Enormous luxobarges like the Cadillac Escalade are all the rage. The bigger and thirstier the better. In the time of Donald Trump, many people feel it is incumbent upon themselves to drive a vehicle that shouts “Mine’s bigger than yours!” every mile. Jeep feels aggrieved because it doesn’t have a gas sucking ground pounder of its own. Why should General Motors be raking in all those fat profits with no competition?
In the fall, Jeep let it be known that it is contemplating a new SUV to be known as the Grand Wagoneer. Perhaps Jeep thinks everyone who remembers the original Wagoneer — a ponderous pachyderm with the handling agility of a hippopotamus — are dead, but there are few of us still around. If a Wagoneer is good, a Grand Wagoneer has to be even better, doesn’t it? It just stands to reason.
Speaking at the Paris auto show, Jeep brand head Mike Manley told the press the Grand Wagoneer concept was “moving forward.” In theory, it will compete with the likes of Range Rover, Porsche, and BMW. “I don’t think there’s a maximum price ceiling per se for Jeep,” Manley told Auto Express. “If you look at the upper end of the segment in the US, for me, the Grand Wagoneer done well can compete all the way through this segment.”
Manley hinted that the new Grand Wagoneer could retail in the $130,000 to $140,000 range. That’s a lot of cabbage. At the moment, the most expensive Jeep is the Grand Cherokee SRT priced at $66,795. If there is a Grand Wagoneer, it will not appear until the 2019 models roll off the assembly line. Sources suggest it will ride atop that latest version of the Grand Cherokee chassis due out at the same time.
Interestingly, $140,000 is about what a fully loaded Tesla Model X costs. Jeep execs wouldn’t be dumb enough to think people will equate its Grand Wagoneer with a Model X, would they? Sadly, the answer is seems to be yes, they are that dumb, at least when their heads are filled with dancing dollar signs.