The “Desert Rated” badge debuted earlier this year on the Gladiator Mojave for those in need of a more capable pickup truck courtesy of hardware upgrades complemented by off-road-inspired design tweaks. A few days ago, a rumor emerged about the Wrangler being the next in line to get the Mojave treatment, and it seems additional models are on the way if we were to rely on a new report from Motor Trend.
The gist of the story is Jeep wants to slap the Desert Rated badge on the revival of the Wagoneer. While the article only refers to the regular Wagoneer getting a Mojave version, we know for a fact Jeep will also sell a larger Grand Wagoneer, with both using the same underpinnings as the Ram 1500. The bigger of the two body-on-frame SUVs could even get the high-powered Trackhawk treatment based on a document from gearbox manufacturer ZF discovered a few years ago.
Gallery: 2022 Jeep Wagoneer spy photos
There’s also the possibility Jeep will launch a Grand Cherokee in Mojave flavor based on the SUV’s next generation, although the article states the company could ultimately decide to go with Deserthawk. That suffix is reserved for versions that have more off-road capabilities than the standard model but are not as competent on bumpy roads as a Mojave-spec vehicle. Speaking of Deserthawk, the Cherokee also appears to be a candidate and it would follow the desert-inspired Renegade Deserthawk introduced as a special edition for the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show.
While the nomenclature might seem a bit confusing at first, it does signal Jeep’s intentions to launch tougher models tailored to those who do serious off-roading. These Mojave variants carrying the Desert Rated badge perfectly fit with the company’s ethos, but bear in mind the next Grand Cherokee will be an entirely different vehicle as it will allegedly switch to the Alfa Romeo Stelvio’s Giorgio platform.
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Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Jeep has pushed back the start of production for the Grand Wagoneer and Grand Cherokee by several months, although it’s unclear whether that will also impact the reveal dates for the two highly anticipated models. As you may recall, the company is planning to introduce an additional SUV by giving the Grand Cherokee a three-row version. We spotted a prototype at the end of March, signaling a new member of the family that will slot between the standard Grand Cherokee and the Wagoneer.
Aside from adding new models, Jeep wants to become the world’s “greenest, most sustainable SUV company” by offering a wide array of plug-in hybrids and EVs further down the line. Jeep got the ball rolling with the Renegade, Compass, and Wrangler plug-in hybrid “4xe” models, but there’s more to come in the following years as several PHEVs are said to be in the pipeline.