First things first: technically speaking, the SUV you see here is not the new Jeep Wagoneer or Grand Wagoneer. This is the Jeep Grand Wagoneer Concept — a preview of the all-new full-sized SUV that the storied off-road brand is set to put into production next year. Still, like many a concept car before it, it’s hard not to look at this burly, luxurious SUV as a very good example of what we can expect to see in Jeep showrooms before long.
The seven-slot grille, of course, will be at the front; the short, broad twin-LED headlights on either side of it look pretty much production-ready, as does the lower fascia, which channels the Grand Cherokee without seeming too derivative. The raised, illuminated “WAGONEER” on the front seems as though it might be a bit less likely to reach showrooms, but it’s certainly not beyond the realm of possibility.
The 24-inch wheels of the concept are likely a hair too large for production use, but given current SUV and truck trends, we’d guess that 20-inch-and-larger wheels will be up for grabs on the production model. Likewise, the teak accents and bronze lattice work on the roof rack seem like concept car touches not liable to make it to showrooms. The general profile should be pretty true to life, however, from its unabashed boxiness to its expansive windows and giant moonroof (featuring a map of the greater Detroit area etched into it) ready to flood the interior with light.
Said interior — as you might expect from a giant SUV with the word “grand” in the name that comes from the people who brought you the Ram 1500 Limited — is exceedingly fancy. The design team used onyx glass and raw aluminum on the dash, shifter and vents (both materials chosen, reportedly, in part for their sustainable origins), while 3D lacewood inlasy stretch across much of the interior, both to add a touch of warmth and pay tribute to the wood flanks of the old Grand Wagoneer.
The high-tech components found inside seem likely to reach the streets, at least in higher-trim versions. The Grand Wagoneer concept packs more screens than the new S-Class: the instrument panel is a 12.3-inch display; 12.1-inch and 10.3-inch displays in the center of the dash control infotainment and climate; in a move seemingly inspired by corporate cousin Ferrari, the front seat passenger scores their own 10.3-inch touchscreen control panel; in back, another 10.3-inch between the second row captain’s chairs controls the climate; each rear seat occupant, in turn, also gets their own 10.1-inch touchscreen setup for entertainment.
None other than famed audio company McIntosh whipped up the audio system for the Grand Wagoneer Concept, creating a bespoke 23-speaker, 24-channel system to be tied specifically to Uconnect 5 — the latest version of FCA’s solid infotainment system. Anyone who’s spent time with a McIntosh home stereo might note the resemblance between the Jeep’s gloss-black-and-aluminum speakers and those of the audio company’s other products.)
Given the body-on-frame platform, you might expect to find a mighty Hemi V8 under the hood. But this is the year 2020, folks; even Jeep is moving towards electric propulsion. The Grand Wagoneer Concept boasts an unspecified plug-in hybrid powertrain beneath the hood; given that it’s being unveiled the same day as the Wrangler 4xe, we’d hazard a guess that it packs the same turbocharged-inline-four-and-dual-electric motor combo that makes 375 horses and 471 lb-ft in the PHEV Wrangler...but considering it’s just a concept, it’s largely immaterial. Still, we’d guess that powertrain will make its way to the production Wagoneer / Grand Wagoneer, along with an array of V6 and V8 engines.
Expect to see both Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer models in final form in 2021, the carmaker says, with production kicking off at the carmaker’s Warren, Michigan plant sometime that same year. And there may be more versions to come. “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,” Jeep global president Christian Meunier said in a statement. With America’s appetite for high-end trucks still seemingly limitless, we’re sure they’ll sell as many as they can make.