Jeep, the American utility vehicle specialist has been pondering over the idea of a sub-Renegade SUV for quite a long time. The officials had hinted at the possibility of the project multiple times in the past, but there was no final decision. However, emerging reports indicate Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), the parent company of Jeep will decide the future of baby Jeep SUV in June.
On the sidelines of ongoing 88th Geneva International Motor Show, Jeep's global boss Mike Manley has confirmed that a sub-four-meter Jeep might be their next stop. "You will probably have to wait until our big event in June when we talk about the next five years to see if it's in the plan," Motoring.com quoted Manley as saying. Though he has not confirmed the existence of a baby Jeep project, multiple reports confirm the project has generated quite an interest at the FCA board and an announcement will come in June.
Jeep's pint-sized SUV is expected to be based on the Fiat 500 and Panda platform and could be manufactured at FCA's Pomigliano plant near Naples, Italy. However, a spin-off version of the same SUV based on the Renegade platform is also expected for price-sensitive emerging markets like India.
The new small SUV from Jeep is expected to pose a challenge against the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Tata Nexon, and Ford EcoSport at sub Rs 10 lakh SUV space. The version bound to India and emerging markets are expected to be manufactured at FCA's Ranjangaon manufacturing unit in Maharashtra where RHD Compass is also built.
Jeep is likely to use Compass' 1.4-litre MultiAir turbo petrol in the new baby SUV, however, the company will think off bringing smaller 1.6-litre MultiJet diesel engine with the new SUV. Adoption of smaller capacity diesel mill will help the company to price the compact SUV aggressively against its rivals, a formula that proved to be highly successful with the Compass.