Jeep is preparing three brand new off-roaders that will give you deja vu

2016 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Hard Rock
Ronan Glon/Digital Trends
Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has announced it’s investing $1 billion in two factories located in Michigan and in Ohio. The money will go toward modernizing the facilities, and re-tooling them to build at least three new Jeep models and a Ram pickup truck in the coming years.

The company explains the investment was spurred by the growing popularity of crossovers, SUVs, and pickups in the United States. When the renovations are complete, the Warren Truck Assembly Plant on the outskirts of Detroit will bring two legends back to life — the upcoming Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. The Wagoneer was arguably the first luxury 4×4 ever built, and although it automatic transmission and independent front suspension were revolutionary their their time, the Wagoneer is most revered for its wood-grain side panels and undeniable 1980s nostalgia. The Warren Truck Assembly Plant’s extra capacity will also allow FCA to shift production of the Ram heavy duty truck from Mexico to Warren, Michigan.

Jeep is outfitting the south plant of its Toledo, Ohio, complex to assemble the next-generation Wrangler and the recently confirmed pickup variant. Rumors indicated we’d see the new 2018 Wrangler earlier this week during the Detroit Auto Show, but newspaper The Blade has learned it won’t debut until later this year because production isn’t scheduled to start until November.

At this point, it’s unclear whether the standard Wrangler and the Wrangler truck will be presented at the same time, or if we’ll have to wait a few more months for the pickup model to arrive.

Details about Jeep’s born-again Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are scarce at best because they’re not expected to launch until 2019 at the earliest. However, FCA’s announcement seemingly confirms they won’t share a platform with the Grand Cherokee. Instead, they’ll likely be body-on-frame models built on the same bones as the next generation of the Ram pickup.

FCA needs to get approval from government officials in Michigan and in Ohio before it begins the renovations. If everything goes according to plan, the work will be completed by 2020, and the company will have created over 2,000 jobs. Of course, history has shown that FCA’s plans are subject to change at the blink of an eye.

Product Review

Inside Maserati's Levante SUV beats the heart of a Ferrari

Maserati’s luxury SUV gets a shot in the arm by way of Ferrari-derived V8 power, but is it enough to go toe-to-toe with the established players in the high performance sport-utility segment? Let’s find out.

Tesla could show the electric pickup Elon Musk is dying to build in 2019

Tesla has started designing its long-promised pickup truck. The yet-unnamed model will come with dual-motor all-wheel drive and lots of torque, plus it will be able to park itself.

2019 Ford Ranger saves fuel without sacrificing towing capacity

The 2019 Ford Ranger marks Ford's long-awaited return to the midsize truck segment, which has seen a resurgence lately. But will being late to the party make Ford's job more difficult?

Gateway’s born-again Ford Bronco boasts classic style, 2018 muscle car power

Illinois-based Gateway Bronco has received a license from Ford to make brand-new examples of the first-generation Bronco. Every build starts with a Ford VIN and a donor vehicle, but Gateway upgrades every part of the car.

These winter-warrior cars will never leave you out in the cold

Snow can be an absolute pain if your vehicle isn't optimized to handle that sort of terrain. If brutal snowstorms are an annual part of your life, we recommend you pick up one of these winter-ready vehicles.

2020 Toyota Supra caught hiding in a trailer without a shred of camouflage

Toyota's plan to once again lure enthusiasts into showrooms involves bringing back the Supra, one of its most emblematic nameplates. Here's what we know so far about the upcoming coupe, which Toyota is developing jointly with BMW.

Driving a prototype 2020 Passat at Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground

Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground is where new cars are tested to the breaking point, including the 2020 Passat midsize sedan. Ride along as the new Passat completes testing ahead of its 2019 launch.

NYC mandates minimum wage for Uber, Lyft, other app-based rideshare drivers

New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission approved a rule that drivers for companies such as Uber and Lyft must be paid at least minimum wage, even though they are independent contractors. The new pay rate includes operating costs.

LM Industries’ autonomous shuttles head to Phoenix, Sacramento campuses

LM Industries will deploy Olli low-speed autonomous shuttles at school campuses in Arizona and California as part of its ongoing "fleet challenge," which asks local groups to propose uses for autonomous vehicles.

Bosch’s CES-bound shuttle concept takes us on a trip to a not-too-distant future

Bosch envisions a future in which driverless shuttles occupy their own market segment. The German firm won't build the shuttles, but it wants to provide everything else, ranging from the drive system to the apps used to hail them.
Emerging Tech

A lidar-equipped truck knows exactly how much de-icer to apply on roads

Lidar is best known as the laser-based technology that helps self-driving cars sense their surroundings. But the city of Knoxville has another, more seasonal use for it: De-icing roads.
Product Review

Boring takes a back seat as 2019 Corolla Hatchback mixes fun with practicality

We drive the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback, the latest hatchback to bear the Corolla name. As the best-selling nameplate in automotive history, Toyota has high expectations to meet. This model mostly lives up to the legacy.

Hertz speeds up car rentals with biometric scan technology

Biometric security technology that uses face, fingerprint, and voice recognition is gaining traction, with Hertz emerging as the latest company to incorporate it into its daily operations.

McLaren puts the pedal to the metal in special-edition OnePlus 6T

The OnePlus 6T is yet another flagship killer smartphone, bringing powerful specifications to a much lower price than the competition. Now, OnePlus has teamed up with McLaren for the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition.