While we’ve learned that Dodge’s next-generation Charger and Challenger won’t in fact utilize a platform handed down from Alfa Romeo or Maserati, the same can’t be said for FCA’s next all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee. According to Motor Authority, Alfa Romeo’s Giorgio platform, which props up both the Giulia sedan and Stelvio crossover, will support Jeep’s next-generation midsize crossover. Motor Authority figures on a 2019 or 2020 release for the new model, coinciding with the current WK2’s eight- or nine-year-mark.
What’s more, according to FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne, the platform has already “been modified and extended to reach both a two-row and a three-row Grand Cherokee,” meaning most of the heavy lifting is already done. Marchionne’s comment also suggests that the three-row “E-segment” (midsize) crossover Jeep has in the works will also be branded as a Grand Cherokee.
Around the same time that the next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee arrives, the rugged FCA brand will also enter the full-size SUV market with the new body-on-frame Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. Jeep also has a new city car-sized crossover in the pipeline for the European market, but that’s not expected to sell in North America.
Perhaps most momentous of all, the Jeep Grand Cherokee will premiere a Level 2 automated driving system for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, giving users the option to engage an enhanced cruise control capable of accelerating, decelerating, executing lane changes, and following the curvature of the road without input in certain highway conditions. It’s uncertain precisely when that feature will hit the market, but chances are sooner rather than later, as FCA is already working on Level “2+” and Level 3 semi-autonomous systems for deployment by 2022.