The Jeep Grand Wagoneer Concept marks the return of an American motoring icon, here’s everything we know so far.
The Jeep Grand Wagoneer Concept was revealed overnight in Detroit completely stealing the Wrangler 4Xe’s thunder – more on that one in another article. The Wagoneer arrived on the scene back in 1963 (dying out in 1991), beating the likes of the Range Rover to market by a few years. The idea for both was the same, to provide a comfortable, premium go-anywhere 4×4.
So what is this new one all about? Much the same as it was…according to Jeep the idea is to provide “a vision of what the modern expression of the original ultimate premium SUV can be”. But then it would have to be given it’s been in the works for more than a decade.
Production versions will arrive next year and are expected to look almost identical to the concept you see here. And Jeep is going all out with the thing, of course it’ll run the brand’s Quadra-Lift air suspension and “three 4×4 systems” (including the ability to rock crawl in electric mode) and, for the first time in Wagoneer history, a third row, as well as nuts things like a passenger screen for when the kids don’t want to talk to their parents.
There’ll be two versions, a regular run of the mill Wagoneer and a stretched, long-wheelbase luxury version. Initially, the plan was to use a stretched Grand Cherokee platform under the Wagoneer, but in 2016 a decision was made to use a version of the Ram 1500’s platform.
There’s no word on what engines will run in the Wagoneer, other than it will definitely be offered as a plug-in hybrid (as per the concept here). The plug-in door illuminates to show the range remaining. Neat. But given the Wagoneer will run down the same lines as the Ram 1500, there are no shortage of big donks to choose from, including the 6.2L Supercharged Hellcat V8 in the Ram 1500 TRX.
What about the looks? Well, it would have been easy for Jeep to take a leaf out of the retro books like Ford’s done with the Bronco, but Jeep’s crayon twirlers instead wanted to reimagine the Wagoneer. So, no wood panelling, but there is still some wood in the thing and not where you might expect it to be…hold on.
“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,” said Ralph Gilles, Head of Design at FCA.
This concept Grand Wagoneer boasts an Obsidian Black-accented seven-slot grille with the vehicle’s name, Wagoneer, spelled out above in a new, custom-made font, and the paint work is impressive. The body is fully dipped into Arctic Ice paint.
What about the wood? Well, take a look at the headlights, they’re cradled by slithers of teak wood and there’s some used in the tie-downs in the boot too. The wheels are whoppers at 24-inches with the multi-spoke Obsidian-finished aluminium wheels featuring 3D-printed elements, a three-piece wheel cap featuring the Wagoneer logo is suspended in acrylic.
There’s a panoramic glass roof with the roof rails on both sides boasting four dedicated tie down loops. Wait or it…each loop opening houses additional teak wood that is supported by bronze latticework.
The interior should be special too. “The Grand Wagoneer Concept’s interior is spacious and features premium materials that accentuate our team’s obsession to detail and celebrates American craftsmanship,” Gilles said.
“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.”
Like the new Land Rover Defender, Jeep’s designers opted to leave the structural wing largely exposed with the words Grand Wagoneer inscribed onto it. More than that, the passenger side of the vehicle features a 10.25-inch touchscreen. Oh, and there’s another 10.25-inch screen between the two front seats at the back of the centre console and two more 10.1-inch screens for back seat passengers. There’s a 12.3-inch touchscreen on the dashboard for the driver. And if you like music, the Grand Wagoneer Concept’s McIntosh audio system features 23 custom-designed speakers connected to a 24-channel amplifier.
“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 at FCA. “With the electrification of each Jeep nameplate coming in the next few years, and the reintroduction of Wagoneer, we are quickly expanding into new segments and more premium space.
“Wagoneer is unquestionably rooted in the legendary Jeep brand and its unmatched heritage of leading capability, authenticity and freedom, and its return allows us to expand to a much more premium arena with new levels of design detail, and advanced safety and technology features,” Meunier added.
“While Jeep vehicles bring leading capability, efficiency and performance across the mainstream SUV market, Wagoneer will ultimately become a portfolio of vehicles that will once again define ‘American Premium,’ making it the standard of sophistication, authenticity and modern mobility.”
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