The oven-hot compact SUV segment in India will welcome a new entrant and unlike a few pseudo crossovers, this is expected to be a true blue SUV! This gets affirmed by the terms Fiat & Jeep have used in their product sheets. While the the Fiat branded car has been termed as B-CUV (Crossover Utility Vehicle) whereas the Jeep’s B-segmenter is notified as ‘B-SUV’.
And in an update, the name of the under-development SUV has been revealed. How about ‘Jeepster’? Yes, that is what the India bound B-segment SUV will be called according to an Australian website Drive.com. The SUV might be officially unveiled during the Geneva motor show in March.
The compact SUV segment has been growing rapidly in the past few years and it seems that the people can’t get enough of them. Jeepster, one would say, should be another welcome addition. What makes this bit of news all the more interesting is that the new car is speculated to have design elements from the venerable Willys of old.
Jeepster will be based on its parent company Fiat’s 5-door 500X and in India it will come sporting 1.4L Turbocharged petrol motor from Fiat Linea T-Jet as well as the much-awaited 1.6L Multijet diesel engine which will mark its debut on Linea facelift early next year. (Check more official engine details)
It will be a front wheel drive SUV and will it also come with a 4 wheel drive option is not known but we would definitely love to have one. It will measure 4.2 meters in length, slightly smaller than Renault Duster.
The car has been seen testing on public roads and it is expected that Fiat will start series production sometime during the latter half of 2014. Jeep has already confirmed their B-SUV Jeepster’s launch in India in 2015.
For now, it is expected to be produced at Fiat’s Italian plant. If this remains the case, we will possibly get it via the CKD route. This entry level compact SUV will have the potential to rekindle our passion for Jeeps but it remains to be seen as to how the company plans to position this desirable piece of machinery in a country where the ‘Jeep’ already has a remarkable presence.
In essence, this is what appears to be Jeep’s Indian lineup:
- B-SUV – Jeepster
- C-SUV – Cherokee
- D-SUV – Wrangler
- Premium SUV – Grand Cherokee
Jeep’s Indian entry has been delayed a little but it is coming sometime in early 2014. So, its a lot cooking up in this segment and if you have been waiting to lay your hand on a proper SUV, Jeepster looks like an appropriate choice considering that it will bear Jeep’s credentials!
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