This Is the Wood-Paneled 2022 Grand Wagoneer Jeep Won’t Build

This Is the Wood-Paneled 2022 Grand Wagoneer Jeep Won’t Build

The instant Jeep unveiled the 2022 Grand Wagoneer SUV concept, the world looked around in collective confusion: Where is the faux woodgrain upholstery? The sticky wood-look decals did most of the work in making the iconic 1984 Grand Wagoneer. Ralph Gilles, design manager at Jeep Fiat Chrysler’s parent company, insists imitation wood decals would have devalued the Grand Wagoneer 2022 – and he’s probably right, but then why is it so bad that the chintzy blooms are missing?

2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer with wood cladding
2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer with wood cladding































These renderings of what the new Grand Wagoneer might look like with an old-fashioned woodgrain siding won’t help. Designer Abimelec Arellano put them together and, well, they’re amazing. The illustrations generated so much buzz, in fact, that Ralph Gilles himself even weighed them down on his Instagram account, enticingly noting that although FCA isn’t “putting fake wood wrap on the #Wagoneer soon.” . . let’s just say we left a little room on the canvas.

See this post on Instagram

OMG… It didn’t take long… we figured our wonderful aftermarket community would take care of this for us… We’re not putting fake wood wrap on the #Wagoneer anytime soon… but let’s just say that we left a little room on the canvas ????

A post shared by @ ralphgilles on Sep 3, 2020 at 2:26 pm PDT

//www.instagram.com/embed.js

Look, we’re getting there for a lot of good reasons why Jeep felt skipping the kitsch woody accents of the old Wagoneer would be good for its new luxury flagship. But you have to admit that Abimelec’s renderings reveal how distinguished such a coating would be. Combined with the aggressively understated styling of the new Wagoneer, the wood grain gives it an upscale, uniquely American elegance without appearing out of date. You would never see anything like it on, say, a Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class, a Range Rover or even the Lincoln Navigator. None of them could succeed, anyway.

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The 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer certainly can, and should, but (unfortunately) it won’t – at least not from the factory. As Gilles points out, however, there is plenty of room on the sides of the Jeep. . . and we’re sure the aftermarket will step in with a solution for Wagoneer owners wanting to make the Abimelec fantasy come to life.

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