Next-gen Jeep Grand Cherokee spied for the first time

3 years, 7 months ago - 11 June 2019, Autoblog
Next-gen Jeep Grand Cherokee spied for the first time
It gets a longer wheelbase, but the design doesn't stray too far

The current Jeep Grand Cherokee has aged well, but it's still very old, and a new one looks to finally be around the corner. Our spy shooters just caught what we think might be a Grand Cherokee prototype running around what appears to be FCA property.

We see many differences between it and the current Grand Cherokee, but the general shape of the vehicle is what gives it away. Even with all the tenting and deceptive cladding, the Grand Cherokee's iconic silhouette and styling remain consistent. A few big things we noticed off the bat include a longer wheelbase and a longer rear overhang.

Mechanically, the late FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said the next-generation Grand Cherokee would use a modified version of the "Giorgio" platform used by the Stelvio and Giulia. The current version use a platform shared with the previous-generation Mercedes GLE/M-Class, and was the first Grand Cherokee generation to feature four-wheel independent suspension. The prototype we see here is similarly outfitted.

Moving to Giorgio opens a lot of doors for Jeep to play with powertrains, electrified ones included, as the Alfa platform was designed with this in mind for the future. We'll assume that Jeep will be making changes to harden the bones for off-road duty. How far they go is one of the questions we'll be asking upon the vehicle's reveal.

The prototype's front-end design is largely masked by the strange cladding and armor, so don't be fooled by the structures up there. With this larger wheelbase and length, we'll expect the Grand Cherokee to offer more utility. Expect additional legroom and cargo space, two areas where the current model falls short.

It's tough to say exactly when we'll see the production version of this next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee. The company's latest road map has the two-row Grand Cherokee slated in the 2022 section of the chart seen below. It's toward the beginning, though, so perhaps this will be a 2021 model year vehicle. Jeep's current generation Grand Cherokee was introduced as a 2011 model year, which in car terms, was eons ago.