that is not for sale. Features and specifications for future production Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer models are expected to be announced by FCA and Jeep closer to the on-sale date. Some features shown may not be available on actual production vehicles.
News source, photos and video courtesy of FCA US LLC
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