FCA had announced the launch of a Jeep sub-4 metre SUV in India by 2022 on its new mid-term plan this June. In the latest, FCA India MD Kevin Flynn has confirmed that the model’s launch will come about in 2020.
With hopes for a strong a Jeep-centered Indian business, FCA plans to launch two new locally manufactured models moving forward. During an interview with Business Standard this week, Flynn was queried about the future launches. After the ‘Black Pack’ and the Trailhawk variant for the Jeep Compass, the local operations head spoke about the Jeep sub-4 metre SUV in response.
“That (Jeep Compass Trailhawk) will be followed by the sub-4 metre SUV, which will be around the size of the Ford EcoSport and Maruti Brezza, in 2020,” Flynn said.
Jeep’s baby SUV likely rides on the platform of the next-gen Fiat Panda, which is expected to debut around the same time. It may arrive with only a petrol engine, as FCA plans to stop offering diesel engines to Europe by 2021. The 1.3-litre MultiJet diesel engine isn’t BSVI compliant, and Tata Motors and Maruti Suzuki, the biggest customers of the motor, have developed in-house solutions.
Upgrading the 1.3-litre diesel engine or developing an all-new diesel engine for one market make little economic sense. The company could review its latest 1.0-litre Firefly Turbo turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine that produces 120 PS and 190 Nm of torque for the SUV.
The Jeep sub-4 metre SUV’s prices could start at around INR 8 lakh (ex-showroom). It would leave enough leeway for the Jeep Renegade to go safely above the Jeep Compass when it arrives in India, perhaps in the second generation.