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Directions for the new Compass

by David Zatz on

The new Jeep Compass will, according to recent announcements, not share with the Cherokee’s “CUSW” platform, but will share its basic body design with the Jeep Renegade and Fiat 500X.

While the Jeep Compass’ styling will reportedly mimic the Jeep Grand Cherokee, JackRatchett’s rendering is based on Renegade and Fiat 500X to show the basic shape, minus a Grand Cherokee grille treatment.

The Compass will need major (largely invisible) changes from the 500X to be a Jeep, but Renegade has already shown how that can be done, though it did not go far enough.  Jeep CEO Mike Manley has likely pushed for a combination that will get the Compass, unlike the Renegade, into strong enough form to conquer the Rubicon Trail — either the “real” one or Chrysler’s carefully built replication of key Trail sections as it stood some years ago.

Partly to help with that, and partly because the Fiat 1.4 Turbo has been a sales nightmare here, American buyers should expect the next Compass to be powered by a 2.4 liter Chrysler four-cylinder, with a possible 2.0 liter Hurricane Four on the high end. A nine-speed is likely, with a possible six-speed manual. International versions will no doubt have the Fiat engines, both gasoline and diesel, with South Americans seeing the evolved-from-Neon e.TorQ.

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