To say that the ungainly Jeep Commander was unworthy to take up the mantle of the classic Grand Wagoneer, last sold in 1991, is stating the obvious. Jeep will have a chance to redeem itself when it revives the Grand Wagoneer nameplate for a new luxury SUV. Based on the vastly improved new Grand Cherokee and the related Dodge Durango, it's planned for the 2014 model year and might look like our spy illustrator's artwork here. Like the recently discontinued Commander, the new Grand Wagoneer will feature a third row, which Jeep sees as essential for a full-size luxury SUV. But this time, Jeep will stretch the wheelbase and add extra rear overhang to accommodate it. The idea is for the biggest Jeep to compete with the likes of the Cadillac Escalade. Pricing will likely start at more than $40,000.
Grand Cherokee SRT8
WHAT Hot-rod version of the new Grand Cherokee.
WHEN Late 2011
MORE POWERFUL, MORE POSH The previous Grand Cherokee SRT8 was seriously fun, but the new generation's additional polish should make this superfast Jeep a real challenger to the German high-performance-SUV crowd. Using the bored-and-stroked 6.4-liter Hemi from the 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8 and the Challenger SRT8, output increases from 420 (hp and lb-ft) to 465 (hp and lb-ft), which we hope will be enough to overcome the new Grand Cherokee's weight gain. The five-speed automatic returns but adds shift paddles, and adaptive dampening is new. Brembo again supplies the brakes, which are visible behind twenty-inch wheels. The previous model's center-exiting exhaust gives way to a more substantial towing package. LED lighting, unique lower bodywork, a body-color grille, and black roof rails set the SRT apart visually.
WHAT Compact front-wheel-drive/four-wheel-drive crossover -- a successor to today's underachieving duo.
WHEN Late 2013
A SECOND CHANCE AT SMALL The next small Jeeps will be one of the first tests of Fiat/Chrysler compatibility. It will use the B/C architecture that underpins the current Alfa Romeo MiTo/Giulietta and will be built at a Fiat factory in Turin. But beyond the synergies, this new model also needs to redeem the whole idea of a compact Jeep crossover.