It’s HEMI Day, and what bigger news could there be than some spy photos from our friends at KGP Photography of a new HEMI-powered vehicle. The long-awaited Jeep® Wagoneer has finally started it’s testing phase. Originally announced in 2013, the Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer (WS) has been put on hold so many times that the public has had doubts about the vehicle ever making it into production.
The Ram 1500-based Wagoneer marks a historic rebirth of the legendary nameplate of the Jeep brand. It also marks a significant move for the Jeep brand, going head to head with vehicles like the GMC Yukon Denali and Lincoln Navigator.
This test mule uses a chopped up body from a 2019 Ram 1500 Big Horn Quad Cab, however, a quick look at the vehicle tells us a lot more about the upcoming future big Jeep SUV. First off the structure support bars coming from the base of the box to the back of the cab, shows us that this vehicle is immediate being used as a mule for SUV duty. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) engineers have hung material hanging behind the rear suspension, to hide that this vehicle has ditched the Ram 1500’s solid rear-axle in favor of an independent rear axle setup, and the vehicle is riding on a set of the 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie Sport’s 22-inch aluminum wheels showing us that the Jeep is going full after the luxury market SUVs from the Ford and General Motors brands.
This test mule is based on the short-wheelbase Wagoneer model. Yes, there will be two wheelbases offered on the WS-platform to do battle with the Yukon/Yukon XL and Navigator/Navigator L models according to our sources. Now, originally the Grand Wagoneer nameplate was originally thought to be an extreme luxury variant of the new vehicle, with a starting price of well into the $100,000 USD range. Again, according to our sources that is also false. The long wheelbase variant of the WS-platform will wear the Grand Wagoneer nameplate. While there will be luxury trim levels offered, we expect the pricing of the Grand Wagoneer to be very competitive with the Yukon XL Denali.
The power under the hood will come from an array of powertrains according to our sources. The 5.7-liter HEMI V8 is likely to make it’s appearance, as is the all-new GME-T6 turbocharged inline-six-cylinder engine. Our friends at WK2Jeeps.com, stated back in 2016 that the Grand Wagoneer could feature the 6.4-liter HEMI V8 (BGE or Big Gas Engine) from the Ram Heavy Duty lineup, as an offering. It is also possible we might see the Ram 1500’s version of the updated 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 also make its debut. We also expect that all powertrains will be backed by the ZF-sourced 8-speed automatic TorqueFlite transmission lineup.
The Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer (WS) models will be produced at the Warren Truck Assembly Plant (WTAP) alongside the current Ram 1500 Classic models in late 2020. While there is a three-row Jeep vehicle that has been announced for production at the upcoming Mack Avenue Assembly Plant that FCA is currently planning on constructing out of two of their former facilities in the City of Detroit, that vehicle will be a unibody SUV about the same size as the current Dodge Durango model. This body-on-frame SUV does not have the ability to be built on the same assembly line as that vehicle.
As you may remember, we broke the word that the next-generation Dodge Durango (codenamed SD) would also join the Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer on a Ram-based platform, has been put on hold to allow for additional capacity at the WTAP. That vehicle is still scheduled to make its debut, however, the current Durango will stay in production alongside the next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee (WL) at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit for an additional two model years according to our sources.
Stay tuned as we continue to bring you all the news, information, and spy photos on the new body-on-frame Ram-based Jeep Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer lineup.
2021 Jeep Wagoneer Test Mule Image Gallery: