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The WL Grand Cherokee Appears Longer Than Before – Signaling Three Rows

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee JL Spy Shots

We recently took a Ford F-350 Super Duty Tremor with a 7.3L Godzilla V8 engine to the Silver Lake Sand Dunes. We’ll have more on that later. Because right now, we’d like to share with you what we spotted on the way up: the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Equipped with our DSLR cameras, we were able to capture the new SUV in motion with our best spy photos yet, much to the dismay of the engineers driving it.

Seeing the new JL Jeep Grand Cherokee in motion also helped give us a sense of its true proportions, despite all of the black cladding and a faux panel that was flapping in the wind in an odd attempt to hide the rear cut line. Primarily, it was easy to tell that the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee is longer than the outgoing WK Grand Cherokee. Proportionately, we’d say it’s not too far off from the current Ford Explorer. Which, you may have noticed, has three rows of seats. The new WL Grand Cherokee is also expected to offer this seating configuration, even as the hulking Grand Wagoneer full-size SUV is also on deck.

Below is a side photo of the new Jeep Grand Cherokee, as well as a side photo of the 2021 Grand Cherokee for comparison.

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee JL Spy Shots
Photo Copyright Lucas Allen, Muscle Cars & Trucks.
2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee

The rear gives a little bit of a hint as to just what sort of trim level this 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee happens to be. Based on what looks to be 20-inch wheels, and a dual exhaust setup, it’s likely that this particular prototype is at minimum an Overland trim level. More basic variants such as the Laredo, Laredo X, and Limited feature single exhaust outlets in the current setup. But we’re just comparing what currently exists; Jeep could very well start offering this sort of content across the entire 2022 Grand Cherokee Lineup. We also get a different perspective of the rear overhang. And for comparison, we have a 2021 Grand Cherokee image of a similar angle.

Photo Copyright Lucas Allen, Muscle Cars & Trucks.
Image Via FCA.

Now for the front. If you look closely, you can make out signature LED running lights, an adaptive cruise control radar sensor, a wider grille on the lower fascia, and ultrasonic parking sensors. The signature seven-slot grille is also chromed; another design element that the Grand Cherokee Overland carries. This is our best look yet of the 2022 Grand Cherokee’s front fascia.

Photo Copyright Lucas Allen, Muscle Cars & Trucks.
Image Via FCA.

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. Reports claim that the SUV will 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 WK2 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, both in terms of allocated awards and in sales. If the original reveal timeline is still in the works, we should see the official debut of the new SUV before the year is over.

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. While not headquartered in the city, FCA currently has the biggest manufacturing footprint in Detroit.

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee WL Spy Photo
Photo copyright Sam George, Muscle Cars & Trucks

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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