The Jeep Renegade mini SUV made a splash Monday at the Geneva Motor Show and there are hopes it can be a hit on both sides of the Atlantic. First, though, the compact crossover has to get built.
The Indianapolis Star's Casey Williams reported that the Renegade is built on a Fiat 500L architecture
and if the production go-ahead is given the vehicle would be "crafted" at Fiat's assembly plant in Melfi, Italy.
"The all-new 2015 Jeep Renegade expands the brand's product portfolio and targets the rapidly expanding small SUV segment around the globe with benchmark levels of efficiency and driving dynamics, while at the same time delivering best-in-class 4x4 capability that customers expect from Jeep," Mike Manley, president and CEO – Jeep Brand, said in a statement
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"Renegade symbolizes the brand's renowned American design, ingenuity and innovation, marking the Jeep brand's first entry into the small SUV segment in more than 100 markets around the globe," the statement continued.
Williams wrote that for the Renegade to be acceptable to U.S. and European audiences, it will have be durable off road to keep up with Jeep's reputation, yet fuel-conscious enough to make its foreign drivers happy.
"To meet global demands, Renegade was engineered to accept four MultiAir gasoline engines and two MultiJet II diesel engines," Williams wrote. "Start/Stop technology and a choice of six-speed manual or nine-speed automatic transmissions should enhance fuel economy. It is expected that American-destined models will receive the Fiat-engineered 1.4-liter turbo-four from the 500L and 2.4-liter four-cylinder from the Dodge Dart. A diesel would be icing on this cupcake, but don't wait for dessert."
Andrei Nedelea, of CarScoops.com
, said while no one knows if Jeep will actually mass build the Renegade, its design seems to walk the tight rope it needs to.
"Designed to look like a much bigger and more noticeable vehicle than it really is, this digital makeover by X-Tomi Design I think aids in both those respects and its result is a huge amount of presence for the size," Nedelea wrote. "There's no official word on this though, and even if they do make it, they probably won't give it the exact same bumper as the Grand Cherokee SRT8, so it may not look exactly like this; it would retain pretty much the same overall style, though."
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