A new Jeep Grand Cherokee is coming. We caught our first glimpse of a heavily camouflaged prototype in August 2019, and it’s remained an elusive creature in the spy photo world. We only have that single sighting to whet our appetite for the next-gen SUV, but a report from Allpar adds a bit more spice to the meal in the form of powertrain rumors.
With automakers moving to smaller turbocharged engines, there’s been some speculation that the next Grand Cherokee in standard guise (as in, anything not tweaked with SRT madness) would nix V6 and V8 engine options entirely. The Allpar report seeks to squash those rumors with news from an alleged insider that yes, buyers will still have a Hemi V8 and the Pentastar V6 to choose from. It’s unconfirmed obviously, and Jeep doesn’t offer any official word on in-development vehicles. But it makes sense to offer some familiarity for buyers in the insanely competitive SUV segment.
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However, those engines likely won’t be the only options on the table. A turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine will reportedly arrive several months after the Grand Cherokee’s launch. Power output isn’t known, nor is it clear if the four-pot might ultimately replace the V6 in the lineup. The prevailing theory is that Jeep will stick with engines familiar to buyers at launch, then introduce the 2.0-liter to warm them up to the idea of a four-pot Grand Cherokee. The Allpar report then talks about a plug-in hybrid model coming after that – possibly by as much as a year.
Any way you slice it, changes are coming for the Grand Cherokee and it’s about time. The current generation dates back to 2011, but age hasn’t tempered sales of the SUV. 242,969 units were sold in 2019, an increase of 8 percent compared to 2018. As such, we can understand Jeep’s reluctance to rock the boat too much with smaller engines and hybrid powertrains in a new generation.
We expect Jeep to reveal the new Grand Cherokee later this year as a 2021 model.