Is there a smaller crossover coming from Jeep?
Jeep has apparently green-lit the development of a truly compact crossover that slots beneath the current Renegade. The news comes directly from Jeep boss, Mike Manley, who spoke with Motoring.com.au at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show.
"I have to say that one has moved on reasonably significantly," Manley said in regards to the compact Jeep. "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."
The unnamed Jeep will be small by American standards, but in Europe and other markets around the globe, the compact size will be a selling point. The current Renegade is one of the largest players in the compact crossover category at 167 inches long. Still, expect Jeep to offer the sub-Renegade model stateside, too.
Thankfully, Manley addressed the concern of the crossover off-road capability. "That's one piece of the proposal that we are now very comfortable with," he said.
That's backed up by a report from Automotive News Europe, which says the new Jeep will be based on Fiat Chrysler's Mini platform, the same chassis that underpins the Fiat Panda and 500X. Both the Panda and 500X are available with AWD. The Panda goes one step further with the Panda Cross, which comes with increased ground clearance, meatier tires, skid plates, and tow hooks.
Naturally, the Jeep would come standard with front-wheel drive and street-biased tires. A Trailhawk version would carry the off-roading torch for those customers wanting the extra capability.
Jeep is expected to build its upcoming model alongside the Panda at its Pomigliano assembly plant near Naples, Italy. U.S.-spec models could poetically be made closer to home.
More information should be released during FCA's upcoming five-year product plan debut in June. Also expected is more news on Jeep's upcoming Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer SUVs. The Wagoneer is set to be a larger, three-row SUV above the Grand Cherokee, while the Grand Wagoneer will be an all-out luxury model competing against Range Rover.
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