Let me begin by saying that I am absolutely in love with the new Jeep Wrangler. When I saw it in 4-door guise, it became what I always wanted it to be. If I had a choice between a new BMW and a Wrangler, the Jeep would win every time. Maybe because it is kitsch or sub-culture cool. Maybe because I can get more use out of it or maybe because it is a Jeep – a symbol of tenacity and consistency. Now that that is out of the way, I have ample room to tell you about the flurry of news streaming from Chrysler’s off-road brand. There is quite a bit to report.
- A Renegade small crossover is planned for the third quarter of this year and has already been slated for a 2017 model year refresh. Talk about planning ahead.
- Jeep will revive the Grand Wagoneer name for a plus-sized, more-luxurious Grand Cherokee with a third-row seat. Something I thought the Commander should have set out to do. Will it have wood paneling? We will keep our fingers crossed.
- Jeep’s plans to totally redesign the Grand Cherokee for 2017. Good news for GC fans and good because the next Grand Wagoneer will rest on the updated architecture instead of the current setup.
- Jeep’s next-generation Wrangler is due in 2016, and will offer a pickup truck version. I know what you’re saying: “Didn’t they try that one before?” Nope. Jeep did try a pickup based on the Cherokee, called Comanche, but hey, let bye-gones be by-gones. The Wrangler is a more receptive platform to a pickup design and it just makes more sense. Let’s hope the general public agrees with me.
- An as-yet unnamed C-segment SUV will make its debut in ’16, If the Patriot and the Compass lines continue to fill out the bottom line, they will get a facelift as well.
- Finally, The legacy of Jeep deserves a campaign that will, like itself, stand the test of time. The newest campaign for Jeep will be airing two commercials to push its Altitude Editions, Call of Summer and Lovers of the Game, that feature the song “Love Never Felt So Good” from Jackson’s upcoming album of new music. Well, let’s say unreleased music. I don’t want to spark any fiery water cooler discussions.
Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving is featured in one of the commercials tooling around in his white Altitude Edition from which he lands a perfect shot.
2016 will be an unusually important year for Jeep; fitting as it will also mark the company’s 75-year anniversary. You have two years to get yourself together for that. You just know it’s going to be a year filled with events, special editions and news stories. Jeep has been making a lot of moves lately and with the plans they have laid out for the next five years, they won’t be still for a while. Jeep is jumpin’!!!