FCA head Mike Manley has confirmed that the revived Jeep Wagoneer won’t be the only new utility model debuting from the iconic brand in the near-future. Jeep is working as well on another three-row SUV that will fit into the lineup between the Grand Cherokee and the new Wagoneer.
Room for seven
Manley made the announcement in an interview with British website Auto Express. The new model does not yet have a name, but it won’t be a riff on the Grand Cherokee nameplate even though it will borrow much of that SUV’s powertrain elements and even its platform. In fact, the Grand Cherokee and the new entrant will be roughly the same size and compete more or less in the same category; the big difference will be that the newby will come with three rows of seats.
“(…) the second is a three-row Jeep, which will technically play in the same segment as Grand Cherokee. Roughly 60% of that segment is three-row, so Grand Cherokee has really only played in 40%. That will open up that part of the segment for us.”
- Mike Manley, FCA
By that logic, why not just produce the Grand Cherokee in an available three-row version? Because that would be heresy for Jeep purists, as Manley candidly admits:
“It's like if I dramatically changed what Wrangler looked like – I'd be crucified! Grand Cherokee, interestingly, has a customer base that loves it because it's got rear-wheel drive, well-positioned stance, and dimensionally it's perfect.”
- Mike Manley
At the same time, according to Auto Express it’s very likely that all three of these upcoming products – the next-gen Grand Cherokee, the Wagoneer and the new model yet to be named – will run on hybrid drivetrains. This of course comes right after the company revealed hybrid versions of the new Renegade and Compass models at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show.
We won’t have to wait very longer for the new Jeep, or for the Wagoneer or the next Grand Cherokee, for that matter: all three are expected to make their debuts before the 2019 year is out, after the debut of the new Gladiator of course.