In another story from this year’s Easter Jeep Safari, we explored the notion that the Wrangler Africa Concept is toying with future changes we could see on the next-gen Wrangler. The Grand Cherokee Overlander Concept subtly does the same thing by exploring a tweak to the suspension system that Jeep hasn’t publicly done before.
The Grand Cherokee Overlander is not the first concept GC concept, nor is it the first to feature the available 3.0-liter V6 diesel engine. It is, however, the first to increase lift on the vehicle by adjusting the vehicle’s air spring suspension. As Head of Jeep Design Mark Allen notes, the air spring strut height was increased an inch, basically giving the Grand Cherokee a full 3-inch lift when the air suspension system is fully maxed out. This tweak, along with the opening of the wheel wells slightly, helps accommodate a larger 32-inch tire and also to provide enough clearance so the body won’t rub the tires on the trail.
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Allen and his team also designed a new front fascia for the front bumper to accommodate enclosed auxiliary lights and also house a fully functioning winch for off-road recovery. With the growth of the overland market and more long-term off-road exploring, the rooftop tent idea is hardly a new one, but we can’t think of ever seeing one on Grand Cherokee. The hardtop rooftop tent on the Overlander provides sleeping quarters for two adults, up off the ground, and most importantly it frees up some storage space since a tent won’t need to be carried inside. Allen notes the 3.0-liter diesel engine makes sense since this is the powerplant that most overlanders will prefer due to its improved mileage range and low-end torque.
The idea of a Grand Cherokee that’s even more trail capable is an interesting proposal. This is one of those vehicles where Jeep seems to be asking, “Is there an audience for this?” We think it’s an interesting take, but we want to know what you think so chime in with your thoughts below!
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