Jeepster out, Laredo in for Jeep’s B-Segment SUV?

Snapshot: Months ago, a rumour suggesting that Jeep’s upcoming B-Segment SUV would be known as the Jeepster began doing the rounds only to have Fiat-Chrysler top boss Sergio Marchionne stoutly denying it. Now, we have another report suggesting that the Jeep B-Segment SUV will instead be called the Laredo.

American SUV brand Jeep, now owned by Italian automaker Fiat, is looking at dramatically boosting volumes. Jeep hopes to do this by launching not one but two big volume products in the B and C-Segments. The first product, a B-Segment compact SUV, will square off against the likes of the Ford EcoSport and the Nissan Juke.

The Jeep SUV will share its underpinnings with the Fiat 500X, a crossover that will be launched later this year. The Jeep compact SUV, rumoured to be called the Laredo will share its parts, platform (US Small Wide) and production facilities (Meifi, Italy) with the Fiat 500X.

Expect Fiat petrol and turbo diesel engines to be offered on the Jeep Laredo, an SUV that is likely to land in India next year. While the Fiat 500X and the Jeep Laredo will share underpinnings, both models are expected to be as different as chalk is to cheese.

Apart from different looks oriented towards the butch side. the Laredo is said to come with a 4 wheel drive system as standard, along with a trail rating, which is a quintessential Jeep attribute highlighting the brand’s off-road cred. However, Jeep’s deferred plans for the Indian market could throw a spanner in the launch schedule of the Jeep Laredo here.

Apart from the Jeep Laredo, the American SUV maker had also announced that another compact Jeep model, in the C-Segment, will be launched in India during 2016. While the fate of these compact SUVs with respect to the Indian car market remain sketchy, both these SUVs will be launched in other international markets on schedule.

Source AutoNews