2023 Jeep Wagoneer Trailhawk Future Cars: The Off-Road Enthusiast’s Choice

WHAT IT IS: A more serious, off-road-focused version of the new Wagoneer.

WHY IT MATTERS: The excitement surrounding the recently revealed Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer hasn’t even died down yet, and we have it on good authority Jeep isn’t done making news with this vehicle family. There will be a long-wheelbase model coming, along with a PHEV version. And as highlighted here, don’t be surprised if eventually there’s a more off-road-capable version, as well. It might not wear a “Trail Rated” badge due to its size, but the Wagoneer is still a talented off-roader from the factory—and a Trailhawk version would be more so.

PLATFORM AND POWERTRAIN: A regular Wagoneer will offer an adjustable air suspension, 18-inch wheels, skidplates, tow hooks, and a traction management system. The market for off-road versions of full-size SUVs is evidenced by the Ford Expedition FX4, Chevy Tahoe Z71, GMC Yukon AT4, Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro, and even the full-size Range Rover. Jeep started the red tow hook trend, and it isn’t going to sit on the sidelines and let the Yukon AT4 be the only full-size SUV sporting them.

An off-road variant of Jeep’s largest offering would be based on the more mainstream Wagoneer and not the ultra-luxurious Grand Wagoneer. Following the strategy of Jeep’s existing Trailhawk lineup, we expect enhancements to the base vehicle’s capabilities and hardware: more aggressive tires on the Wagoneer’s 18-inch wheels and more robust underbody protection, along with some sort of rock rail/step combination to protect the rockers. In order to improve the approach and departure angles, we imagine front and rear fascias will be reshaped. A special wheel design with greater offset will give this off-road-ready Wagoneer a wider stance and add stability.

Powertrain and suspension changes should be modest but effective upgrades to the already capable Wagoneer. Jeep will likely replace the base mechanical limited-slip differential with a driver-selectable rear locker. Expect some retuning of the adaptive suspension for more control off-road. A new electronic stability strategy would allow for more driver engagement, and a bank of auxiliary upfitter switches (or something similar nested in the Uconnect system) will allow owners to add electrical accessories.

Because the Wagoneer is not technically badged as a Jeep, it might not share the Trailhawk name with its lesser siblings. If that ends up being the case, you could be getting a first glimpse here of the 2023 Trailwagon.



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