The Wagoneer name dates back to the 1960s and was used over the years on a line of SUVs from various marques, with many pundits describing the vehicles as some of the first upscale off-roaders.
While most other automakers, including luxury SUV stalwart Land Rover, were building relatively utilitarian models, the Wagoneer models were coming with such amenities as independent front suspension, automatic transmissions and power steering--rarities for off-road vehicles at the time.
Jeep now plans to revive one of its most hallowed nameplates, the Grand Wagoneer, for a new upscale SUV with seven-seat capacity. That was the promise made by Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne who announced at a press conference at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show this week that a new Grand Wagoneer will arrive by January of 2013.
It will share a platform with the recently launched Grand Cherokee and the Dodge Durango. Interestingly, 2013 will also see the launch of a Maserati SUV based on the same platform.
Marchionne also reaffirmed Chrysler's plans for continued investment in its Hemi range of V-8 engines, despite fears that fuel prices could creep past the $5 per gallon mark and stay there. This means you can expect a Hemi V-8 option on the Grand Wagoneer, in addition to the almost certain Pentastar V-6.
The last Grand Wagoneers were sold in 1991, mostly to wealthy clientele. The new generation is expected to keep that positioning, remaining as the most expensive model in Jeep’s lineup.