Jeep’s upcoming push into the luxury market with the 2019 Grand Wagoneer will also enter new territory with a hybrid variant. Jeep brand chief Mike Manley said that, considering the timeline of the Wagoneer’s debut (expected for 2018), some level of electrification will be a “required” part of the lineup and strongly hinted that the gasoline-electric version of the SUV will use a plug-in hybrid powertrain. Already, the Volvo XC90, BMW X5, and Porsche Cayenne all offer plug-in-hybrid variants.
The next-generation Jeep Wrangler is also slated to offer a hybrid powertrain, so it stands to reason that the two SUVs will share some components such as electric motors and/or battery packs. It’s possible that the Jeep hybrids could use elements of the Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid’s drivetrain, too. Some changes will be necessary, however, considering that the Pacifica rides on a front-wheel-drive platform and the Jeeps will be rear-drive based, with four-wheel drive a necessity.
Current estimates place the repeatedly delayed Grand Wagoneer’s arrival sometime in 2018 as a 2019 model. Manley said the company is still evaluating whether to offer a choice of wheelbase lengths for the Grand Wagoneer. The vehicle is expected to use a version of the next-generation Grand Cherokee’s platform and will offer three rows of seats. In addition to the hybrid, Chrysler’s Hemi V-8 engine likely will be on the menu for those who consider a plug-in hybrid and a large luxury SUV incompatible notions.