Jeep Grand Wagoneer Concept: First Look
American Luxury At Its Finest.
What had to be one of Jeep's worst kept secrets is finally ready to make its public debut. The long awaited and much rumored Grand Wagoneer is here. Unfortunately, it's being shown to us as a concept. With production set to start early in 2021, we were hopeful we'd get to see a more production-ready model at this point. Regardless, we're excited to finally get a glimpse into what Jeep has planned for the Wagoneer family of SUVs and specifically the Grand Wagoneer.
With the debut of the Grand Wagoneer concept, Jeep has made one thing abundantly clear: They have aimed squarely at the heart of the premium luxury SUV market. The Grand Wagoneer concept is both stunning and sophisticated, positioning itself as the premium extension of the Jeep brand.
"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. "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."
This is not completely new territory for Jeep, though. "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," FCA Head of Design Ralph Gilles said. "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."
The Grand Wagoneer concept features a stunning ultra-premium exterior. Obsidian Black accents create a new timeless design, anchored by a prominent Obsidian Black-accented grille. Each of the grille's seven slots shows off intricate lightweight latticework. The space between and above the slots is lit to create a signature LED design. Directly above the grille sit raised illuminated letters spelling out the word "Wagoneer." On either side of the grille, twin bi-functional LED projector headlamps are cradled by genuine teak wood. Premium design meets Jeep capability in the form of an Obsidian Black aluminum front skidplate and accented front tow hooks.
Raised aluminum letters with copper-side accents spell out "Grand Wagoneer" on the lower third of each front door, and an American flag flanks the letters to pay tribute to the Jeep brand's home country. Around back, LED taillamps wrap from the rear quarter panel to the back of the vehicle and create a solid form.
A full suite of exterior LED lights, including headlamps, foglamps and taillamps, enable the Grand Wagoneer concept to shine in any environment. Upon remote activation, the full suite of exterior LED lights subtly engages with a full "welcome" sequence that brings the concept vehicle to life.
Flanking the full-pane glass roof on both sides are roof rails featuring four tie-down loop openings. Each loop opening houses additional teak wood that is supported by bronze latticework. Teak wood was chosen both for its elegance and for its durability. Once seen primarily on yachts and in the most extravagant estates, teak wood is now a premium wood of choice for designers across industries.
True to its name, the Grand Wagoneer concept offers a grand interior for up to seven passengers thanks to its spacious and comfortable front- and second-row captain's chairs as well as its third row—a first for the Grand Wagoneer nameplate. The spaciousness of the premium interior is enhanced by large glass windows, a feature that distinguished the original Grand Wagoneer and does the same for today's modern Grand Wagoneer concept.
Many of the interior elements pay tribute to the rich history of the Grand Wagoneer, such as the two-spoke steering wheel. Opening the front driver-side door reveals the outer edge of the instrument panel that features an inscription—EST. 1963—that pays homage to the first model year of the original Wagoneer.
An onyx glass mid-bolster runs the length of the instrument panel and gracefully accents the spaciousness of the interior. The onyx glass mid-bolster appears to float above a structural wing crafted from sustainable raw aluminum, which was also chosen as the key material for creating the door speakers, shift knob, and vent surroundings.
The structural aluminum wing cradles a 3-D inlay of heat-treated lacewood across the instrument panel and the front doors. Emerging from under the structural aluminum wing is the center console, which flows out of the lower panel and adds a fluid design element to the spacious cabin. Although the original Grand Wagoneer famously featured an extensive use of wood on its exterior, the Grand Wagoneer concept houses a vast amount of genuine heat-treated lacewood along its interior.
A Technology Rich Interior For All
Nearly 45 inches of total screen spans the length of the instrument panel: a 12.3-inch driver information display behind the steering wheel, a 12.1-inch horizontal touchscreen serving as the main display screen in the center console, a 10.25-inch horizontal comfort display touchscreen below, separated by the structural aluminum wing, and a 10.25-inch screen for the front passenger with touchscreen controls at their fingertips.
Second-row passengers have more than 30 inches of total screen space at their disposal, with a 10.25-inch comfort display screen housed on the center console located between the two captain's chairs. Each second-row passenger also has access to their own 10.1-inch entertainment touchscreen. This technology is powered by FCA's all-new Uconnect 5 system, which delivers operating speeds that are five times faster when compared to the previous generation.
The Grand Wagoneer concept is the only vehicle audio system in the world powered by McIntosh—another classic American luxury brand known for offering distinguished home audio systems. The Grand Wagoneer concept's McIntosh audio system features 23 custom-designed speakers connected to a 24-channel amp. The audio elements are designed in aluminum and gloss black, true to the design aesthetic of McIntosh's high-end home audio systems.
A Modern Powertrain
The Jeep Grand Wagoneer concept is powered by a plug-in hybrid electric powertrain system. This is in line with the Jeep brand's plans to offer electrification options across all models in the coming years. Jeep provided no details other than that, but we suspect the Grand Wagoneer will also be available with one of the company's Hemi V-8 engines and a 3.0L EcoDiesel V-6.
Jeep 4x4 Capability
Despite having independent suspension at all four corners, the Grand Wagoneer will arrive with all of the off-road capability that Jeep vehicles are known for. When the production version of the Grand Wagoneer arrives in 2021, it will be available with three four-wheel-drive systems, much like today's Grand Cherokee. It will also feature Jeep's Quadra-Lift four-corner air suspension.
Although a concept vehicle wasn't quite what we were hoping for, seeing what Jeep has brought to the table in terms of design and technology for the forthcoming Grand Wagoneer has left us quite fulfilled. We love the badging, the use of real wood, and the enormous display screens. And we really hope the signature LED light sequence makes it to production. We don't really care for the 24-inch wheels, but they certainly make a statement and would prove a good way to show Navigator and Escalade that the Grand Wagoneer means business. We'll reserve full judgement for the production model, and until then we'll continue choking back the thought of there being another six-figure Jeep.