Jeep released preview images of the Grand Wagoneer concept vehicle ahead of its official debut on September 3.
Jeep’s future direction will be unveiled on Thursday with the debut of two new SUVs: a concept version of the resurrected Grand Wagoneer and an electric hybrid version of the brand’s flagship Wrangler SUV.
Both vehicles represent new opportunities for the quintessential American brand and its parent company, Fiat Chrysler, which has been slow to embrace electric vehicles and develop Jeep as a large SUV. These are new segments for the automaker in order to increase its market share and profits.
The Grand Wagoneer concept is expected to represent the future design and technology of production versions of the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer SUVs, which are due to be shown in showrooms next year. Concept vehicles often also set a new design direction for the brand as a whole.
“The most important thing for Jeep is that it puts them in a segment in which they don’t compete,” said Stephanie Brinley, senior automotive analyst at IHS Markit. “This is probably the strongest decision for them to increase sales and continue to grow the brand. It makes sense for Jeep to step into this space, and it should be a profitable space.”
The vehicles are expected to compete in the mainstream and luxury segments of large SUVs. Mike Manley, CEO of Fiat Chrysler, leading the Jeep brand in 2016, said the top-end Grand Wagoneer could exceed $ 100,000.
It is not known whether the Grand Wagoneer, which was last produced in 1991, will be a separate model or a premium version of the Wagoneer, which was discontinued in 1983.
On Friday, a spokesperson for the company declined to comment on the pricing and positioning of the long-awaited vehicles.
The resurrection of the Grand Wagoneer – best known for its woodwork – was first confirmed by Manley’s late predecessor Sergio Marchionne in 2011. Since then, the vehicle has been repeatedly delayed due to changes in plans. of products and other problems.
Jeep posted teaser images of the Grand Wagoneer concept as well as videos of the Wrangler hybrid electric SUV on social media ahead of their debut. Both vehicles will be unveiled at 9 a.m. on September 3 on Jeep’s YouTube and Facebook pages.
The Wrangler will be a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, or PHEV, which means it will still have a traditional internal combustion engine and an electric powertrain. It is the first of its kind for Jeep in the United States. The vehicle will feature a “4xe” badge, a play on Jeep’s reputation as an off-road 4×4 brand.
The company has said that all of its Jeep models – traditionally known as gas guzzlers – will offer full or partial electrification by 2022. The company already has plug-in hybrid versions of its small Renegade and Compass SUVs in Europe.
“Going into the PHEV space for them is expanding the electrification of the business,” said Brinley. “They are behind the others … [Fiat Chrysler] decided to let this market mature a bit before embarking on it. “
The Wrangler 4xe is expected in U.S. showrooms in December, according to the company.