Jeep hasn't used the Grand Wagoneer nameplate in roughly 20 years, but that soon will change. In 2013, the historic moniker will once again return to the Jeep lineup as a luxurious seven-seat SUV.
The Wagoneer name was first used in 1963 for the company's new SJ-platform SUV, and it quickly became a staple of the Jeep portfolio for the years to come. The Grand Wagoneer, which was built from 1984 through 1991 (and briefly in 1993, albeit as a tarted-up Grand Cherokee), provided passengers with luxurious appointments - something Fiat/Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne wants continued when the nameplate is resurrected.
"It's time we gave the market an upper-scale Grand Wagoneer," Marchionne said at a press conference at the Detroit auto show yesterday. "You'll see it in January 2013."
According to Marchionne, the Grand Wagoneer will be a seven-passenger SUV based on the WK2 platform, which is already used beneath today's Grand Cherokee and the new 2011 Dodge Durango. The seven-passenger configuration suggests it may have more in common with the Durango, which was stretched five inches to accommodate a third-row seat.
The move isn't entirely unprecedented - after all, the seven-seat Commander was derived from the last-generation WK Grand Cherokee platform - but Marchionne promises the new vehicle will be an entirely beast.
"That [Commander] was unfit for human consumption," Marchionne remarked when Automotive News asked how the new Grand Wagoneer would differ from the Commander. "We sold some, but I don't know why people bought them."
Details are still fleeting, but Marchionne noted the Grand Wagoneer will launch in 2013, and we wouldn't be surprised to see it built alongside its WK2 siblings in the Jefferson North assembly plant located in Detroit, Michigan. Marchionne did note the Grand Wagoneer will be priced higher than other WK2 luxury models, including the Grand Cherokee Overland Summit and the Durango Citadel.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)