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Next Jeep SUV In India Will Be Based On Citroen C3 AirCross

New Jeep SUV confirmed

As we all are aware, the American SUV manufacturer Jeep’s Indian subsidiary is struggling in the country in terms of sales. So, in order to increase its sales volume in India, the company is working on the development of an all-new midsize SUV in India. Reportedly, this new smaller SUV will hit the Indian car market in 2026. What’s even more interesting is that it will be based on the versatile Citroën C-Cubed platform. It will either get an all-new nameplate or inherit the Jeep Compass name as the outgoing Compass will not be getting a new generation model.

Next Jeep SUV In India Will Be Based On Citroen C3 AirCross

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Jeep’s New Midsize SUV: Details

Jeep has taken note of its plummeting sales and, to overcome this issue, it will be launching this all-new model. This upcoming SUV, as mentioned, will be leveraging the Citroën C-Cubed platform. This platform, at the moment, underpins the C3, eC3, and C3 Aircross models in the French automaker’s lineup.

This platform is known for its flexibility, and Jeep, being part of the Stellantis Group, will utilize this platform. As we already know, this platform can accommodate both internal combustion engines (ICE) as well as electric powertrains. This means that the upcoming Jeep SUV could be offered with both drivetrain options from the get-go.

Next Jeep SUV In India Will Be Based On Citroen C3 AirCross

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Powertrain and Configuration

As per the reports, the ICE variants will offer a 4X2 configuration. However, Jeep, being the brand known for its off-roading capabilities, will also be offering this with a 4X4 layout as well. For this, the company could be taking a more clever route by offering the 4X4 capabilities only with the electric variants.

This most likely will be done because the C-Cubed platform cannot accommodate a traditional 4X4 system and its parts. Most likely, this new SUV will be approximately 4.3 meters in length and likely be powered by a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine. This engine could be based on Citroën’s current 1.2-liter petrol engine.

Next Jeep SUV In India Will Be Based On Citroen C3 AirCross

As for the electric powertrain, reports have claimed that the company could be offering this SUV with a dual-motor setup. This means that it could get one motor on both the front and the rear axle. This will allow the SUV to offer 4X4 capabilities. Tata Motors will be offering a similar setup with its upcoming Harrier and Safari EVs.

Market Positioning and Pricing

According to reports, Jeep India is looking to launch this new SUV in the competitive price range of Rs 15-20 lakhs. This means that it will be taking on rivals like the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara, and others. As mentioned, it might be marketed as the new Compass specifically for the Indian market.

Jeep’s Broader Strategic Plans

Next Jeep SUV In India Will Be Based On Citroen C3 AirCross
2024 jeep compass night eagle

As part of its broader strategy, Jeep has made significant decisions impacting its product lineup and market strategy in India. The biggest decision that it has taken is that the next-gen Compass project has been cancelled. Jeep India’s parent company Stellantis has scrapped its plans to develop the next-generation Compass for India.

This might come as a shock to a lot of SUV lovers. However, the project, codenamed J4U, has been deemed commercially unviable due to high development costs and insufficient projected sales.

The STLA-M platform, on which the new Compass is based, is too costly, stated the reports. Additionally, the development costs of the next-generation Jeep have overshot targets by 1.7 times. This has made Jeep scrap its plan for the launch of the Compass for the cost-conscious Indian automotive market.

Production of Current Compass to Continue

Next Jeep SUV In India Will Be Based On Citroen C3 AirCross

Thankfully, despite the cancellation of the next-gen Compass, Jeep will continue to produce the current model in India beyond 2026. The current generation model was launched in July 2017 and facelifted in 2021.

Now that the next generation model’s plans have been scrapped, the company will receive periodic cosmetic updates to extend its life cycle. In addition, it has been reported that the plan to reintroduce a petrol engine for the Compass has also been dropped. This is due to the poor sales volumes that do not justify the investment. The Compass will only be offered with diesel engines.

Affordable Electric and Hybrid Models

Next Jeep SUV In India Will Be Based On Citroen C3 AirCross

Apart from the Indian automotive market, Jeep is also focusing on expanding its portfolio with affordable electric and hybrid models globally. For the international markets, the company is working on the development of a new B-segment vehicle. It is expected to be the next-generation Jeep Renegade.

The company is also gearing to offer an electric version of the same vehicle, which will be priced below $25,000 in the international markets. This vehicle will be based on the Stellantis Smart Car platform (CMP/e-CMP). It will support both hybrid and fully electric powertrains with up to 400 km range (WLTP).

The new Renegade is anticipated to debut in Brazil with a mild hybrid version of the 1.0 Turbo engine. It will come coupled with a 12V motor-generator and a 7-speed CVT automatic transmission.

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