How the Upcoming Jeep Grand Wagoneer and Wrangler 4xe Models Set the Blueprint for Jeep’s Future
The future of Jeep will be unveiled this coming week, not only with the debut of the hotly-anticipated Jeep Grand Wagoneer, but also with the debut of the brand’s first flagship hybrid electric SUV — the Jeep Wrangler 4xe. Both models represent new horizons for the iconic American brand and its parent company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), as both have been signaled as automakers slow to adapt to electric powertrains. Now that Jeep is getting past that initial hurdle, it’ll be up to the automaker to charm buyers and increase profits with its latest offerings. This expansion alone will introduce Jeep to a new segment — the luxury full-size SUV segment thanks to the debut of the Grand Wagoneer.
The Grand Wagoneer is slated to represent the future of Jeep’s overall design and technology. Both the Grand Wagoneer and Wagoneer models are expected in showrooms next year (2021). Additionally, concept vehicles — such as the Grand Wagoneer concept in 2016 — also set a brand’s new design direction, so the big reveal is meaningful in more ways than one — The Grand Wagoneer will set the future of Jeep. Stephanie Brinley, the principal automotive analyst at IHS Markit, recently commented “The big thing for Jeep is that it does put them in a segment they are not competing in. That’s probably the strongest move for them to increase sales and continue to grow the brand. It makes sense for Jeep to go into this space, and it should be a profitable space.”
It is unclear just how different each model is going to be from the other — the expectation is that the Grand Wagoneer is going to be a top-end vehicle leading the Jeep brand’s foray into the mainstream and large luxury SUV segments. The Wagoneer itself ceased production in 1983 and the revived model is expected to slot beside the existing Grand Cherokee model. Pricing and positioning will remain a secret until the big reveal given the fact that Jeep declined to comment on the long-awaited vehicles. The revamp of the Grand Wagoneer has been in the works since 2011, back when Mike Manley’s late predecessor, Sergio Marchionne made the initial announcement. A lot has happened in the nine years that transpired, changes in product plans and other issues — most recently the ongoing pandemic –have forced the automaker to tweak its Grand Wagoneer timeline.
As for the plug-in hybrid Wrangler model, this marks the first of its kind for Jeep in North America, as the brand has debuted the Renegade and Compass plug-in variants overseas. The Wrangler will feature a “4xe” badge, a nod to the SUV’s reputation as a 4×4 off-road king. Jeep has previously stated that a plug-in variant of every single model in its lineup will be available by 2022. The Wrangler 4xe is slated to launch in U.S. showrooms in December of 2020 according to Jeep.