During an interview with Autocar, Jeep CEO Manley stated that they saw space in the market for a B-segment for a new SUV and that the company is already working on a project that is destined to hit the streets by 2013. While we can expect the new B-segment Jeep to be heavily dependent on chassis and drivetrain help from Fiat (a world authority on sub-compacts), Manley has promised that the new mini-Jeep will be distinctly a Jeep, with the look of the long-running Wrangler adapted to fit the tiny B-segment form.
The suspected engine options for the 2013 Jeep B-segment vehicle are the 1.3 and 1.6L diesel mills in Europe and since diesels haven’t tradiontally done well in the US market, the Fiat 1.4L MultiAir 4-cylinder engine found in the 2012 Fiat 500 could be the main choice in the United States. Hopefully, if Jeep does opt for the 1.4L MultiAir engine, they will goose a little more power out of it for the SUV application. Another possibility could be a diesel, as Jeep hasn’t been shy about testing the waters for diesel compact sport utes but for the time being, we are left to guess that there may not be a diesel option – at least at the launch of the new model. The super sub-compact Jeep SUV will predominantly be a front wheel drive vehicle but Manley mentions an all-wheel-drive system for the top of the line models.
Interestingly, during his discussion with Autocar, Manley went so far as to mention the fact that there is no history of tiny SUVs thriving in the American market but he thinks that interest in the Jeep brand will help make this new B-segment SUV a popular option in the US market.
Other Jeep News:
The 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 could debut at the NYC Auto Show
Chrysler hopes for Jeep Grand Cherokee to improve sales in Japan
NHTSA opts against a recall of Jeep Wranglers for fuel spillage
Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel spotted out testing – in the US
Grand Cherokee Selected Official Winter Vehicle of New England