Watch out, Land Rover: Jeep’s new flagship SUV has its sights set on luxury 4x4s

Jeep Grand Cherokee
Back in October, we reported that a new Jeep Grand Wagoneer was on the way, and that it would provide a competitive capstone to the American company’s strengthening lineup.

A new report by Autocar confirms Jeep’s plans, and it’s clear that the range-topping Wagoneer has developed into something of a passion project for brand CEO Michael Manley.

“I think that vehicle will very, very effectively compete with premium SUVs,” he said. “I’ve always talked about Grand Wagoneer and that for me is a big focus and will fill out the brand at the top.”

The new Wagoneer will likely be the largest vehicle under the Jeep banner and feature three rows of seating, which will pit it head-to-head with the Land Rover Discovery. And that’s something that Manley is perfectly comfortable with.

“With Grand Cherokee we’ve proven we can compete at the very premium end of the segment,” he continued. “But [Range Rover is] the only other pure SUV brand in the world, so they will always be competition.”

One note of concern could be the forthcoming Maserati Levante SUV, which, like the Wagoneer, sits under the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles roof. According to Manley, both luxury SUVs can exist independently without cannibalizing sales.

“Maserati and Jeep are two very different brands,” he said. “I have zero sleepless nights about the launch of their vehicle. The Levante will play in a part of the market that Jeep is not playing in.”

The Grand Cherokee SRT (pictured) is currently the king of Jeep’s current lineup, and the carmaker recently gave the performance model an apt facelift.

The 6.4-liter Hemi V8 makes 475 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque for the 2015 model year (5 more of both than before), and a new, ‘Red Vapor’ appearance package adds 20-inch wheels and striking black chrome trim.

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