Back in 1962, the Jeep Grand Wagoneer effectively invented the American luxury SUV, as players like Lincoln and Cadillac were still decades off from joining the movement. That original SUV went on for nearly twenty years before dying off in favor of the first Grand Cherokee. Now, though, after another two decades elapsed, the Grand Wagoneer name is back, as FCA aims to bring the Jeep brand into the large SUV space against Ford and General Motors.
Technically, this is the Jeep Grand Wagoneer Concept, though the SUV does look notably production ready. In fact, the company says it will go into production in 2021, albeit the Wagoneer may undergo a few tweaks along the way. So, what exactly are we looking at then? We have a nearly ready full-size SUV to take on the likes of the Ford Expedition, Lincoln Navigator, Chevy Suburban and Cadillac Escalade, all depending on how Jeep moves into the market and where they decide to price their appropriately massive three-row offering.
As we’ve reported and expected, this big SUV will actually emerge as two distinct models in the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. FCA says this is just the beginning of a “portfolio” of models — one that “redefines American premium” offerings. To that end, the Wagoneer should compete against the more mainstream offerings, while the Grand Wagoneer will extend Jeep’s price walk up to six figures with luxurious features we see here in this concept.
Jeep Grand Wagoneer styling
Of course, before we even delve into the interior, it’s worth noting the exterior styling. The Jeep Grand Wagoneer Concept certainly comes in a large package — one offering ample space to three rows of passengers. No technical specs are available at this time, but it’s clear Jeep’s SUV will have presence when it does hit the roads. Speaking of the brand, the concept is covered in “Grand Wagoneer” badging. However, there aren’t nearly as many Jeep badges anywhere on the car, and they are more subtle where they do pop up.
The seven-slotted grille harkens back to the old Grand Wagoneer somewhat by design. It’s tilted ever so slightly forward, and LED lighting surrounds the main portion of the fascia, with “Wagoneer” backlit across the top. Down the side and on the tailgate, you have more Grand Wagoneer badging. The two-tone effect looks different than most SUVs here, as the white portion actually extends up the pillars into the black roof. That’s more of an old-school decision, as the pillars are normally black as part of a “floating roof” design. The Jeep Grand Wagoneer Concept notably has a charging port on the driver’s side fender, showing of an “advanced electric-vehicle” (plug-in hybrid) powertrain.
Arguably, once you move past the large styling, slim LED taillights and huge 24-inch wheels, the interior is arguably where it’s really at with this concept.
A stunning interior
Yes, the Jeep Grand Wagoneer Concept is swathed in all the high-end leather and teak wood you’d expect from a premium SUV. However, the design goes much farther than that. The two-spoke steering wheel is another nod to the original SUV, while the rest of the IP is thoroughly modern, i.e. covered in digital displays. In fact, there are nearly 45 inches of screens across the entire dashboard. That includes a digital instrument cluster, the primary infotainment display, another display for climate controls, and even a screen for the front passenger. There are three more touchscreens in the second row as well. FCA did not mention the specific software the Grand Wagoneer uses here, but we’re certain it will use a derivative of the company’s newest Uconnect 5 infotainment system when it reaches production.
Beyond all the technology onboard, the Jeep Grand Wagoneer Concept emphasizes an artisanal attention to detail in the materials. Things like the push start button, the rotary gear selector and the rocker switches for the drive modes and ride height all exude a classy feel.
What about powertrains?
This is where the “concept” part of Jeep Grand Wagoneer comes into play with today’s reveal. At this point, the company emphasized a plug-in hybrid powertrain, but released no official details on exactly what that entails. That means we don’t have any clearer sense of what engine is under the hood, the sort of electric motors or battery pack in use, or what possible economy figures are going to be.
On the Wagoneer models, at least, we may well see conventional FCA powertrains carry over here. Their ubiquitous 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 and Hemi V8 are notable contenders, or this Jeep could debut a new powertrain altogether. It obviously has an automatic transmission (we assume an eight speed), but no technical details were revealed.
How much the Jeep Grand Wagoneer costs is another mystery that will endure in the coming months. Since FCA labeled this SUV a concept, no pricing information is currently available. We expect the standard Wagoneer to start at around $60,000. This Jeep Grand Wagoneer, on the other hand, will likely touch the $100,000 mark, if not exceed it.
When put up against the likes of the Ford Expedition, Chevy Suburban, Lincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade, among others, FCA says the three-row Jeep will be priced competitively. So, you can use those SUVs as something of a yardstick, though we should have more specific information closer to the 2021 launch.
The Jeep Grand Wagoneer Concept isn’t all the brand has up its sleeve today, either. They also debuted the plug-in hybrid Wrangler 4xe, which you can check out over on TFLcar.com. Let us know what you think about both SUVs in the comments below! For even more on the Grand Wagoneer, check out our podcast interview with FCA design head Ralph Gilles: