It’s no secret that Michigan’s roads are notoriously awful. So awful, in fact, that the state’s current governor campaigned (and won) on the promise of “fixing the damn roads.” But the tradeoff is that Michigan’s three major automakers have taken the opportunity to use the worst of the state’s pavement to properly vet and shake down future products. And that’s what we see here, with a 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee WL – still in heavy cladding – using Detroit’s cracked washboard roads to better improve its everyday ride and handling.
Our own Sam George caught the future Jeep SUV passing through the way while he was waiting outside for ramen noodles, or something. Its official debut was originally scheduled to happen this year, but with reports of the WL Grand Cherokee being delayed three months, it might be early 2021 before we see this next-gen Jeep in all of its glory.
Styling-wise, it’s likely that the 2022 Grand Cherokee will maintain a similar design language as the WK Series. Expect a seven-slot grille, sleek lighting, and a slightly larger size. A third row is expected to be an option for this next-gen Jeep midsize SUV for the first time.
At launch, it’s expected that the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee will offer two engines: a 3.6L Pentastar V6, and a 5.7L Hemi V8. It’s unclear at this time if electrification will be standard, or optional. It is expected to utilize a lower-cost version of the Alfa Romeo Giorgio Platform, which underpins the beautiful Giulia sedan and Stelvio SUV.
Originally expected as a 2021 model year SUV, the WL Jeep Grand Cherokee will likely bow as a 2022 model year, as recent reports indicate that the current-generation WK Grand Cherokee will return for the 2021 model year. The WK Grand Cherokee has been on sale since 2009, and has been a resounding success, bot in allocated awards and in sales.
The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee will be built at the FCA Jefferson North Assembly Plant, where it will be built alongside the Dodge Durango. On February 26, 2019, FCA announced plans to invest $900 million to retool and modernize the plant to build the next-generation Dodge Durango and WL Jeep Grand Cherokee, adding 1,100 new jobs in the process. It was part of a $4.5 billion total investment announcement that will impact five existing Michigan facilities and build a new assembly plant within the city of Detroit. In total, the proposed projects will create nearly 6,500 new jobs. FCA currently has the biggest manufacturing footprint in Detroit.