Chrysler’s most profitable and acclaimed brand is going to launch a new generation of the seminal Wrangler in the near future, but that bit of news is nowhere near as exciting as what the Jeep brand is preparing to launch almost four years from now on.
Earlier this year, during the Chrysler Group’s Investor Day, Jeep officials presented a brand and product extension plan that can be summed up as follows: the “C SUV” will replace both the Compass and Patriot in 2016, when the Cherokee will receive a facelift, with the new Wrangler to follow in 2017.
In addition to those, the Grand Cherokee will receive its second facelift in late 2015 before the new-gen will be launched in 2017. Furthermore, Jeep will dust off the Grand Wagoneer nameplate in 2018 with a seven or eight-seater model underpinned by the new Grand Cherokee. Jeep enthusiasts might have heard that name before: it was used in either Grand Wagoneer or Wagoneer form between 1963 and 1993 and it’s a shame the legendary nameplate has been dropped.
Many enthusiasts of the brand and owners of the SJ, XJ and ZJ-generation Wagoneer have been urging Jeep to launch a new generation of the breed. With great fortune, their voices have been heard. Speaking to the Aussies from Motoring, Jeep president and chief executive officer Michael Manley disclosed that “I’ve always talked about Grand Wagoneer and that for me is a big focus and it will fill out the [Jeep] brand at the top end… Obviously I have intimate knowledge of what it is and I think that vehicle could very, very effectively compete with premium SUVs.”
Jeep aims to compete with the likes of Range Rover
Speaking of premium SUVs and filling out the Jeep brand at the top, Manley also hinted that “Range Rover and Jeep have historical competed…. they are the only other pure SUV brand in the world so they will always be competition,” which is a tell-tale sign the replacement for the Grand Cherokee and the new 2018 Jeep Grand Wagoneer will push the envelope even further than the American brand already did.
Another bit of interesting news dropped by Manley is that according to which a crossover coupe a la BMW X4 and X6 is also considered for development. Even so, this is 2014 and the best Jeep product you can buy these days is the sporty Grand Cherokee SRT HEMI-engined brute.