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CAUGHT: 2021 Jeep® Grand Cherokee (WL) Prototype:

Next Generation Grand Cherokee Is Spotted For The First Time...

Our friends at KGP Photography happened to stumble across a 2021 Jeep® Grand Cherokee (WL) prototype near the Chrysler Technology Center in Auburn Hills, Michigan, earlier this week. It is our first time seeing the upcoming midsized Jeep SUV. So let’s take a look at what we know thus far, about the forthcoming Grand Cherokee.

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Prototype. (KGP Photography).

The all-new 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee will be based on the Giorgio architecture which underpins the award-winning Alfa Romeo Stelvio and Alfa Romeo Giulia. While we have talked about the upcoming Grand Cherokee beforehand, we have learned a lot more about the legendary Jeep. For the first time, there will be two versions of the Grand Cherokee produced in 2021. The first one is codenamed WL74. This will be a two-row version of the Grand Cherokee, which is a very similar layout to the Grand Cherokee’s formula since it made its debut in 1992. The second is a three-row version codenamed WL75. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) had already confirmed the vehicle when it announced that the company had intentions of creating the new Mack Avenue Assembly Plant earlier this year. While we don’t know just let if the three-row version will carry the Grand Cherokee nameplate, it will share the basic exterior and interior design as the two-row version, but with a longer wheelbase. 

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Prototype. (KGP Photography).

Under the hood of the all-new Grand Cherokee, it is expected that we will get our first look at the all-new GME-T6 inline-six cylinder turbocharged engine. Yes, an inline-six engine will be returning to the Grand Cherokee lineup for the first time since 2004. The new engine should have a little bit bigger displacement than 3.0-liters and will have many different variants throughout the FCA vehicle lineup for North America. We are told that both the 5.7-liter HEMI (with a possible eTorque version) and the third generation 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 will also make their appearance in the 2021 Grand Cherokee. Expect the all-new Grand Cherokee to come standard with a ZF-sourced 8-speed automatic transmission lineup, which will now be shifted via a rotary dial located on the center console. 

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Prototype. (KGP Photography).

The Grand Cherokee won’t lose any off its offroad capability either. According to our sources, a Trailhawk version of the all-new 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee will get a new generation of air suspension, allowing the midsized Jeep to be able to rise and lower faster, for those quick transitions off-road. Grand Cherokee will also get revised and more aggressive off-road modes, which will be controlled through a rotary terrain selector which will manage the air suspension, hill descent control, and terrain select. Expect more under armoring to help protect Grand Cherokee’s drivetrain as well.

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Prototype. (KGP Photography).

Inside, the WL will get much more refinement. A new much more modern dash layout with the climate vents running lengthwise along the dash will give the new Grand Cherokee a bigger cabin feel. A 7-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) screen will be standard in the gauge cluster, with more upscale models getting a newly designed high definition 10.1-inch TFT.  We are also told, we might see the new Uconnect heads-up display (HUD) as well.

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Prototype. (KGP Photography).

Infotainment systems will be revamped entirely too. Of course, the 7-inch and 8.4-inch Uconnect Touchscreens are back with new bezels, but the big news is the addition of an all-new 10.1-inch Uconnect Touchscreen with controls at the bottom of the screen. Yes, no 12.1-inch version from the Ram pickups, but the Grand Cherokee will get its own system. An optional Blue Ray player will be available for rear seat occupants and should feature similar rear seat infotainment offerings as the Chrysler Pacifica.

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Prototype. (KGP Photography).

Comfort will also be a massive improvement for the all-new Grand Cherokee. Our sources tell us that the 2021 Grand Cherokee will feature the same second-row seat frames as the comfortable Alfa Romeo Stelvio. Front-row seats will feature seat frames from the Chrysler Pacifica, with just a tad bit more upper bolstering. These seats will give a lot more comfort than the current layout, and we are told it will also get an optional massage function for the front seats. Yes, massaging seats!

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Prototype. (KGP Photography).

There is a lot to be excited about with the upcoming Grand Cherokee and we can’t wait to see this vehicle to make its debut. We expect the vehicle to make its official debut at the 2020 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, which for the first time will be held in June on the 9th and 10th. So we are just under a year from the official unveiling.

2021 Jeep® Grand Cherokee (WL) Prototype Image Gallery:

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Mike Volkmann

Michael Volkmann, a mechanical engineer in the steel industry, autocrossed and road-raced Neons. Michael has drag raced his 1971 Duster 340, 2015 Dodge Charger SRT392, 2009 Challenger R/T, and Neons, of which he’s owned seven — one SRT4, three ACRs, and three Sport Coupes.

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