It has been a while since Jeep tried to match the likes of Porsche Cayenne or Range Rover, as the Wagoneer line was discontinued in 1991 after almost three decades of loyal service. However, the world was not quite the same ever since so Jeep has finally decided to renew an old nameplate and hope there are still enthusiasts out there who can dish out $140,000 for an SUV that has not been seen in more than 20 years. Let’s see if the waiting was worth it.
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The recently closed Auto Show in Paris featured Jeep’s own Mike Manley making a statement regarding a prospective new SUV that will stand at the top of the food chain and take the premium SUV market by storm. It is the price tag of $140,000 that surprised everyone, as this is not exactly a price many people would be willing to pay for an SUV, regardless of what badge and features are offered. And those that are will most likely stick to one of their favorites rather than risk it with a newcomer. The niche was simply deemed too small for another luxury SUV, but Jeep begs to differ.
When talking about the new Grand Wagoneer, Manley pointed out that there was never really a solid price ceiling for Jeep, which translates into him saying there is no limit to all the gadgets and trimmings that may be made available to new Jeep owners. For the right price, of course. Anything to get the new lineup going. Their priority is to establish the Grand Wagoneer back to its rightful place, and everything else comes second. This is going to be an uphill battle, so it is probably a good thing Jeep likes rough terrain.
So far, the top of Jeep’s lineup was nowhere near the level that the 2018 Grand Wagoneer is aiming at. The best they can offer right now is the Grand Cherokee SRT, and it costs $70,000 less than this new top of the line model. While they did establish a loyal client base for its lesser models, it is unlikely that too many of them would have the means to upgrade to a $140k model. This is why Jeep has to appeal to an entirely new crowd, and that is going to take some serious upgrades in terms of technology, engines, and other features.
There is a reason the lineup was discontinued back in the day, and in order to make a comeback, the company is going to be forced to make compromises and adjustments that far exceed those they were unwilling or unable to make in the early ’90s. Needless to say, the old layout is not going to hold up to modern standards. Keep in mind that the customer base that is willing and able to pay this much money is not comprised of enthusiasts who want more of the old thing; they want something new and exciting, only in a manner of the good old days.
Then again, we never thought the ancient 3.8-liter Tornado engine and its 140 hp are going to satisfy any of them. The engine lineup, transmission and almost every aspect of the old model would have to be scrapped and replaced with modern pieces. Apart from its name, badge and perhaps a design detail or two, this is going to be a much different beast. In fact, rumors suggest that Maserati Levante might provide a lot of the basic components, including the engines.
This would give the 2018 Jeep Grand Wagoneer possibility to employ 3.8-liter V8 turbocharged gasoline powerplant as well as a 3.0-liter V6 diesel unit. If the interior and exterior take cues from Italy as well, we are most likely looking at a stylish model with lots of leather and high-quality materials. That and loads of new technology and gadgets are going to provide the basis for this new vehicle.