2021 Cherokee Spied with Huge Wheelbase & Independent Suspension!

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2021 Grand Cherokee

Codenamed ‘Tornado,’ it may be the rumored three-row 2021 Grand Cherokee, and may come with a Hemi-rivaling, turbo inline-six.

Back in June 2018, news broke out that the new Grand Cherokee will based on the Alfa Romeo Giorgio platform, per an interview with the late Sergio Marchionne and our friends at Motor Authority. Seeing as though the Cherokee has used Daimler’s SUV platform (along with its Dodge brethren) since 2011, this departure marked a big shift in FCA’s product development. It sounded awesome, of course. However, like a child who’s been promised a day at Disneyland over and over again without results, there was a little reason to believe that statement held any water. Despite learning later on that this Alfa Romeo-borne Cherokee would even get its own production facility, we still had our reservations.

You see, whispers of a three-row Jeep Grand Cherokee have been going on for nearly a decade now, and while it may have seemed like we’ve all been chasing a unicorn for so long, it appears those whispers have now swelled into a crescendo.

2021 Grand Cherokee

Jeep’s new SUV prototype, codenamed “Tornado,” has now been spotted in the wild, and it looks like a total behemoth for its class. It has a longer wheelbase, beefier wheels and tires, a larger rear overhang, and what looks like the iconic, traditional seven-slot grille. If you look closely, it also looks like the nose of the SUV is pointed. And I know what you may be thinking but that probably isn’t a nod to the old Wagoneers and Gladiators. It is more likely a result of the way the camo wrap is situated on the exterior rather than retro-centric design language. We’d like to be wrong, but we’re pretty certain that is indeed the case.

Going back to the more important bits, if you take a quick look at the back, you’ll see why it has those larger wheels. With the independent rear suspension in plain view and the exhaust tucked under the rear bumper, it’s clear that this prototype has some off roading applications. We’re not saying it’ll be a boulder conqueror, but it should certainly have no problem going on dirt trails and crossing streams.

And if the rumors are true, it’ll get plenty of AWD power with an updated version of the mighty Pentastar V6. It will supposedly also get a turbocharged, hybrid inline six-banger, similar to Mercedes-Benz’ 2019 lineup. We obviously have no stats, but the blown, hybridized powerplant is said to rival the 5.7-liter Hemis found in the the Ram 1500, Challenger R/T and Charger R/T.

Interestingly, the market analysts over at AutoPacific believe that the Giorgio platform will also host another three-row crossover due in 2022 that will serve as an proxy between the Grand Cherokee and the Grand Wagoneer. Does this suggest that Wagoneer may also make a triumphant return like the Gladiator did, or will it simply be a spiritual successor?Speculation aside, FCA’s next move with this platform is critical.

The 2021 Grand Cherokee is expected to reach showrooms next year.

Photos: KGP Photography

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Derin Richardson is a seasoned editor who's worked in print and digital media since 2008. He earned his Bachelor of Arts at California State University, Fullerton, and is an avid fan of American muscle. He oversees content for The Mustang Source, Mustang Forums, Dodge Forum, MB World, JK-Forum and 5Series.

As the grandson of a former L.A. Fire Department mechanic, he's grown up around cars and trucks most of his life. Some of his fondest memories are the times he helped wrench on his grandfather's 1941 Ford Pickup, which he endearingly nicknamed "High Yeller."

He currently drives a Red Hot 2018 Chevrolet Camaro SS but appreciates anything with four wheels and a little rumble.

Derin can be reached at [email protected]

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