Fiat India has imported the Jeep Cherokee from the United Kingdom for Research and Development. The Cherokee that has been imported is a mid-size SUV in Jeep’s international portfolio. Globally, the 5 seat Cherokee sits under the Grand Cherokee in terms of price and positioning.
The Cherokee imported into India uses a 2 liter-4 cylinder Multijet turbo diesel engine that comes with 140/170 Bhp peak power ratings and a 350 Nm peak torque rating. The SUV imported is the front wheel driven variant. Jeep offers the Cherokee with a four wheel drive option too, and the latest version of this SUV was launched earlier this year.
Fiat will launch the Jeep brand in India next year, with the Wrangler and the Grand Cherokee leading the charge for the American SUV brand. While the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee will be imported as completely built units, 2016 will see Jeep dramatically expanding operations in India with the “C-Segment” SUV that is said to be rival the Toyota Fortuner.
The 2016 C-Segment SUV will be a global model whose production base will be in India, and the vehicle will feature extensive localization. However, the Jeep C-Segment SUV for 2016 is said to be the vehicle that will step in to fill the void created by the outgoing Patriot and Compass models. Globally, 2016 is the year when the Cherokee will get a mid life makeover.
Taking these facts in conjunction, it is easy to see that the Cherokee imported into India will be the base of the new C-Segment SUV to be produced and launched in India rather than the actual SUV that will be launched here. So, Fiat India and Jeep are expected to distill certain elements of the Cherokee for the brand new C-Segment SUV rather than launching the Cherokee itself.
Expect new petrol and turbo diesel engines, a monocoque platform and a 9 speed automatic gearbox to be offered on the new Jeep C-Segment SUV lined up for a 2016 launch globally. Both front wheel drive and four wheel drive options could be offered, with a 5 seat layout.