Jeep’s global boss is confident the mini SUV will have the same ‘go anywhere’ capabilities as its larger siblings.
Jeep is preparing to expand its current line-up with a plethora of large SUVs like the Wagoneer, Grand Wagoneer, and the China-only Grand Commander. On the other side of the spectrum, rumors have been circulating that the automaker is also planning to introduce a new entry-level model that’s even smaller than the Renegade. Speaking to Australian site Motoring at the Geneva Motor Show, Jeep global boss Mike Manley hinted that the new baby Jeep may actually happen since there is a strong business case for the model.
“I have to say that one has moved on reasonably significantly,” he told Motoring, adding that an official reveal is likely to happen in the summer. “You will probably have to wait until our big event in June when we talk about the next five years to see if it’s in the plan.” According to Motoring, the challenges of implementing the ‘go-anywhere’ capability of Jeep’s large SUVs into a smaller model was one of the main obstacles preventing the new subcompact SUV from getting the green light. However, Manley is confident that this is no longer an issue and that the new subcompact SUV will live up to expectations. “That’s one piece of the proposal that we are now very comfortable with,” he said.
Automotive News Europe has previously reported the new Jeep will be based on the same FCA Mini platform as the Panda and the Fiat 500. Measuring 4,260 mm long, the Renegade is one of the biggest small SUVs, so there’s certainly room for a new model to slot below it and take on other compact SUVs like the Nissan Kicks. The new tiny Jeep is expected to be built at FCA’s Pomigliano plant in Naples, Italy. But while Manley thinks it has “potentially universal appeal,” the chances of Jeep’s new small SUV being sold in the US seems slim.