By on May 27, 2017

2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit, Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles isn’t talking about future products, so all we’re left with is some drawings from a design patent and an undecided jury. Still, the images are intriguing, as they show a seven-seat utility vehicle a vaguely familiar face.

Jeep’s mystery vehicle could be one of two planned models, one of which could make FCA big bucks in the United States. At least, once it figures out how to build the thing.

The patent, filed with the European Union Intellectual Property Office and discovered by AutoGuide, looks like a potential next-generation Grand Cherokee. However, there’s a problem. The Grand Cherokee will remain a two-row SUV when it debuts in either 2018 or 2019, but the vehicle in the images clearly has space for three rows.

Could the vehicle in the images be the company’s planned Grand Wagoneer? It’s possible, as the front fascia appears somewhat similar to that of a Wagoneer we’ve seen teased in the past, with some key differences. It certainly looks like a stretched Grand Cherokee, which was FCA’s original plan for the model — at least until recently. In January, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne claimed the upcoming range-topper would adopt body-on-frame architecture.

If that’s truly the case, the Grand Wagoneer will likely borrow the frame of the next-generation Ram 1500.

The vehicle in the patent filing certainly looks like a unibody model, which leads to the more likely possibility it’s an overseas model we’ll never see. Jeep plans to market a production version of the Yunta seven-seat crossover concept in China.

Right now, FCA’s main goal is keeping the tight schedule of the next-generation Jeep Wrangler and Ram 1500, both of which will start production within the next near. Luxury can wait.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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28 Comments on “Mystery Jeep in Patent Filing Gets Everyone’s Hopes Up...”


  • avatar
    Vulpine

    I personally think they’re headed in the wrong direction if they go much bigger. The only way this thing would pass any kind of economy restriction is if it uses hybrid or battery technology.

    There are other vehicles they could build that would offer similar capacity without moving up onto a truck frame.

    • 0 avatar
      AdventureSteve

      There are many vehicles I’d like to see Jeep build, and this doesn’t sound like one of them. They’re not interested in moving in the right direction for their customers, they want to move in the most profitable one.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      Economy restrictions are for little people. These will be priced where they need to be to keep the volume down. Pricing them there will bring in the money to subsidize the compliance crapboxes.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        FUEL economy restrictions, Dan. I thought we were the B&B and understood how to take things in context.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          @Vulpine, Dan has it right, economy doesn’t matter on a vehicle like that. As he stated they will price it such that if it does miss its target based on its wheelbase there will be enough margin that they can sell a couple of fuel sippers to meet CAFE and still end up with a big profit. Or they can sell a few with the EcoDiesel at least if they can make good on the Eco part and get it approved again.

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            The old Wagoneer with the 360 V8 4-barrel carb was a real gas guzzler, but loaded with luxury features, it was snapped up by the wealthy. A 3-row model with Jeep 4WD cache and all the lux toys will compete with the Land Rover Discovery and LR4, and maybe the Escalade. In that price range, they don’t have to sell that many to make it worthwhile, and fuel economy isn’t even on the list of must-haves for the target buyers.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Except, Scoutdude, the company killed off its fuel sippers, remember?

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            What’re you talking about Fiat hasn’t gone anywhere. If someone wants something boring that’s where they go. It’s not like they’re going to build a SUV that gets bad MPG, even if they put the 6.4L in it, it would still probably average 15-16 worst case. No one makes affordable engines that get bad MPG anymore.

            It’s a damn shame really, big engines that don’t rev high but produce big numbers down low. That’s the American dream.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            15-16 is bad mpg if you ask me. My 1973 Gran Torino barely topped that with a 302 under the hood. (5.0L for those who don’t remember the old C.I.D. designations.)

  • avatar
    hreardon

    Nothing quite so exciting – look at the patent filing again: it’s basically a Dodge Durango with a stretched Grand Cherokee grille. My suspicion is that this is indeed what the Wagoneer will look like, plus the styling cues for the next generation Grand Cherokee.

    • 0 avatar
      LXbuilder

      Word on allpar is this is the Chinese only Jeep K8, which is base off the CUSW Cherokee, but with new sheet metal and a stretch job to allow a 3rd row of seating. The front overhang is way longer than the Durango/Grand Cherokee, but just right for the fwd based Cherokee.

  • avatar
    Johnster

    I don’t see why Jeep couldn’t add a couple of new large 3-row SUVs. They could have one shared with the Grand Cherokee (a rebodied Dodge Durango) AND a larger Tahoe/Suburban-type vehicle based n the Ram pickup.

  • avatar
    mikeg216

    The wagoneer will be on the ram 1500 and grand wagoneer on the ram 2500… So dual solid axles on the top end model and yes a Cummins.

    • 0 avatar
      Truckducken

      That’ll be great – moms rollin’ coal in the private school parking lot!

      NVM the Wagoneer rumors; I’m awaiting the rebirth of the Ramcharger.

  • avatar
    bodayguy

    That looks like a stretched Durango. If that’s all they intend styling-wise for the Wagoneer, they are missing a huge opportunity.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Add a little crease here, a little chrome there, leather seats and lots of bells and whistles, and you have a winner. Nobody ever went broke giving the (wealthy) public what it wants, with hefty margins. It’s hard for automotive aficionados to accept why we can’t have a compact Ranger, convertibles, small sporty two-seaters, or manual transmissions anymore: the automakers can’t make money on them.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Looks like the new compass to me, cheap plastic and no ground clearance.

  • avatar
    Garrett

    No “wood” panels, no care.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Aw, the “wood panels” on the old Wagoneer were vinyl decals anyway. Some dealer or aftermarket company could make a killing by designing decals for those who want the look, and offering installation.

  • avatar
    SuperCarEnthusiast

    Personally, I like to see the design go back to a more boxy look instead of the trend towards sleeker and more minivan like.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      You may have something there. The old Wagoneer was about the size of the current Grand Cherokee, but its boxy shape made it seem bigger. Just stretch the wheelbase to the 300/Charger length for the third row, and it’ll probably sell. A lot of wealthy people probably remember riding in the old “limited” (luxury) Wagoneer when they were kids in the ’70s and ’80s. The closer it looks to what they remember, the better. Isn’t the resemblance to the old jeeps what sells the Wrangler?

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        IIRC, part of the pitch for the XJ Cherokee was that it had almost as much interior room as a Grand Wagoneer. Having folded into the back seat of Grand Wagoneer when they were new and I was a skinny six foot tall teenager, I’d say that was true.

        Found the stats – XJ had 72 cubic feet of cargo space with the back seat folded. The SJ had 74.5 cubic feet of cargo space with the back seat folded. It’s worth noting that the SJ was a cramped two-row SUV, not a 7-passenger anything.

        http://www.allpar.com/amc/1987-1989-jeep.html

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