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Mini-Jeep still a go

by David Zatz on

According to Indian sources including the India Times, an “A/B” sized Jeep has been approved for emerging markets. The new crossover’s basis, according to correspondent Prabhjot, is the Fiat “New Punto” platform, with major changes to the suspension.

The target size is around four meters long. The engine bay will be too small for the TigerSharks, instead using the new GSE engines and small diesels; less engine space means more passenger or cargo space, putting the final interior space between Fiat Panda Cross and Jeep Renegade.

Prabhjot added, “I am certain it will be a highly capable SUV and a proper Jeep, for the relatively inexpensive-but-utilitarian-with-style needs, desires, and budgets of the mass markets of India, Brazil, Mexico, and such, that are old Jeep markets — the earlier Jeep, from before the offroading-as-sport days.”

FCA Jeep India

The new “mini-Jeep” is due for production in India around 2018, according to reports, with Brazilian production to follow. The price tag may be as low as one seventh the price of the Wrangler — around $15,000, locally. By comparison, the Compass is expected to sell for the equivalent of around $20,000, with the same engines as in Brazil — the 1.3 liter diesel and 2.0 gasoline engines.

India Times quoted a source as saying that the smaller new Jeep would be a “mini-Renegade” created specifically for markets like India, with planned volumes of 40,000-50,000 per year including exports. The vehicle is not aimed at the US, Canada, or the EU.

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