Small CUV captured

Spy photographer Chris Doane caught this raised crossover mule, integrating an Alfa grille and fascia and Hornet-like sheet metal, cruising around the Detroit area. Over the past year, many mules for the (possibly) Dodge Hornet sedan have been spied wearing a similar, hacked-together body; this one’s ride height has been pumped up several inches, though whether (as Chris thinks) that means it’s going to be sold as a Jeep is open to question. It might be destined to be a Dodge-branded CUV instead, with Jeep keeping the Patriot form factor.

Much like Hornet mules, this Jeep mule has a few inches of sheet metal added in the rear doors, and a few inches added down the centerline of the car. It even looks as if Jeep engineers had to resort to some kind of caulk to hold the rear passenger windows in place!

This new Jeep will be riding on the CUSW platform, a modified version of Fiat’s C-Evo. When production starts, it’s expected to come in FWD and AWD variants, with a choice of turbocharged Fiat 1.4 (made in Michigan) and 2.4 liter engines. This particular car seems to have a charge air cooler, indicating it’s carrying the 1.4.

Rumors have this Jeep, along with an Alfa Romeo-badged version, being built in Turin, Italy, but no final decision (or announcement) has been made.

Update: we have been told that the upcoming Patriot/Compass replacement will not look like this mule, which was created largely to test the 4×4 powertrain. Most observers expect the replacement for the Patriot and Compass to drop the much-maligned CVT, using instead a choice of manual transmission, Fiat DCT, or six-speed conventional automatic. In addition, engines are expected to be a choice of turbo-Fiat 1.4, 2.0 WGE, and 2.4 WGE. Tiger Shark could either be used for a performance variant or as the top-end engine. The 2-liter WGE should gain some performance boosts, if not in peak horsepower than in real-life driveability.

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Which Rams and Jeeps will we see?

The last few days have brought numerous photos to the fore; but which will we see?

The big truck-based Wagoneer, so far as it’s based on the photos above, seems least likely, at least in that form. Looking at it after the two images were set to the same scale, you can see that the “new Jeep” is likely a design study for the Grand Cherokee — either the next or current generation.

Read the full story: Which Rams and Jeeps will we see?  »

The Renegade-influenced Wrangler

Reddit member “arcsreddit” recently shared this photo of a Renegade-fronted Jeep Wrangler was photographed, in part-size clay-model form (which looks incredibly real).  While it’s hard to criticize on its appearance, it could send the wrong message — that the Wrangler has been “Renegaded” and lost capability.

Sources have told us that the next Wrangler will be as capable as the current one, if not more so;

Read the full story: The Renegade-influenced Wrangler  »

Could we see a Chrysler SUV?

Chrysler SUV

With the Warren plant soon to be emptied of mainstream Ram production, FCA will be able to create derivatives of the popular pickups without fear of disrupting production. The question is, will they do it? If so, what will we see?

There has already been some speculation about whether the Jeep Grand Wagoneer would be based on the Grand Cherokee, as statements from Mike Manley would lead us to believe,

Read the full story: Could we see a Chrysler SUV?  »

FCA’s “22 minute” diesel defense

Harald Wester

After Volkswagen and Audi were found to have been deliberately violating emissions laws worldwide for over a decade, both Volkswagen and Germany started a hunt to validate their claim that “everyone does it.”

One result of this is a movement to have more practical tests that are harder to trick. Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche had set up their diesel engines with “test sniffing” software. Another result was the discovery that other automakers worked within the EU law by implementing rather severe “engine protection” software (which may be one reason Fiat never brought its popular small MultiJets to the US).

Read the full story: FCA’s “22 minute” diesel defense  »

Spy shot: is this the 2019 Ram?

Spy photographer Glenn Paulina wrote:

We may have just gotten a look at the face of the 2019 Ram 1500 pickup, thanks to new camera phone images snapped at a dealer meeting.

The Ram images were on a print-out posted on the wall, entitled “Ram Brand Lit Signatures.”  … it seems logical to assume that this Ram presentation also shows a truck that currently resides in the future product pipeline.

Read the full story: Spy shot: is this the 2019 Ram?  »

Which Rams and Jeeps will we see?

The Renegade-influenced Wrangler
Chrysler SUV
Could we see a Chrysler SUV?
Harald Wester
FCA’s “22 minute” diesel defense

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