Jeep’s hugely hyped revival of the Grand Wagoneer was thought to be cancelled but is just delayed.
What’s going on?
Jeep lovers around the world cheered after word from Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles confirmed the return of the Grand Wagoneer. The plan was for Jeep to produce an all-new flagship luxury crossover to compete with examples like the Range Rover and so-on. Earlier this year, a prototype was revealed for dealership groups in advance to prepare for future sales.
But more recently, a rumor surfaced late last month suggesting Jeep cancelled the Grand Wagoneer revival. That rumor, according to AutomotiveNews, was exactly that: a rumor.
The project instead is delayed.
So the Grand Wagoneer isn’t cancelled…
As long as that report from AutomotiveNews is accurate, then no, it isn’t. And AN has a tendency to be pretty accurate.
What’s causing the delay?
Making the Grand Wagoneer a possibility is the use of the next-gen Grand Cherokee’s platform, except elongated for a larger wheelbase. Though according to recent findings from research and development, the new platform designated for the Grand Cherokee apparently cannot accommodate the extra size demands of the Grand Wagoneer. So now, Jeep needs to find another platform that can handle the size requirements for the new flagship.
You might think, “but Dodge has the Durango, which is basically a longer Grand Cherokee. So why doesn’t the Grand Cherokee platform work with the Grand Wagoneer plan?” According to the latest reports, the platform just can’t accommodate the dimensions desired for the Wagoneer and the Durango already stretches the limits of flexibility with the Grand Cherokee platform.
So finding a new platform for the Grand Wagoneer will be challenging. Jeep isn’t exactly deep-pocketed enough to design a completely new platform from scratch, let alone just for one model. So thus, the company is looking to its corporate sibling, Dodge, for possibly utilizing a classic body-on-frame design starting with a Ram platform.
It’s possible, but far-fetched. SUVs can be made to be very refined and smooth, even with integrated body-on-frame constructions. Just look at all of the GM trucks (especially the Cadillac Escalade) and even the Ford alternatives like the latest Lincoln Navigator.
Even the latest Lexus LX570 and the Mercedes-Benz Gelandewagen use classic truck constructions, but they still can’t quite compare to the exquisiteness that a Range Rover provides.
Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see what route Jeep pursues.
In addition to the details surrounding the Jeep Grand Wagoneer, Dodge is also experiencing some delays with its nex-gen Ram heavy-duty pickup.
– By: Chris Chin