By on September 24, 2013

Fiat500LTrekking-450x337

Much has been made over the one future product announcement in Chrysler’s IPO filing. Apparently, it will be a an SUV based off of the Small Wide platform. A bit of detective work can help us figure out what it will be.

Small Wide currently underpins the Fiat 500L and we were told that there would be more B-Segment cars coming. At the presentation for the 500L’s launch, we were shown a diagram showing a “modular” section right where the rear differential would be, suggesting that all-wheel drive is a possibility in future Small Wide products. When pressed, Chrysler and Fiat staff trotted out the usual “can’t discuss future product” tropes, but suggested that the flexibility was built in for that precise reason.

With that in mind, it seems that a Jeep B-Segment crossover is the most obvious candidate. Small crossovers are booming across the world, and Jeep is eager to expand into global markets where it currently doesn’t have a big presence. Small Wide offers the right packaging for world markets, while an all-wheel drive system is more than adequate for the kind of driving that a B-Segment Jeep will see (i.e. not the Rubicon). This will strictly be an “image” car for Europeans who want to Jeep aesthetic but not the capabilities of a true off-roader. Don’t discount the possibility of a front-drive only version either. The front-drive only 500L Trekking is a pretty good preview of what that will be like.

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28 Comments on “That “Small SUV” Coming From Chrysler Will Be A B-Segment Jeep Crossover...”


  • avatar
    afflo

    I first heard this thing pushed as a mini-wrangler (now that the Wrangler has grown to Hummer H3 proportions).

    I’ve had a Jeepster die-cast model on my dresser for years… I love the thing, and hoped maybe this would be the arrival of something Jeepster-ish:

    http://www.allpar.com/cars/concepts/jeep.html

    Even if it wasn’t a true off-roader, it could have the open top, rugged design. Even something like the Smart FourJoy, would capture the fun of a Wrangler for cruising beach towns and boulevards.

    I’m guessing it’ll be yet another small wagon pretenting to be an SUV, aimed at women. You know… a Compass. There’s no shortage of these on the market, and if anything, Jeep should be the brand that does things its own way. Imagine a runabout with removable doors, soft-top, water resistant interior, integrated Opel-style bike rack.

    Unfortunately, active lifestyle 20-30 somethings largely don’t have the cash for a new car, and would rather buy a used car or pickup.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      “Jeep should be the brand that does things its own way.”

      You’re right, but Jeep is now owned by pushy Italians with an European mindset, led by a chief with a bit of egomania.

  • avatar
    azmtbkr81

    Yay! Moar CUVs! Hope it’s cute!!

  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    Two words – Dacia Logan Duster. If you seen one, that is what a Jeeplet should look like. Plus, the Logan isn’t half-bad on an unpaved road.

    FIAT will never get it right for the Jeep brand. Look for more WTF design cues similar to new Aztek/Cherokee.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Can’t knock the hustle baby. I wonder if the day will come when small crossovers will outsell small sedans. The CR-V is only ~20K down YTD from the Civic in the US. Meanwhile in Japan you can’t even buy a Civic or Accord (aside from the big luxury Inspire), but the CR-V is going strong. Just as an example. Hatchbacks are so much more practical than sedans. Honestly the sedan body style is a little out of date. But we need more low end cars styled like the A7 to make the case for the mainstream midsized hatchback to Americans.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      Yay Vox Populi!

      I think CUV sales are showing that customers are going to get better ergonomics and visibility any way they have to. I believe this also generates many pickup & SUV sales.

      Pee on the crampy, chopped sedan!

    • 0 avatar
      Les

      The Sedan bodystyle was Awesome back in the days when car-makers weren’t afraid of overhangs and they could make one with a proper helipad-sized decklid and trunk. Nowadays modern Sedans are just more or less same as the Hatchback with the hatch welded shut, a big corner off the top shaved off and a shoebox bolted to the back.

  • avatar
    stuntmonkey

    …. As long as it’s not another Dodge Caliber.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Wait… wasn’t the 500L related to some kind of Opel?

  • avatar
    afflo

    Same platform as the Opel Adam and Meriva I believe.

  • avatar
    billfrombuckhead

    They promise round headlights this time

    • 0 avatar
      afflo

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAg4DdXAp7Y

      Your video link was present in the email notification but not the post… weird!

      So, yeah, that wouldn’t make a terrible Jeep I suppose. I bet limited slip diffs (or at least one!) would have put it over that hump.

      The system Fiat uses sounds similar to Honda’s RealTime4WD. My ex-wife had a 1st generation CR-V… it’s funny to think that the cute-ute CR-V from 13 years ago looks more rugged and SUV-like than the new Cherokee!

  • avatar
    MK

    Wow they really need to stop with the 500 clown car design cues, I thought the compass was ridiculous as a “jeep” but this takes the cake. It looks like someone melted a PT Cruiser front end on the new “puffy” BMW mini body.

    I can’t see this being an image car for Europeans, generally they have some pretty amazing choices if they’ve got the scratch to own a vehicle.

    Meh, time will tell.

  • avatar
    jimble

    Interestingly, the 500L is very close to the original Cherokee XJ in exterior dimensions. So making a compact Jeep out if the 500L’s platform makes a lot of sense to me.


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