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Old 04-27-2011, 02:23 PM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default A True Jeep': Subcompact Jeep Crossover On Track for 2013 Debut

Quote:
Jeep is preparing a new subcompact SUV crossover for the middle of calendar year 2013. It will be built in Europe on a Fiat platform, but Jeep promises it will have significant off-road capability. Jeep CEO Mike Manley told Motor Trend, 'It will be a true Jeep. It has to be, for us. There will be an all-wheel-drive version, and a Trail Rated version.'

Manley says the vehicle (a mule of which is shown here disguised under a Fiat Qubo skin) will be sold in the U.S., because "There is a small-car sector opening up in America." We mention the Nissan Juke and Mini Countryman as rivals, and he agrees. As a more genuine off-roader, though, the Jeep would have little real competition.

We ask if there are any design clues in the company's various baby Jeep concept cars, such as the Jeep Treo and Varsity from auto shows past. He says no. "It will be unmistakably a Jeep," is as far as he'll go when talking about the design. He has no plan to show a concept version in advance, although a lot of work will need to be done to prepare dealers for this new segment.

But Manley, who is also head of Chrysler Group's international operations, says the main selling markets for this micro-Jeep would be abroad, such as Europe. "In the past in our international operations, we basically took American vehicles and go looking for people who wanted to buy them. Now we have international input in packaging, interiors, powertrain, everything."


The micro-Jeep car will be based on the platform of a pair of upcoming Fiat and Lancia (co-branded Chrysler) micro-minivans. These will be the first of a new generation of compact Fiats, one platform size up from the Fiat 500. Wheelbase is just shy of 100 inches. Engines will include 1.4-liter MultiAir gasoline units up to 170 horsepower, as well as Fiat's clean diesels in 1.6-liter capacity and 120 horsepower, with manual or DCT transmission. The hang-on all-wheel-drive module will be a new one, since Fiat doesn't currently offer such a thing in this class of car.

Both the Jeep and the minivans are to be built in the former Yugo plant in Serbia, which has been comprehensively updated.

Whether the car will reach U.S. markets in 2013 is uncertain, as it will be a very busy year for Jeep. It's also when the single vehicle replacing the Patriot and Compass hits the market. It's based on the Fiat/Alfa Romeo Compact architecture, which debuted last year in the very highly regarded Alfa Giulietta. The same architecture will also form the basis of the newLiberty, launching sometime in 2013, promises Manley.

He says the next Liberty will have a longer wheelbase and wider tread than the Compass/Patriot replacement, and more upmarket content. He promises it will also have "a better trail-rated version, with better approach and departure angles and clearance. The Jeep engineers know what's needed."

One of those two vehicles, either the new Liberty or new Compass/Patriot, will be built at Fiat's Mirafiori factory in Turin for all world markets. "It's virtually certain to be the smaller one," says Manley.









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Old 04-27-2011, 02:37 PM   #2
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Meh, if they think they can sell it, more power to them I suppose. Although, I'm not sure which "trail" this thing will be "rated" for. Is a dirt driveway considered a trail?
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Old 04-27-2011, 03:46 PM   #3
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**crosses fingers**
Please make it a modern Suzuki Samurai. Please make it a modern Suzuki Samurai.
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Old 04-27-2011, 04:18 PM   #4
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What



the ****



is that?
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Old 04-27-2011, 05:10 PM   #5
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Skin is a Fiat Qubo (competes with the Ford Transit Connect on the continent) Review says that it's just a cover for the mule so I am going to suspend my judgment.
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Old 04-27-2011, 07:47 PM   #6
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Old 04-28-2011, 10:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e11ys View Post
Meh, if they think they can sell it, more power to them I suppose. Although, I'm not sure which "trail" this thing will be "rated" for. Is a dirt driveway considered a trail?
They trail rate all their vehicles with the Rubicon trail. I'm sure the Rubicon trail has a paved road leading to it The Rubicon trail trail, if you will.
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Old 04-28-2011, 10:47 AM   #8
justincredible
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Take a Fiat Panda, throw on some tall springs, a solid rear axle, a dual range transmission, and voila you have a "trail rated" CUV that can handle more than many real SUVs these days.
Put a solid axle on both ends and you have a recipe for greatness.
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Old 04-29-2011, 10:25 AM   #9
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I'm not sure it's the capability I doubt. It's the whole "unmistakably a jeep" part I don't trust. The people who are saying that probably don't know what that means, IMHO. Heck, the people with an even longer history with real jeeps still came up with the compass.
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