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B-Jeep: not a restyled Fiat

by David Zatz on

2014 Jeep Trailduster

The 2009 announcement that Jeep would sell a subcompact (B sized) SUV made by Fiat raised eyebrows and hackles among the Jeep community; immediately, and for years after, numerous postings on forums suggested that Fiat meant to slap a Jeep grille and trapezoidal wheel arches onto a Fiat.

Recently, however, IndianAutosBlog managing editor Shrawan Raja told us that the “B-Jeep” would not be a restyled Fiat; and a two-year delay acknowledged this morning in the Chrysler five year plan update supports this theory. Raja told Allpar that the new car is being created primarily by Chrysler’s new engineering center in Chennai, India.

The two-year delay would be explained if the original plan was to use a lightly modified Fiat, but Jeep successfully argued for increased uniqueness. Allpar’s “RVC” wrote that it shares Fiat’s SCSS platform (core hard-point dimensions), but will have a unique architecture, including different suspension designs.

IndianAutosBlog is an autoblog-style comprehensive news and rumors source devoted to cars and trucks available in India, and as such, covers a much wider variety of vehicles than most North American publications (including, as it does, Indian, Chinese, and European brands not available in North America, as well as many specific models not sold in the US, Canada, or Mexico). The style is also less sarcastic, and the writers tend to show more wide-ranging and deeper technical knowledge.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304

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