Jeep fans have been crying out for a new Grand Wagoneer ever since the last Wagoneer went out of production in 1993. Since then, the Jeep Commander has been the only full size three row SUV the off-road marque has offered. And while there’s nothing wrong with the Commander, it doesn’t have anywhere near the following of the Wagoneer. But now, it’s back. In concept guise, at least. Which means fans will still have to wait even longer to see the official production model. Luckily, FCA accepts they’ve kept people waiting for too long, and a recent Motor Trend interview with FCA Design Chief Ralph Gilles tells us exactly why.
The a new Jeep Wagoneer has been a part of many FCA Five Year Plans, but none have come to fruition until now. But Gilles told Motor Trend the biggest reason it’s taken so long is they didn’t want to risk messing up such an iconic vehicle rebirth.
Gilles explains to Motor Trend that his design team wasn’t quite ready to take the Wagoneer to the level of detail and luxury that we see today, if the SUV was introduced 10 years ago. Back then, FCA wasn’t even a thing, and Chrysler was on its own with Jeep, Dodge, and Ram. Since the merger with Fiat, Gilles said they have learned enough to build the correct SUV for the times.Or rather, SUVs.
While the Jeep Grand Wagoneer is currently a singular concept, Jeep will soon launch a family of Wagoneer vehicles. The Grand Wagoneer will be the luxury model, and also be offered in an extended length version. A regular Wagoneer will be a more affordable offering, and come in the same two sizes.
When these production versions are eventually revealed, expect their styling to look very similar to the concept. The Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer will have some differences, but the concept previews a family design language as a whole. Gilles said this wasn’t easy to figure out, and Jeep bounced between retro and futuristic designs that all got canceled one way or another. The final design strikes a balance somewhere in between, with Gilles calling it “timeless” and “elegant.”
Hopefully the final versions are worth the wait.