The stylish Grand Wagoneer Concept is a taste of things to come for Jeep.
Early models will be plug-in hybrids, although full electrification options will follow.
Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer vehicles will be built in metro Detroit next year.
Jeep is diving head-first into the premium luxury niche with its Grand Wagoneer Concept, and it’s not taking any chances either. The Grand Wagoneer Concept, according to Jeep, features a 4×4-capable, electric powertrain and a zero-emission, near-silent driving experience. Still, an all-electric Grand Wagoneer is not due to arrive for another couple of years.
Instead, we can expect a pair of plug-in hybrids when the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer arrive at dealerships next year. Despite this, Jeep is promising a class-leading off-road prowess with three available 4×4 systems, a Quadra-lift suspension system, an independent front and rear suspension, and the towing capability of a tank.
“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. “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.”
The original Jeep Wagoneer came to market in 1963. It was the first four-wheel-drive vehicle to have an automatic transmission. It had the underpinnings of a Jeep Gladiator but came with a station wagon body. Jeep produced the Wagoneer from 1963 to 1991, while the Grand Wagoneer came in 1984. But unlike the Ford Bronco and Chevy Blazer K5, the Jeep Wagoneer stood out with its luxurious and feature-rich interior, which was unheard of for a “sport-utility vehicle” back in the day.
Indeed, the Jeep Wagoneer came with air conditioning, leather upholstery, power steering, an AM/FM and CB radio combo, additional sound insulation, and an independent front suspension. It also came with a burly 360 cubic-inch V8 to deliver the highest tow rating in its segment.
“The original Grand Wagoneer was the first premium SUV, and its timeless design combined with the soul of Americana helped it achieve an iconic place in many hearts,” said Ralph Gilles, head of design – FCA. “The Grand Wagoneer Concept is inspired by the original, but with a modern interpretation of luxury and freedom.”
The all-new Grand Wagoneer is Jeep’s ticket to the big leagues. It wants to play in the realm dominated by other luxury namesakes like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Volvo, Porsche, and Audi, to name a few. There’s no doubt the Grand Wagoneer Concept has the smarts to conquer any terrain – it is a Jeep, after all – but it needs to offer more than genuine off-road talent to pique the interest of luxury buyers.
On the styling front, the Grand Wagoneer Concept is every inch a premium SUV. It has an upright stance yet a stately profile like a Range Rover. It has the Jeep brand’s iconic seven-slot grille, which now has Obsidian-black accents and intricate latticework on each slot. The grille is flanked by LED projector headlamps set in genuine teak wood, while the space above each grille slot contains a slew of LED bulbs creating a unique lighting signature in conjunction with the headlights.
The Grand Wagoneer Concept is sitting on 24-inch multi-spoke aluminum wheels with a unique Obsidian finish. The rear has LED taillights and the requisite light bar to emphasize the vehicle’s girth. You’ll also find an artful rear diffuser below the tailgate to improve high-speed aerodynamics. All in all, the concept’s buttoned-up exterior is worthy of praise, but wait until you see what’s inside.
Upscale & Sustainable Interior
Jeep isn’t hesitant to admit the Grand Wagoneer Concept represents the pinnacle of ultra-premium, full-size SUV interiors. The cabin is resplendent in top-notch, sustainable materials like heat-treated wood, aluminum, and glass. The carpets are manufactured from Thrive fiber (a material derived from recycled pre- and post-consumer materials), while the Dinamica headliner is sourced from recycled microfiber suede. Meanwhile, the door and instrument panel surfaces are lined with PUR, a sustainable synthetic material.
The production Wagoneer is a five-seat model while the Grand Wagoneer will come with third-row seating – a first for the Grand Wagoneer nameplate – as standard. All three rows are illuminated by customizable ambient lighting to lend a modern and upscale touch, while large glass windows and a full-pane glass roof offer an unobstructed view of the outside world.
If there’s any doubt the Jeep Grand Wagoneer Concept is a luxury SUV, you only need to count the number of touchscreens inside. It has a 12.1-inch infotainment touchscreen in the center console; a 10.25-inch touchscreen below that to control the HVAC and comfort settings; a 10.25-inch touchscreen for the front passenger; and a 12.3-inch instrument cluster for the driver.
And that’s only for the front row. In the back, there are two 10.1-inch entertainment touchscreens for second-row passengers with another 10.25-inch display in the center console for comfort settings. Despite having more screens than a small military surveillance unit, the cabin has its fair share of physical buttons and dials. Also, the steering wheel is a direct nod to the two-spoke tiller of the original Grand Wagoneer.
FCA’s Android-based Uconnect 5 is in charge of infotainment duties while a McIntosh 23-speaker audio system will handle the tunes. “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 added.
Jeep Grand Wagoneer: Pricing & Availability
Remember, the vehicle you see here is purely a concept, and we can’t wait to see which features will make it to production. Both the new Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are arriving in showrooms next year. Pricing is forthcoming, although Jeep said the Grand Wagoneer could reach upwards of $100,000 in its highest specification.
Alvin Reyes is the Associate Editor of Automoblog. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine.