Jeep unveiled the Grand Cherokee L at the beginning of the year, but for whatever reason, the company is taking its sweet time unveiling the two-row version. Granted, it did briefly show the electrified 4xe model a little over a month ago during the eventful Stellantis EV Day, but a full debut is still to come. Meanwhile, our spies have stumbled upon a prototype of the five-seat SUV undergoing final testing and devoid of camouflage.
As you would expect, it looks virtually identical at the front and rear as its bigger three-row sibling. The main difference is the side profile, specifically aft the front doors. The greenhouse is smaller, especially if you compare their quarter glasses. In addition, we are getting the impression the rear doors are not as wide as they are on the L model. Look closer and you can see the chrome line follows the quarter glass' upper contour rather than remaining almost flat as it's the case with the three-row version where it serves a visual divider between the roof and rear pillar.
The prototype in question appears to be a Limited trim, which starts at just under $47,000 for the three-row model. Since this isn't an Overland or Summit model where the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 is offered, the test vehicle likely has the base 3.6-liter V6 Pentastar engine with 290 horsepower and 257 pound-feet of torque channeled to the road via an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission.
Reports state a new Trackhawk has been ruled out as parent company Stellantis is switching focus to electrification and downsizing at the detriment of "dinosaurs" such as the supercharged V8. Not all hope is lost as some say a high-performance Grand Cherokee could still happen, allegedly with the long-rumored inline-six engine dubbed "Tornado" and combined with a mild-hybrid setup for better efficiency and improved low-end output.
Surely the official debut is likely around the corner as we're expecting the two-row Grand Cherokee for the 2022 model year. It will join Jeep's expanded SUV lineup, now including the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer as the flagship models positioned above the Grand Cherokee L.