You may have forgetten, but it’s been nearly 30 years since Lee Iacocca, at the head of Chrysler, green-lighted a new midsize SUV that became the Jeep Grand Cherokee, and which swiftly spun off a Grand Wagoneer edition as the new line’s luxury leader. In hindsight, the ZJ-platform, Larry Shinoda-sketched midsize Jeep wagon became one of Chrysler’s great sale triumph during this era, usually ranked right alongside the T-platform front-drive minivans as segment-flattening sledgehammers. There’s a new Grand Wagoneer concept vehicle that’s been plying the show circuit this year, and while it hasn’t been approved for production yet, be patient. The overall deal looks very appealing and frequently, individual features shown in these concepts frequently make it to the showrooms before the actual vehicle that’s spotlighting them does. We recently had the opportunity to interact with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles creative designer Ludwin Cruz, a Miami native, who was responsible for much of the interior in the Grand Wagoneer concept, and who also has his own line of clothing.
There’s a lot to catch your attention in this view of the Grand Wagoneer’s center console and more, as created by Ludwin. The knurled knob at the lower center is a transmission selector, with a glowing ring, a component that’s seen in other FCA products such as the Chrysler 300 sedan. The console-centric layout encompasses three touchscreens, including the one in front of the passenger that handles navigation and infotainment functions. On top is the McIntosh audio system control screen, while below it is a separate screen that operates the lumbar, bolster and massage functions of the power front seat. Again, there’s a very strong likelihood that these systems will make it to production. As Ludwin explained, “Colors, shapes, and general interactions with the world are my stimulants to keep a creative mind going. Where most simply see crumpled piece of paper, I see the shadow that it casts from the light above, a silhouette of an instrument panel or even the exterior of a car. Everything is an opportunity for inspiration.”