The Jeep® Grand Cherokee is the most awarded SUV nameplate ever and the vehicle that has long defined what a premium SUV should be. It is also one of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ (FCA) best-selling vehicles, so it is easy to say there is a lot of pressure on the Jeep team to continue to the success of the current Grand Cherokee as the brand gets ready to launch its new generation (codenamed WL).
What a lot of people don’t know, is there will actually be two Grand Cherokee models launched for the 2022 model year. Grand Cherokee (codenamed WL74) replaces the current model and offers two-rows of seating, but the iconic SUV brand isn’t stopping there. A new three-row version (codenamed WL75) is also coming, which has yet to be officially named. Sources close to MoparInsiders are saying that the name Grand Cherokee Unlimited is one of the leading contenders among the product planning committee.
FCA has already announced and started construction to convert the two plants that make up the former Mack Avenue Engine Complex into the future assembly site for the next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee, it’s new yet to be named three-row variant, and both of those vehicles’ electrified plug-in hybrid (PHEV) models siblings. The new plant will be called “Detroit 1 Assembly” according to our sources and will have 3,850 employees to help assemble the new Jeep Grand Cherokee at the $1.6 billion assembly plant.
The Jefferson North Assembly Plant (or JNAP as it is currently called), will be receiving a $900 million investment to modernize and retool to build the upcoming two-row version of the new Jeep Grand Cherokee (codenamed WL74), as well as the updated version of the current Durango. Our sources have indicated that the JNAP facility will wear the name “Detroit 2 Assembly” after the launch of the Mack facility.
The new three-row Grand Cherokee will be the eventual replacement for the current generation Dodge Durango, as the Durango will eventually move to a larger shared body-on-frame platform from the upcoming Jeep Wagoneer (codenamed WS) in 2023. Until then, the Durango will be competing against the new three-row Grand Cherokee in the marketplace.
While the three-row variant of the Grand Cherokee was supposed to launch before the end of 2020, our sources inside FCA are now telling us that the launch date for the new SUVs has been pushed back 3 months due to the COVID-19 (or Coronavirus) pandemic. While FCA has halted production for the time being and most of its operations in North America are scheduled to restart May 4th, construction on the Mack Avenue plant has been stopped too, due to the lockdown order put in place in the State of Michigan. We expect to see the first new three-row models to roll off the new assembly line, just before Christmas of this year.
While we have recently discussed the powertrains going into the upcoming all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee, we have learned new information about those powertrains and figured we would take a brief moment to discuss them. The new powertrain lineup will consist of the following…
- 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 with eTorque (will be the standard powertrain for both WL74 and WL75).
- 2.0-liter Turbocharged I-4 with eTorque (optional powertrain makes 270 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque in current Wrangler Unlimited application).
- 5.7-liter HEMI V8 with eTorque (Ram’s HEMI with eTorque system, will be coming to the WL, however, expect a different calibration with different power output).
- 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 eHybrid (using an Atkinson Cycle version of the Pentastar as well as an innovative ZF-sourced 8-speed automatic 8HP hybrid transmission with electric motors capable of driving the vehicle’s wheels).
Both the normal Pentastar and HEMI engines will be available at launch. The 2.0-liter Turbocharged I-4 is scheduled to start production in May of next year, with the PHEV model starting production in August 2021.
While we have talked about the upcoming GME-T6 turbocharged inline-six engine in past articles, the GME-T6 will not be available upon the launch of the all-new Grand Cherokee. Expect that powertrain to come into the mix in the 2024 model year. Also absent from the powertrain lineup is a diesel offering for the North American market. This comes as FCA will push more for electrics in the North American marketplace, rather than diesel, which will still continue to find the way under the hood of the next-generation Grand Cherokee in other global markets.
Stay tuned to MoparInsiders this weekend, as we will continue to breakdown the all-new next-generation Grand Cherokee and some of its interior features and new tech features. For those of you who can’t get enough of the upcoming Grand Cherokee (WL) models, MoparInsiders has created a new specifically dedicated forum to the new Grand Cherokee at WLJeepForum.com. There you can join in on the discussion of everything surrounding the latest Grand Cherokee. The site launches officially, this weekend.