Jeep Reviving Grand Wagoneer Nameplate for New Seven Passenger SUV

It’s been almost twenty years since we’ve seen the storied Grand Wagoneer nameplate affixed to a new Jeep model, but that may soon change. According to Jeep officials, the moniker will be revised for an all-new model, which is expected to launch in 2013.

The Wagoneer name was first used in 1963 for the company’s new SJ-platform SUV, and it quickly became a staple of the Jeep portfolio for the years to come. The Grand Wagoneer, which was built from 1984 through 1991 (and briefly in 1993, albeit as a tarted-up Grand Cherokee), provided passengers with luxurious appointments -- something Fiat/Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne wants continued when the nameplate is resurrected.

“It’s time we gave the market an upper-scale Grand Wagoneer,” Marchionne said at a press conference at the Detroit auto show yesterday. “You’ll see it in January 2013.”

According to Marchionne, the Grand Wagoneer will be a seven-passenger SUV based on the WK2 platform, which is already used beneath today’s Grand Cherokee and the new 2011 Dodge Durango. The seven-passenger configuration suggests it may have more in common with the Durango, which was stretched five inches to accommodate a third-row seat.

The move isn’t entirely unprecedented -- after all, the seven-seat Commander was derived from the last-generation WK Grand Cherokee platform -- but Marchionne promises the new vehicle will be an entirely beast.

“That [Commander] was unfit for human consumption,” Marchionne remarked when Automotive News asked how the new Grand Wagoneer would differ from the Commander. “We sold some, but I don’t know why people bought them.”

Details are still fleeting, but Marchionne noted the Grand Wagoneer will launch in 2013, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see it built alongside its WK2 siblings in the Jefferson North assembly plant located in Detroit, Michigan.  Marchionne did note the Grand Wagoneer will be priced higher than other WK2 luxury models, including the Grand Cherokee Overland Summit and the Durango Citadel.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)

As someone who has owned three Wagoneers in the past, knowing that it'll be sharing the platform with the Durango and Grand Cherokee gives me pause. In fact, the one photo I've seen of it reminds me of a Commander with a few GW styling cues on it. If, however, they were able to get the interior with the Cumberland Cord fabric and the Oxford leather from the original GW's, then I'll be waiting at the showroom with cash in hand. Those chairs were the best things about the Grand Wagoneers...
Hopefully it will provide more room front, middle and rear for its passengers than the new Durango which from the sources I have read say that the second row suffers from lack of room for passengers. Chrysler is on a roll and I applaude them. In my lifetime Chrysler has been much maligned by everyone, some of it justified, most of it unjustified,and undeserved. I have a Jeep GC 2004 model and it is a great, reliable vehicle. I wish Chrysler much success for the future. It would do we Mopar fans much good to see Phord and General Mess of Crap sucking canal water for the long foreseeable future.

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