Back in 2009 – Chrysler revealed a plan. A plan that would bring them out of bankruptcy and back into big three status. Last week they re-upped for another five years and gave us a glimpse into the future of the brand.
The 2009 plan consisted of vehicle refreshes, replacements, and resurrections. To sum up: a new B segment vehicle would be constructed from fiat platform (2015 Renegade,) the C segment Compass and Patriot would be replaced by a single vehicle (still waiting.) Liberty and Commander would meet their maker – Liberty to be replaced (2014 Cherokee) and Commander to simply be forgotten. Wrangler would receive pentastar power, and the Grand Cherokee would get a much needed refresh.
Those goals have either been completed, or are in the works… Commander was gently put to pasture, Grand Cherokee returned to Grand status, Liberty was replaced by the very successful KL Cherokee, the Renegade made it’s global debut to mostly warm welcomes, and Wrangler finally has, almost, enough power. Last week – Chrysler laid out their plan for the next five years.
To sum up, the Grand Wagoneer which has been hinted and teased since 2009 has been confirmed… But we’ll be waiting at least 3 years before we even get a glimpse of it… I’m guessing a 2017 reveal in New York. That same year we’ll see a Grand Cherokee redesign… Expect them to share a platform – the Waggy getting a stretched version (and wood trim, right Jeep?)
The yet to be named, and barely spoken about, Patriot/Compass replacement has huge potential given the available power trains in the new Cherokee and Renegade. With the high end Renegade sharing the same 2.4L / 9 speed setup as the base Cherokee – I’m curious to see what options the Compriot will get. I’m expecting the same 2.4L / 9speed power-train – but maybe they have another trick up their sleeve… Only time will tell. Jeep has hinted that neither name will be renewed; will we see another classic name resurrected? or something new all together.
The most important part of the new five year plan is the Wrangler redesign. We’ll see the JK replacement in 2017 – keeping with the Wrangler’s 10 year life cycle.
I’m not expecting a huge overhaul with the new Wrangler. The next Wrangler will be what the TJ was to the YJ. Making slight body style changes, but keeping the same overall shape. This redesign will be all about efficiencies, comfort, and making sure non of its competition can touch it off road. It will most likely have some powertrain upgrades, maybe a V8 or diesel option, new transmissions, and possibly even an independent front end. I almost think that Jeep starts a lot of these rumors themselves to keep us interested. The next generation Wrangler will likely bring with it a lot of controversy… but I’ll deal with it as long as it also comes with a pickup variant.