Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), in its five-year business plan (2018-2022) presentation in Balocco, Italy on 1 June 2018, had announced a new sub-4m SUV for the Indian market. Back then, the American carmaker had given a rough timeline of its launch – by 2022. Now, however, the carmaker has confirmed that its sub-4m SUV will hit the Indian market in 2020. While the smallest and yet unnamed Jeep SUV was specifically announced for the Indian market, we expect Jeep to retail it overseas as well.
Pictured: Current-gen Fiat Panda
Info about the upcoming Jeep sub-4m SUV is scarce at moment. However, it is likely to be underpinned by a new platform that it might share with the next-gen Fiat Panda – a sub-compact crossover that is sold in Europe. While the world hasn’t seen any test mules of the Jeep SUV yet, we expect it to get squarish design elements, like most of its elder siblings.
Pictured: Fiat's FireFly 1.0-litre
The Jeep SUV will most likely be powered by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ latest FireFly Turbo petrol engine family, like the India-bound Renegade facelift. The FireFly Turbo family comprises of 1.0-litre and 1.3-litre engines with modular 0.33-litre displacement cylinders. Being a sub-4m offering, the Jeep SUV will presumably get the 1.0-litre engine in India (petrol engines displacing less than 1.2 litres attract lower taxes).
Like other 1.0-litre forced induction petrol engines, the FireFly Turbo is a powerhouse that puts out 120PS of maximum power and 190Nm of peak torque. It is paired with a 6-speed manual in the Euro-spec Jeep Renegade and Fiat 500X.
The diesel engine for the upcoming sub-4m SUV could be the BSVI version of the 1.3-litre motor that other carmakers like Maruti Suzuki and Tata also use. The 1.3-litre MultiJet II delivers 95PS and 200Nm, and is available with a 5-speed manual in Europe.
The sub-4m Jeep SUV will go up against the Ford EcoSport, Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Tata Nexon and upcoming SUVs in the segment -- the Hyundai Qxi and the Mahindra S201. It is expected to be priced between Rs 7-10 lakh and is also expected to be heavily localised, like the Compass.