Jeep has confirmed it will expand its lineup with a range-topping three-row crossover in the near future.
The crossover will likely be called either Wagoneer or Grand Wagoneer, nameplates used on a series of full-size Jeeps built from the early 1960s to the early 1990s. The off-roader’s exact dimensions are not known but Jeep has hinted that it will ride on a brand new platform that will also underpin new models built by Dodge, Chrysler and possibly even Fiat.
The Wagoneer will offer space for up to seven passengers in its biggest configuration. It will boast a well-appointed cockpit with a long list of high-tech features in order to fight head-to-head against similarly-positioned models from European automakers, notably the iconic Land Rover Range Rover.
“Jeep and Range Rover have historically competed. Range Rover is the other pure SUV brand in the world, so they will always be our competitors,” explained Jeep CEO Mike Manley in an interview with English magazine Autocar.
The Wagoneer is expected to considerably boost Jeep sales around the globe. The company is on track to sell over a million cars in the United States this year, and it is hoping that a slew of new products and an increased effort on international markets will allow it to nearly double that figure by 2018.
When to expect the Wagoneer is up in the air. Some sources say it will bow at a major auto show in late 2015 and go on sale shortly after, while others believe it won’t be introduced until 2017 at the earliest.