Jeep Takes on the MINI Countryman


Jeep is producing a new B-segment crossover to directly compete with the MINI Countryman.

Jeep is building a small crossover to compete directly with the MINI Countryman. Backed by Fiat and based on one of their platforms, development and production of the upcoming B-segment crossover will take place in Detroit. The new model is (awkwardly) designated the SS, standing for super sport. The SS will be Jeep's smallest and most fuel-efficient vehicle and should match up pretty well against the Countryman.

Similar to the Jeep's Compass and Patriot models, the new SS will feature front-wheel-drive and have optional all-wheel-drive. The SS will also have a basic torsion-beam rear suspension and feature electronic braking for traction control. Under the hood, several Fiat engines will be available including the 1.4-liter possibly supercharged TwinAir Fiat 500 unit. The European model will feature an 875cc two-cylinder engine that churns out a sparse 100hp. The American model will be tuned up to about 150hp. Chevrolet's new ZF-designed automatic 9-speed (you read that right) gearbox will give the new SS some serious credibility.

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It was also designed to keep the manufacturer-average emissions below ever-tightening government regulations. The new mini-Jeep SS should arrive by 2013 at the earliest estimation. No information on pricing has been released yet. Photos displayed are of the 2011 Jeep Compass