After years of FCA promising its triumphant return, we finally got to lay eyes on the Jeep Grand Wagoneer yesterday. Well, that is mostly true at least. While you’d be forgiven from thinking otherwise, the vehicle that FCA rolled out at the Connor Center yesterday was actually the company’s concept model for the full-size luxury SUV. That said, FCA has a tendency to roll out concept that are *almost* production spec. A lot of what we saw will likely make it to the production variant of the Grand Wagoneer, but the folks at Motor Trend have pointed out some details that certainly won’t.
The most obvious of the Grand Wagoneer Concept’s features that is likely to be toned down for production are its wheels. The massive 24-inch units on the concept are exactly the type of thing that designers love and engineers hate. In order to improve ride quality in the real world, it’s way more likely that the wheels will be in the 18 to 22-inch range at the high end. It is also worth noting that all of those very high-end details on the wheels themselves, including the 3D-printed inserts, aren’t likely to be destined for production. This isn’t to say the wheels won’t carry some of the same design elements, but rather that they’ll likely be executed in a more cost-effective fashion.
Another feature unlikely to make it past the concept phase in the in-glass rending of the Motor City found on the concept’s glass roof. While this writer has no issues with the hometown tribute, it isn’t something that every buyer is going to be interested in. Jeep is known for their extensive use of in car easter eggs however, so take that as you will.
FCA may have made a big deal about the fact that the Grand Wagoneer will feature a McIntosh stereo system. The company is known for their high-end home audio systems, and they haven’t done a car stereo since the first Ford GT left production. Motor Trend wasn’t as sold on this statement however, as their sources have stated that this deal is still very much in the air at this point. Whether or not the automaker resolves these issues within the next few months will determine if buyers will be treated to such an exclusive auditory experience.
The Grand Wagoneer concept may not have been adorned with the wood-paneling that we all secretly were hoping for, but it did feature some wood accents on the exterior. Each of the tie-down loops for the roof rack featured a nice chunk of teak, complete with some fancy brass latticework. A genuinely attractive design for a roof rack, but not exactly something that most people will ever even look at. This is one detail that we’d be willing to guarantee won’t make its way to the production SUV.
The Jeep Grand Wagoneer concept didn’t wow people in the same way other concept vehicles do, but that may be all part of FCA’s plan. By releasing a concept that is very nearly production ready, you don’t run the risk of fans recoiling when the final design isn’t close to what was promised. Now we just have to wait and see what the production version of the SUV looks like before it hits dealers in 2021.