Younger people might not realize the importance of the Jeep Grand Wagoneer’s upcoming reboot. That’s because a new version of the big SUV hasn’t hit the streets for over 25 years. However, before its final appearance in 1993, the Wagoneer was something of an old school legend that had an uninterrupted production of nearly 30 years.
So why did it take so long to bring back the nickname? In short, FCA just wasn’t ready for the project, or rather, that’s what FCA Chief Design Officer Ralph Gilles said according to MotorTrend. The problem apparently was with the luxurious aspect of the Wagoneer, as it has always been a flagship model during its previous existence. According to the report, Gilles explains that this simply could not have happened ten years ago because the company still had a lot to learn about creating a luxury SUV.
It’s an interesting statement considering that Chrysler is almost 100 years old and ten years ago had just emerged from a long relationship with Daimler. Granted, the auto industry was in shambles by this time as well, and Chrysler was bankrupt, taking bailout loans from the US government. So yeah, this probably wouldn’t have been the perfect time to launch an expensive three-row luxury SUV.
The Wagoneer wasn’t just a recent idea, however. The report explains that there were several models of Wagoneer still waiting backstage since the mid-1990s. Some had a very retro flavor, others were futuristic, but they always remained out of reach as the company’s product plan evolved. ‘business. Gilles said that the previous concepts made it seem like they were trying too hard to be a certain style. But now the revealed Grand Wagoneer Concept is apparently the correct one.
In any case, Gilles also concedes in the report that this probably should have happened earlier, and we cannot dispute that. Since the 2009-10 auto fiasco, SUV sales have surpassed almost everything. We now live in a world of suave people filled with luxurious touches, and an FCA flagship for this segment is indeed long overdue.
As it stands, we’ll have to wait a little longer for the new Wagoneer to arrive. The concept is a near-production preview, but the real deal won’t happen until the 2022 model year.