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.