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Jeep could be planning new Wagoneer SUV

by Drew Johnson

A Wagoneer might join the luxury-oriented Grand Wagoneer in Jeep showrooms.

Jeep's SUV offensive could include a new Wagoneer model to go along with its previously confirmed Grand Wagoneer, the company revealed in its latest business plan.

After months of rumors, Jeep confirmed in March of last year that it was planning to revive its storied Grand Wagoneer nameplate as a luxury SUV to rival the Land Rover Range Rover. However, Jeep might not be done rummaging through its archives as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne let slip that the company is also working on a new Wagoneer model.

"I think it's important for us to have found a home for the Grand Wagoneer family -- both the Grand Wagoneer and the Wagoneer -- in whatever shape they come, and that we find that space without creating additional production capacity,” Marchionne said, according to Automotive News.

While we know that the Grand Wagoneer will be a luxury SUV based on the Jeep Grand Cherokee's next-generation unibody platform, it remains to be seen what Jeep has planned for the Wagoneer. The Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer never existed concurrently, so it's difficult to draw a one-to-one conclusion, such as the Wagoneer will simply be a de-contented version of the Grand Wagoneer.

Although pure speculation at this point, it seems possible that Jeep could reintroduce the Wagoneer as a full-size body-on-frame SUV. That would sufficiently differentiate the two Wagoneer nameplates, and could also help with FCA's economy of scales.

Marchionne has already stated that FCA's Ram brand is seriously considering a new SUV based on the Ram 1500's next-generation truck platform, which could be the ideal foundation for the Jeep Wagoneer. In order to corner different segments of the market, FCA could offer two different wheelbases of the new body-on-frame SUV, such as a short-wheelbase Ram to take on the Chevrolet Tahoe and a stretched Jeep Wagoneer to compete with the Chevy Suburban.

The Jeep Grand Wagoneer isn't slated for introduction until 2019, so it will likely be at least another two years before we find out what Jeep has in mind for the Wagoneer nameplate.

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