The 2018 Jeep Grand Commander has been spied in camouflaged prototype form, during hot weather testing in Alice Springs, in central Australia.
The new large SUV is aimed at the Chinese market, and initially will only go on sale there, but you can expect it to branch out to North American and European markets later on.
While you wouldn’t think that conditions in China don’t echo those of desert conditions, the south of the country is tropical with plenty of heat and humidity (just like northern Australia), while the north is the Gobi desert, where temperatures exceed 40 degrees Celcius.
Spied by an eagle-eyed CarAdvice reader, the new seven-seat Jeep is set for sale later in the year, with its production form debut likely to bow during the Beijing motor show in April.
What is the Jeep Grand Commander?
You may remember, last month we brought you news of the Grand Commander’s patent filing in China.
That confirmed the existence of a large, seven-seat Jeep, which was styled similar to the Jeep Yuntu Concept back in April of last year.
It will likely be powered by the same 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol motor which will find its way under the bonnet of the forthcoming Jeep Wrangler.
While that may seem like a very small engine for a large seven-seat vehicle, it’s to suit fuel emissions laws that are very strict in China. And you only have to look at something like the Skoda Kodiaq to see that a motor like this could work.
Again, a smaller, higher powered engine will also suit European demands, while America (if it takes the Grand Commander) will most likely use the 3.6-litre V6 petrol.
A Hemi-powered SRT version may also happen down the track. But more than likely, the first addition to the powertrain range will be a hybrid version of the Jeep Grand Commander.
Once the new SUV is unveiled in China, we’ll bring you the full details.