Since this article was written, it has been confirmed that this vehicle is scheduled for the 2019 model year…
A couple of weeks ago, we showed you spy shots of a Chinese-market 2019 Jeep Grand Commander PHEV mule testing out on the streets of Metro Detroit. Our friends at Real Fast Fotography have done it again. Catching a couple of 2019 Jeep Grand Commander PHEV mules testing around the FCA Auburn Hills campus.
While the mule we seen a couple of weeks ago was a roughly cut up altered Jeep Cherokee with a long wheelbase. This is the first time we are seeing the PHEV in its final production form out in the wild.
Our very own Mike Volkmann, had to say this about the Grand Commander PHEV in the last article…
Thanks to platform and parts sharing, the recently announced Grand Commander PHEV (plug-in hybrid) will use many of the components and lessons learned from the popular Pacifica Hybrid. The Grand Commander PHEV will use a similar continuously variable transmission with two motors, but instead of using the 3.6-liter V6 connected to a one-way clutch to drive the vehicle when the batteries are low, it uses a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder making 265 horsepower. – Mike Volkmann (MoparInsiders.com)
What gives the Grand Commander PHEV away from the standard production is the driver side rear “filler” door. However, instead of housing a gas tank filler neck there is a plug for the hybrid system apart from the standard gasoline filler door on the passenger side of the vehicle. The vehicle looks like it will be using the same 240-volt charger as the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid.
The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid uses a 16-kWh Li-Ion battery which is good for about 33 miles of range. We expect range similar to that vehicle.
As we said in the last article, it is very doubtful that the Grand Commander will come to the North American market. The vehicle even though it is based on the Jeep Cherokee (KL), is very different. Because of the packaging of the three-row of seats, the departure angles and approach angles are very different from the Cherokee. As of right now, we have yet to see a Trail Rated Jeep Grand Commander. Grand Commander is marketed as more of an urban luxury Jeep in the Chinese market than an off-roader.
Recently at the Capital Markets Day presentation on June 1st, FCA released information about another new niche of the market that the Jeep brand was looking at tackling. The “Urban UV” is what Jeep is calling a modern interpretation of capability in the automotive world. It will have the ability of being AWD all-weather capable with assist from electrified powertrain. This vehicle would also feature some level of autonomy capability. The first vehicle for this niche, is the Grand Commander PHEV. Versions of the Cherokee, Grand Cherokee and Wrangler will have options that fit this criteria by 2022.
FCA also released information on top of the electrified powertrain, that the Grand Commander would be receiving a level three or L3 autonomy capability around the 2021 model year launch of this vehicle. In the right conditions, the car would manage most aspects of driving, including monitoring the environment. The system prompts the driver to intervene when it encounters a scenario it can’t navigate.
The Grand Commander PHEV will have an all digital gauge cluster, unlike the standard production Jeep Grand Commander and Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. It also appears that Grand Commander will showcase an electronic all-wheel drive (AWD) system, where there is no driveshaft from the transmission to turn the rear wheels (since the Grand Commander is front-wheel drive or FWD based). However, the vehicle will have a separate electric motor(s) system to turn the rear wheels when the wheels detect slippage.
While it is more than likely we will probably not see the Grand Commander here in the North American market, it doesn’t mean a vehicle very similar couldn’t be produced under another FCA US nameplate… maybe Chrysler.
2019 Jeep Grand Commander PHEV Image Gallery: