Concept Cars

New Grand Wagoneer Concept drives Jeep deep into premium vehicle territory

The Grand Wagoneer Concept appears to be pretty close to what we'll see IRL from the model when it arrives next year.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The Grand Wagoneer is back! Well, almost. Before the production-ready version of the SUV makes its way to showrooms across the U.S., Jeep is showing off the Grand Wagoneer Concept.

If you were hoping for a completely retro style throwback, prepare to be disappointed. However, there are design nods to the nameplate's heritage throughout the concept that, with any luck, will make it into production.

Born in America in 1962, Wagoneer evolved to Grand Wagoneer in 1984. It left the Jeep lineup in 1991 but has become a hot commodity as buyers appear willing to pay upwards of $100,000 for a used model.

2020 Grand Wagoneer Concept The model features a familiar rectangular backPhoto courtesy of FCA US LLC

"Our new Grand Wagoneer Concept marks the first step in the rebirth of Wagoneer – a true and rare premium American icon," said Christian Meunier, Global President of the Jeep brand – FCA. "With the electrification of each Jeep nameplate coming in the next few years, and the reintroduction of Wagoneer, we are quickly expanding into new segments and more premium space.

Jeep has given the concept a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle powertrain and 4x4 off-road system. Though it's just a concept, Jeep has confirmed that the model will get a Quadra-Lift air suspension, an independent front and rear suspension, "unmatched towing capability", and "powerful performance".

To achieve the "unmatched towing capability", it is likely that the model will have to be able to tow over the 8,500-pound high water mark that the Nissan Armada has set for three-row SUVs.

As shown, the SUV wears an Artic Ice exterior paint color.

2020 Grand Wagoneer Concept - Exterior

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The exterior of the concept is just as luxe as the interior, taking Jeep design in a direction it's never gone. There are Obsidian Black accents across the exterior including the Obsidian Black-accented grille that features the brand's iconic seven slots. Each slot has lightweight latticework. The space above and below each is lit creating a new signature LED design.

The grille is flanked by bi-function LED projector headlamps that are also seen on the current Jeep Grand Cherokee. The lamps are housed in teak wood. Below are LED fog lights and an Obsidian Black aluminum front skid plate and two tow hooks.

The design team created a custom-made font for all of the Concept's exterior lettering. It spells out Wagoneer on the front of the SUV, with the letters glowing in darkness thanks to subtle illumination. Raised aluminum letters with copper-side accents spell out "Grand Wagoneer" on the lower third of each front door. An American flag flanks the aluminum letters.

The Wagoneer has the common profile of a three-row SUV, but with a Jeep design twist at the front and rear. The concept rides on 24-inch multi-spoke Obsidian-finished aluminum wheels featuring 3-D printed elements. A three-piece wheel cap features the Wagoneer logo suspended in acrylic.

At the rear are LED taillamps that wrap around the body of the SUV. A rear diffuser sits below the SUV's power tailgate. At the rear, the concept has a back window reminiscent of that in the original iterations of the Grand Wagoneer, as well as a classic-ish stance.

The concept's taillights are designed to work together to create a welcome sequence illumination that engages when activated via remote.

As a nod to its manufacturing home and the Brand's headquarters, the Grand Wagoneer Concept's full-pane glass roof houses a map showcasing Detroit and the surrounding area. Though this likely won't make it into production, the inclusion in the concept is a fun nod to the Easer eggs in design Jeep has become known for. Flanking the roof are four tie-down hooks, each outlined in teak wood.

"The original Grand Wagoneer was the first premium SUV, and its timeless design combined with the soul of Americana helped it achieve an iconic place in many hearts," said Ralph Gilles, Head of Design – FCA.

2020 Grand Wagoneer Concept - Details

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

"The Grand Wagoneer Concept's interior is spacious and features premium materials that accentuate our team's obsession to detail and celebrates American craftsmanship," Gilles added. "A full digital cockpit takes advantage of leading technologies that are beautifully presented with expansive and easy-to-use screens and limited buttons, allowing the focus to be placed on a pleasant and intuitive experience for the driver and passengers."

This concept design marks the first time Jeep has installed a third row in the Grand Wagoneer. It seats seven with captain's chairs in the first and second rows.

The interior of the model features sustainable materials, helping to further advance FCA's continued work to make their models, manufacturing, and design process more sustainable. An onyx glass mid-bolster runs the length of the instrument panel. The glass is a fully recyclable material that is made of an abundant natural raw material.

It appears to float as the eye moves halfway down the console thanks to a bolster made of raw aluminum, which was also chosen as the key material for creating the door speakers, shift knob, and vent surroundings.

2020 Jeep Grand Wagoneer Concept Interior Seats

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Additionally, the SUV's headliner is made of Dinamica — a recyclable premium microfiber suede. The concept's carpets are made from Thrive fiber, which is comprised of recycled content using pre- and post-consumer materials. PUR, a sustainable synthetic material, was chosen to upholster all of the seating, console, door and instrument panel surfaces.

Many of the interior elements were designed to bring back memories of the Grand Wagoneer of yesteryear. The two-spoke steering wheel and "EST. 1963" inscription on the outer edge of the instrument panel just inside the front driver's-side door are two such elements.

Customizable ambient lighting enhances the SUV's interior.

Wood abounds in the cabin. The instrument panel features heat-treated lacewood while the entire panel features a raw edge design.

In front of the driver is a 12.3-inch driver's information screen. In the center of the vehicle is a 12.1-inch horizontal infotainment touch screen with a 10.25-inch horizontal comfort control touch screen below. The concept features a 10.25-innch screen in front of the passenger as well as twin 10.1-inch entertainment screens on the front seatbacks for second-row occupants to enjoy.

2020 Grand Wagoneer Concept - Interior

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The infotainment system runs on FCA"s latest version of Uconnect – Uconnect5

The Grand Wagoneer Concept is the only vehicle audio system in the world powered by McIntosh. The system features 23 custom-designed speakers connected to a 24-channel amplifier. Audio elements are designed in aluminum and Gloss Black.

Jeep's plans for the Wagoneer don't end with just one model. The company plans to deliver Wagoneer as a portfolio of products that they say "redefines 'American Premium' and delivers a unique customer experience".

Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer production vehicles to be built in Warren, Michigan next year.

Expect to hear more from Jeep regarding the Wagoneer brand soon.

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New sports car

The Acura Integra is coming back in 2022

This is all we know about the new Integra's styling.

Acura

Secrets are hard to keep these days. It seems like new products always end up being leaked by one of the hundreds of people involved in the development process, to the point that even the most secretive companies have a hard time unveiling a product that people don't already know about. That wasn't the case this week, though. After announcing the final version of its NSX supercar at Monterey Car Week, Acura took to the skies with an impressive drone show that eventually spelled out a message no one expected to see: The Integra is coming back in 2022.



The original car launched in 1986, and its legend grew over time. After accumulating dozens of awards and spawning an entire industry around customizing and enhancing the Integra, Honda and Acura discontinued the car in 2001. We saw a successor to the crown in the Acura RSX for a few short years afterward, but it's been 15 years since a small, tossable sports car has graced the Acura catalog. Granted, Honda has been on a tear with the Civic Si and Civic Type-R, but there has been a hole in the Acura lineup for some time now.


Acura Integra The original Integra is the stuff of legend.Acura


Waiting is the hardest part, as they say. Other than the gorgeous drone display and tantalizingly mysterious teaser photo, we know nothing, which is a difficult spot to be as a car enthusiast. There are a few details, though. The car will return in 2022 as a "compact premium entrant," according to the press release. Company VP and Acura Brand Officer Jon Ikeda also said that the car is "returning to the Acura lineup with the same fun-to-drive spirit and DNA of the original, fulfilling our commitment to Precision Crafted Performance in every way – design, performance and the overall driving experience."

Given parent company Honda's success with performance versions of the Civic, we're optimistic that the 2022 Integra will put its compact dimensions to good use on the road and on the track. We'll have to be patient, though, because official details won't become available until closer to the car's introduction in 2022.


2022 Acura Integra Acura shared the new Integra's logo.Acura

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Biden will target 50 percent of all vehicle sales for EVs by 2030.

Ford

In the last several months, we've seen automakers from all corners of the globe commit to some degree of electrification by the end of the decade and beyond. That includes the American Big Three: Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and Stellantis (Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, others). Today, President Joe Biden plans to throw his weight behind these efforts by signing an executive order that sets a goal of pushing the sales of zero-emissions vehicles to half of all vehicle sales in the U.S. by 2030.

Biden's target is not legally binding, but the industry is already jumping on board. In a joint statement, Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis confirmed that they aim to hit an EV sales volume of 40-50 percent annually. It's worth noting that the President's 50 percent goal and the automakers' sales targets also include plug-in hybrid vehicles, which still use a traditional gasoline engine.


Jeep PHEV The target also includes plug-in hybrid vehicles, which still use gas engines.Jeep


Auto unions and dealers are not opposed to the ambitious roadmaps laid out by the Big Three, but both have differing views on what is essential and how things will ultimately play out. While aware of the goals, the UAW is focused on wage growth and the preservation of jobs and benefits. It feels that an increase in EV production volume must happen here in the U.S. to include good-paying American union jobs.

Dealers, to a degree, are supportive of the goals but skeptical of their ultimate success. Some feel that electric vehicles do not present the earth-shattering shift in functionality and usability that other new products, such as smartphones, did in different industries. Regardless of concerns and skepticism, it appears that automakers are going all-in on the shift to electrification, so we're bound to see a wealth of new battery-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in the next few years.


GM battery facility rendering Automakers are pledging billions to increase EV and PHEV production volume.GM

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