Hybrids, Hemis & Turbos: The Redesigned 2021 Grand Cherokee Could Change the Game
While Ford has been getting a ton of interest about the upcoming debut of the 2021 Bronco, the reborn Bronco isn’t the only important new SUV that’s due in the coming months.
Over at Jeep work has been going full steam ahead on a fully redesigned Grand Cherokee, and if speculation and leaks are to be believed, the next gen Grand Cherokee has the potential to be a game changer. So what exactly do we know about the new Grand Cherokee at this point?
First off, we know a redesigned Grand Cherokee is long overdue. Because while Jeep has done a more than commendable job keeping the current one fresh, the existing WK2 Grand Cherokee platform has been around for over a decade now, first debuting at the New York Auto Show back in 2009.
Further building on the platform sharing within the FCA family, the next generation Grand Cherokee will use the Alfa Romeo Giorgio platform, which currently underpins the Giulia sedan and Stelvio SUV. The Grand Cherokee, though, will be significantly larger than those two vehicles.
And while the Alfa Romeos may be known for their on-road sporting demeanor, Jeep will be putting significant work into the Grand Cherokee to make sure it lives up to the brand’s reputation for toughness and off-road capability.
While at this point we don't know exactly what sort of powertrain options the next generation Grand Cherokee will offer, you can rest assured that there will be plenty of them.
Speculation suggests FCA's 2.0 liter turbocharged four cylinder could serve as the entry level engine, with a hybrid-assisted version of the 3.6 liter V6 also being a potential volume offering.
A turbodiesel engine could be in the mix as well for those looking for a nice mix of fuel economy and towing capacity. One would also expect at least one form of the current Hemi V8 to return, too.
Given Jeep's well publicized push toward electrification, its also possible that the next gen Grand Cherokee will eventually be offered in plug-in hybrid form to compete with an ever-growing number of plug-in SUVs from competitors.
Given the Jeep reputation for off-roading, the new Grand Cherokee should of course be available with AWD and 4x4 drivetrains, and the hard core Trailhawk model will likely return as well. One of the biggest questions will be how Jeep adapts the Alfa platform into an off-road SUV worthy of the name.
Last but not least, there's the likely return of the high performance SRT and Trackhawk Grand Cherokees. This is an area where the Giorgio chassis has potential to shine.
Just imagine an SUV with the driving dynamics of the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio but with the legendary supercharged Hellcat V8 providing the power.
While Jeep has yet to confirm the debut timeline for the next generation Grand Cherokee, rumors have the new model debuting as a 2021 model.
It's possible that the shut down over the recent Coronavirus pandemic has pushed back FCA's new product calendar, but given how important the Grand Cherokee is, it's likely to remain a high priority.
Now we just wait and see what this long-anticipated redesign brings to the table.
And you know, while we're at it, we wouldn't mind seeing a V8-powered Alfa Romeo Giulia as well. Just saying.