Fiat is bringing in its group company Chrysler’s flagship products to the Indian market – the Jeep brand, with two of its iconic products, the Grand Cherokee SUV and the Jeep Wrangler, the classic Jeep.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Jeep Wrangler will come to India in 2013 via the CBU (completely built unit route), which means that these products won’t come cheap. The Grand Cherokee is expected to be priced at about Rs. 40 lakh and will compete with vehicles like the Land Rover Freelander and Audi Q5, although the Grand Cherokee is a much larger SUV. Also read: Hot SUVs for India
The Jeep Wrangler will be slightly cheaper, starting at about Rs. 26 lakh or so and will compete just above the Toyota Fortuner, Hyundai Santa Fe category, although in terms of pure utility there is nothing else quite like it at that price point. It is a purely lifestyle Jeep. Not until Land Rover brings in the Defender that is. The Wrangler and the Mahindra Thar share common ancestry, dating back to the 1940s.
The Wrangler for India will likely come with a 2.8 litre, V6 diesel engine putting out about 200 bhp of power and about 470 Nm of torque. It will likely have a five-speed automatic transmission, and a serious amount of off-road kit, such as a Comman-Trac 4×4 system with shift-on-the-fly 4×4 with low ratio and differential locks and stability program. Of course, being pitched as a luxury off-roader it will also have climate control, powered mirrors, leather upholstery etc.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee will likely be powered by a 3-litre diesel engine putting out about 241 bhp of power and 560 Nm of torque, with a five-speed automatic transmission. It will come also with a Quadra-Trac 4×4 system, with centre differential and low ratio transfer case. Incidentally, the Cherokee and the Mercedes Benz M-Class share a common ancestry – a product born at the time Daimler and Chrysler were a group. Also read: Fiat to launch Jeep Cherokee in India in 2013
In 2015, Jeep will begin assembling two more products in the Indian market – which will be cheaper. One of them is likely to be the Jeep Patriot, which is a five-door SUV, but a lot smaller – something on the lines of a larger Skoda Yeti. It will likely have a 2-litre diesel engine with about 140 bhp of power with a six-speed manual transmission in the Indian market and will be priced (depending on the level of localization) at a sub Rs. 20 lakh price point – between Rs. 15 lakh and Rs. 20 lakh.
A bigger SUV that Jeep will offer in the Indian market is likely to be the Jeep Compass, which will be pitted against the Rs. 20 lakh – Rs. 25 lakh category including the Pajero Sport, Toyota Fortuner and Renault Koleos. The Compass is a five-seater SUV, although Fiat-Chrysler may adapt it to a seven-seater for the Indian market. It may get a newer diesel engine than the one it is currently offered with.
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