see the Jeep Renegade, 2009 show, 2011 show, and 2013 Geneva show • by Karl3
Chrysler’s primary focus at this year’s Geneva Motor Show was the launch of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee’s European edition, now featuring a stick shift and diesel engine, and the brand new 2105 Jeep Renegade, to launch in Europe first. Photos of the Renegade’s undercarriage, from the show, are in our “Under the Renegade” page.
The show was very crowded, especially by Swiss standards, on the first public-opening day. Jeep had the largest stand of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles combination, partly because it had the biggest reveals. The world premier of the Jeep Renegade was one reveal; there were two cars, a Trailhawk with clearly European specifications (a diesel engine, for one), and a Limited with a manual transmission. Both were surrounded by glass fences, the Limited on a turntable, the Trailhawk on an incline.
The car looks good, very “Jeep-like,” and I believe this will become an instant success in Europe; it has many engines and transmissions (except in the US and Canada), but you know that from the releases.
The company also showed the European specification Jeep Cherokee, featuring a diesel engine and manual shifter; they had one Limited and two TrailHawks, as well as an “Overland Concept.”
Jeep also had one Compass (it will be crushed between Renegade and Cherokee, I guess), which does not seem up to the standards of the newer cars — though Renegade won’t be sold for a few months yet, and Compass is slated for replacement. There were also four Grand Cherokees (two diesels, one standard V8, and one SRT), and four Jeep Wranglers to anchor the brand to its roots.
There was a Ram and Dodge stand, run by some Swiss dealers with FCA support; the rep told me that since Switzerland started a fuel-consumption-based car tax, sales of American cars have declined. However, the Viper will soon be certified for European sale; the side exhaust pipes have been an obstacle in the past.
The stand included the Ram 1500 Hemi, SRT Viper, Dodge Challenger V6, and Dodge Durango Citadel.
As for Fiat, there were three flavors of the 500 — Cult, GQ, and S — plus a blue one. There were three 500Ls, and the Living model which is longer (but has the same wheelbase), making a very small seven-seater. This one is not sold in the U.S. There were also the new Panda Cross and Freemont Cross, and the Punto — old but still a good seller.
Lancia had three Ypsilons and one Voyager S, with Miss Switzerland, Dominique Rinderknecht. A representative said the Lancia brand would leave every country but Italy within the next three years; and that people cannot order the Thema any more (though Thema still appears on Lancia’s customer-facing web sites). Voyager will stay as long as possible, and there will probably be a successor. Because of European preferences for diesels and wagons, the rep said that there will be no new 200 in Europe. These reports remain unconfirmed.
Alfa Romeo, in dire need of new product, still had a large stand with eight cars, more than Maserati. There were two MiTos, two Giuliettas (the QV edition has the 4C engine and transmission), along with what they call a Uconnect system; there were two 4Cs, accessible to touch, a vintage racing car, and the world premier of the 4C Spider Concept. Production on the latter should start in 2015. Akrapovic (from Slovenia), famous for motorcycle exhaust systems, did the exhaust for the 4C Spider.
Maserati had a nice stand, with cars accessible and no longer closed within fences. They had two Quattroportes, two Ghiblis, a GranTurismo MC Stradale, and a GranCabrio MC. These days, one might think Maserati mainly is a manufacturer of sedans, but it always has been a manufacturer of great sports cars.
The Alfieri Concept (named after one of the Maserati brothers) is a fine looking vehicle. Rumour has it, that the chassis is from the Ferrari California, so the car could be ready for production soon...unless they only used the chassis for the concept.
Abarth showed “the fastest street legal Abarth” ever made, a 190-horsepower, weight-reduced (2,200 lb) Fiat 500 called the 695 Biposto — translated as “two seater.” (Full story on the Abarth 695 Biposto). They also had an original Fiat 500 so show-goers could compare the tiny size of the old one to the more generous new one.
As noted earlier, they are using the Mopar name for parts and add-ons over all brands.
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