Jeep India is developing a sub-4 meter compact SUV for the Indian market to get a foothold in one of the fastest growing categories in the SUV market. The actual product launch will happen sometime next year but as Jeep is skipping the upcoming Auto Expo, expect an official unveil later in the year. The sub-4 meter compact SUV wearing the Jeep badge will sit under the Compass in terms of pricing and positioning, and will rival the likes of the Maruti Brezza and Hyundai Venue. The new SUV is expected to use the Fiat Small Wide platform, which also forms the base for the Renegade SUV, which measures a little over 4 meters. In the past, Jeep India has been spotted testing the Renegade in and around Mumbai and Pune. However, the sub-4 meter SUV that Jeep is putting together for India is likely to be very distinct from the Renegade.
Here’s what Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) india’s Managing Director Kevin Flynn had to tell BusinessStandard about the new sub-4 meter Jeep,
That (Jeep Compass Trailhawk) will be followed by the sub-4 metre SUV, which will be around the size of the Ford EcoSport and Maruti Brezza, in 2020.
In fact, the multiple test mules of the Jeep Renegade suggest that the American SUV maker could be using the former to test key components that will go into the sub-4 meter SUV. Every SUV wearing the Jeep badge gets a dedicated TrailHawk variant, which offers competent levels of off road performance. The sub-4 meter SUV is likely to be no different, with the top-end trim offering an all wheel drive layout, a trail-rated suspension set up and high ground clearance.
However, the lower variants are likely to be front wheel driven. The Jeep sub-4 meter offering is expected to dip into the Renegade’s parts bin. A 1.4 liter turbocharged petrol engine is likely to be one option on offer and it remains unclear whether Jeep will offer a diesel motor on the new SUV given the fact that the 1.3 liter Multijet diesel engine will not be made Bharat Stage 6 (BS6) compliant.
The other engine that Jeep has access to is the 1.6 liter Multijet unit, which will have to be made BS6 compliant. However, using this engine will mean that the sub-4 Jeep offering will not qualify for a lower tax rate that the Indian government bestows on sub-4 meter vehicles. So, a diesel engine may not be offered on the sub-4 meter Jeep. Instead, entry level variants of the SUV could get a 1 liter-3 cylinder turbo petrol engine from Fiat’s FireFly line up. This motor makes about 118 Bhp and 190 Nm, outputs that should be more than adequate in the sub-4 meter class, which has offerings such as the Hyundai Venue, Maruti Brezza and Ford EcoSport.