Jeep preparing a subcompact model below the Renegade for Europe
16 December 2019 - autoblog
Could compete with the Suzuki Jimny or the Nissan Juke
The rumor of a new, sub-subcompact Jeep to slot in below the Renegade in certain overseas markets is more than a year old. Automotive News reported on plans for such a model last November, with part of the new Jeep's purpose being to add production to underutilized plants in Europe. In March, Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley told Autocar, "A smaller car than the Renegade is very interesting to us and we are actively looking at the project now." The vehicle has since been confirmed, with an expected arrival in 2022. According to Auto Express, which spoke to Jeep's head of brand marketing in Europe, Marco Pigozzi, the brief will be to challenge the Suzuki Jimny in Europe.
Pigozzi didn't use those words. He told the magazine, "The car will be able to be used as a bad-ass Jeep, but it has also been designed to be used everyday," and revealed the vehicle's length of around four meters, a little more than 13 feet. That would be roughly 10 inches shorter than a Renegade, right about the size of the 13.8-foot-long Nissan Juke and more than a foot longer than the Jimny. AE might be making the comparison to the Suzuki because even though the Jimny is just under 12 feet, it's the only off-roader around that with a mission statement and mechanicals that emphasize off-road use. The Juke is probably a better benchmark.
With all the goings-on at FCA recently, the much bigger question is that of platform. Before the merger talk with Groupe PSA, Jeep was thought to have its eye on the platform for the next-generation Fiat Panda 4x4. A successful merger would open the door to more, and perhaps better, small-car platforms such as PSA's Common Modular Architecture, also known as EMP1. That chassis supports entry-level compacts as well as the Citroen DS3 Crossback crossover, which is 13.5 feet long and was engineered to accommodate electrification.
That latter bit is crucial because Jeep has committed to offering an electrified version of everything in the range by 2022, according to a report in Which Car – either plug-in hybrids or battery-electric powertrains besides internal combustion options. The Renegade and Compass PHEVs launch next year.