Tired of watching rival brands capitalize on strong demand for luxury SUVs, Jeep is planning to launch new Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer models to take the brand into much loftier pricing territory than we’re used to seeing.
Sergio Marchionne, who heads Jeep parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles [NYSE:FCAU], in early 2015 said Jeep was working on a rival for the Range Rover, which starts at $86,645 and top outs at $171,990 for the extra-chic SVAutobiography Dynamic model.
Jeep CEO Mike Manley has reaffirmed Marchionne’s promise to directly challenge the Range Rover, explaining to Auto Express that the new Grand Wagoneer could nudge the $140,000 mark. “Pushing the car up to $130,000 to $140,000 may be possible, but we need to establish Grand Wagoneer in its own right first,” he said.
The new Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are expected to utilize a stretched version of the next-generation Grand Cherokee’s platform and arrive on the market in 2018. Both will be three-row SUVs, while the Grand Wagoneer will be particularly plush, just like its predecessor which in the 1980s offered leather trim, thick carpeting and power everything.
Unlike in the 1980s, the Grand Wagoneer this time around will face plenty of competition, including from the Levante from fellow FCA brand Maserati. Audi and BMW also plan to enter the large, luxury SUV segment with their respective Q8 and X7 models, and Lincoln is working on a new Navigator. And for those with serious cash to burn, there’s Bentley with its Bentayga and Rolls-Royce with its Project Cullinan. Mercedes is also likely to launch a Maybach version of its next GLS.