Is this the face of the upcoming Jeep Grand Wagoneer?


Excerpt from TFLcar.com‘s “Ask Nathan”

This first question comes from a fan who wants to know about the Jeep Yuntu concept on display at the 2017 Shanghai International Auto Show. He thinks it’s the upcoming Jeep Grand Wagoneer.

Q: Hi Nathan and crew. What the HELL IS GOING ON IN CHINA!?

So I’m browsing the internet looking for spy shots of a few cars when I see something that blew my mind. I just saw a three row Jeep on display at the Chinese auto show and it looks production ready! Is this going to become the Jeep Grand Wagoneer? If this is so, why the HELL IS IT IN CHINA FIRST!!!??? I don’t get it. Why would Jeep do this to its American base of fans?

Will the Jeep Wrangler JL debut at the Moscow auto show!? I am totally stupefied by this move from Jeep and Fiat. Maybe we’ll see the debut of the next Ram 1500 in Tokyo!? Please tell me there’s some logic behind this! There’s not much being said about this from anyone.

Nathan, Roman, Andra and Tom! Help!

Armon

A: Hi Armon,

I moved your email to the top of the list because there have been several confused Jeep fans out there. I will do my best to give you (and everyone else who has reached out to me recently) everything I have on it.

First: it’s not known as a Jeep Grand Wagoneer. It’s called the Jeep Yuntu Concept and it appear to be strictly a one-off concept vehicle built for the Chinese market.

Truck Trend caught this quote from Jeep: “This new concept includes futuristic exterior design, flexible interior and a plug-in hybrid powertrain. SUVs are the fastest-growing segment in China and the Jeep Yuntu Concept showcases the potential for the Jeep brand to keep expanding in the country.”

I have a friend who was at the show and got a good look at the Jeep Yuntu Concept. He says it looks like they gutted and stretched a Jeep Grand Cherokee to build this rolling concept. We both think that, if this concept (which is a plug-in hybrid) was anything more than a mockup, it might share its plug-in hybrid system with the Chrysler Pacifica and have a mix of parts to make it extremely clean and efficient for China.

Keep in mind: what many outlets are not reporting is that China is aggressively going after cleaner vehicles, especially electric vehicles, for public consumption. This would prompt FCA/Jeep to play with a Jeep built for their market that is capable of electric efficiency while still looking like a Jeep. I would gio as far as to say the rear wheels could be like Toyota’s hybrid setup on the Highlander and have an electric motor powering the rear wheels only when needed.

The question remains: is the Jeep Yuntu a future Jeep Grand Wagoneer? I doubt it. I think the design cues are Jeep-ish, but it looks too much like a Grand Cherokee and, I’m pretty sure the brand wants to go in a different design direction.

Still, Jeep is becoming enormously popular in oversea’s markets. People like the image of Jeep, even if they don’t need the capability. Maybe this is a side-step into uncharted territory.

I honestly believe Jeep is so busy readying their hype for the upcoming Jeep Wrangler JL, adding something like a Jeep Grand Wagoneer to the immediate mix makes little sense. In a year or so, that could change.

I’ll be keeping an eye on this – promise!

N

This next question comes from a fan who has some questions about our Ford F-150 vs the F-250.

Q: Hey guys, I’ve been following you for a while and thanks to all your great testing I ended up buying myself a 2016 F150 3.5EB super crew. I love the truck!