Spied! Next Generation 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Caught Testing In Northern Michigan

The new Grand Cherokee will be larger, reportedly ride on an Alfa Romeo platform

[Photos: TFLcar | Matt H.]

The current Jeep Grand Cherokee WK2 is one of the brand’s best-selling vehicles, but it’s been in production for nearly a full decade. Since it first arrived in 2011, FCA has given it a steady stream of updates, including the crazy 475 horsepower, 6.4-liter Grand Cherokee SRT and the ludicrous 707 horsepower, supercharged 6.2-liter Trackhawk. The current generation has been a resounding success, but it’s time for a change. We expect to see the finished 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee next year, but before that TFLcar viewer Matt spotted this pre-production mule testing in Traverse City Michigan — about 225 miles from FCA’s Auburn Hills headquarters.

Spied! All-New 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Caught Testing In Northern Michigan
You can’t mistake that face for anything other than a Jeep.

So what do we know about the new Grand Cherokee so far? Back in June 2018, former Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said the new model will ride on a stretched Alfa Romeo platform. More specifically, the Giorgio platform that currently underpins the Giulia sedan and Stelvio crossover. It’s physically larger than the previous generation, though this model will remain a two-row SUV. An as-yet unnamed three-row crossover will eventually sit above the Grand Cherokee, but below the impending Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. It will still be a unibody vehicle with independent rear suspension, based on the Alfa Romeo revelation.

The current Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango share a Mercedes-Benz platform developed while DaimlerChrysler still existed, before Chrysler’s 2009 bankruptcy and the formation of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles as we know it now.

The rear end shares its profile with the current Grand Cherokee, though it does look a bit larger than before.

Possible powertrains

The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee should retain Jeep’s current range of engine options, although with some hybridization. The 5.7-liter Hemi V8 should remain the top dog, though it may only be available with FCA’s eTorque hybrid assist system. The same story goes for the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, another brand staple. FCA could also fit the new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine from the Wrangler as an entry-level engine.

There are rumors floating around about a new inline-six engine as well, so that could complement or even replace the 5.7-liter Hemi V8. The 3.0-liter EcoDiesel should also return, as it’s currently making its way to the 2020 Ram 1500 as well as the Jeep Wrangler. Beyond that, it’s tough to say whether the 6.4-liter Hemi will remain for the SRT. It’s even less likely than the Trackhawk will return, though given how I feel about the current one, I certainly hope it does.

Pricing = ?

Since the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee is all-new, it’s tricky to predict pricing. It’s a larger car on a new platform that may have some new engine choices. All that could skew prices from what we’ve been used to over the past ten years. All that said, it’s not crazy to expect a slight price increase over the current WK2 model’s $33,540 starting price.

The most expensive Grand Cherokee is currently the Trackhawk, which starts at a whopping $86,900. With that huge gulf from the entry-level Laredo, where the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee will top out on price is anyone’s guess at this point.