Automotive News Europe has proclaimed that the small new Jeep to be produced in Italy will be dubbed “Jeep Laredo,” after some rumors had pointed to the name “Jeep Latitude.” Note: the JackRatchett rendering is based on camouflaged spy shots.
Both Laredo and Latitude are used as trim names for various Jeeps. Some time ago, the Wall Street Journal mistook the trim name “Citadel” as the official name of the Dodge Durango, and something similar may be happening now.
Chrysler CEO told Automotive News in January that the new vehicle would not be named Jeepster, though at least two insiders claim that was the name used when it was shown in Italy.
The vehicle is due to be shown in March at the Geneva car show; its primary markets are expected to outside of North America. A co-developed (but expected to be very different) Fiat version will be shown in Paris, later in the year. Both will be made in the giant Melfi plant, with around 280,000 sales per year expected (divided roughly equally between the two).
Automotive News Europe also claimed that the Jeep will have all wheel drive as an option on the entire range (which is normal practice for Jeeps), while Fiat will restrict it to top models. Most expect the standard models to have relatively poor off-road credentials, while a single TrailHawk model will be equipped with skid plates, more suitable tires and wheels, a higher ground clearance, and other ways to give the Laredo née Jeepster capabilities similar to the KL Cherokee. Original story at Automotive News Europe