Jeep will also use the Grand Cherokee nameplate for a three-row SUV.
The interwebs have been abuzz about FCA’s 5-year plan dropped at Fiat Chrysler’s investor conference earlier this week, and another tidbit has surfaced regarding the next generation Jeep Grand Cherokee. The current Grand Cherokee can trace its lineage back to the Daimler Chrysler days, and was engineered for both the range-topping Jeep and Mercedes’ midsize ML. It’s good, but that was a long time ago, launching as a 2011 model.
For a model as important (and profitable) as the Grand Cherokee, Jeep should have something already in the works. Which it apparently does. And that something is the Alfa Romeo Stelvio platform, which is derived from the Giulia’s Giorgio platform. Speaking with Motor Authority, CEO Sergio Marchionne said: "It started originally off the Alfa architecture, which has now been modified and extended to reach both a two-row and a three-row Grand Cherokee." He followed it up with reassurances for the Jeep faithful that it would still be Jeep-y enough to do Jeep things.
While Marchionne didn’t provide specific dates for the upcoming Grand Cherokee, it should be next on the to-do list since every other model in the Jeep lineup is either newer (Renegade and Wrangler) or significantly refreshed (Cherokee and Compass). Marchionne did say that the platform engineering work has been done, likely in tandem with the large, three-row Alfa Romeo SUV that is reportedly on its way. Not only will the Grand Cherokee share the platform with the large Alfa, but as is implied from the comments above, the Grand Cherokee will spawn a three-row variant much like Lexus has used its popular RX nameplate for a three-row RX L version.
However, the Grand Cherokee won’t be the ultimate range-topping Jeep for very long. The Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer will aim for an entirely different tier of the market, competing more with Maserati than any other FCA brand, but riding on a different platform altogether. And as is the case for pretty much every other upcoming Jeep, expect plug-in hybrid models with ever-evolving autonomous driving capabilities.