We recently showed you pictures of a couple of prototype 2021 Jeep® Wagoneer mules (codenamed WS) caught near the Chrysler Tech Center in Auburn Hills, Michigan. But one of our eagle-eyed readers has spotted the new Ram 1500-based Jeep SUV out on the West Coast in California. Robert Oakley (Rjo9981) caught a Wagoneer prototype out testing on public roads near the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in Los Angeles, California, this past week.
The all-new modern Wagoneer will be the largest vehicle in the Jeep lineup and is based on the all-new 2019 Ram 1500 (DT) architecture. You will notice that the box and the cab are formed together to create one piece, creating a shorter wheelbase. The “roll bars” coming from the back of the cab go towards the back of the “box” where they go into the body to help add structural rigidity to the test mule body.
The shorter wheelbase of the Wagoneer gives us a reason why we see a Quad Cab cabin welded together with part of a cut-down short box. The Wagoneer prototype that was spotted this past week also carries camouflage underneath the rear concealing the new independent rear suspension, replacing the Ram’s solid rear axle. According to our sources, Jeep engineers have equipped several of the prototypes with a similar air suspension system to the Ram 1500. This will allow the Wagoneer to have load leveling as well and additional capability off-road like the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk.
It goes to show that the 2021 Jeep Wagoneer is in full-swing in development. This is exciting news considering, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has been talking about producing the Wagoneer since 2013. It will offer the company a competitor for the offerings from General Motors with the Tahoe/Suburban, Yukon/YukonXL, and Escalade/Escalade ESV and Ford Motor Company with the Expedition/Expedition Max and Navigator/Navigator L variants.
Expect the Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer (WS) models to 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 Grand Cherokee 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.