Jeep C SUV which is set to fill the gap left by Patriot in the global lineup has been spied in Brazil. The fully camouflaged prototypes were spotted on board a transporter.
Going by the spyshots, the test mules appear to be sporting production ready body panels. The crossover adopts a smooth flowing design like that of bigger Cherokee rather than the boxy lines of smaller Renegade. Brazilian media reports say that the vehicle is codenamed as 551 and has a wheelbase which is a good 10 cm longer than that of Renegade at 2.67m.
The car could be underpinned by a longer variant of Fiat Chrysler’s Small Wide Architecture which also caters to Renegade and Fiat 500X. LHD models would be built in Brazil while RHD models would take shape at an expanded Tata-Fiat JV plant in Ranjangaon, India.
FCA will invest around USD 280 million (around INR 1,800 cr) to expand the Indian manufacturing unit. Jeep C SUV would be heavily localized in India (Rushlane has learnt that it will have 90%+ local components) and would be exported to RHD markets like Australia, South Africa, etc.
India-spec version of the SUV is likely to be powered by the locally produced 2.0-litre Fiat MultiJet diesel engine which is also reported to go under the hoods of Tata’s upcoming Q501/Q502 premium SUVs. A petrol engine would also be on offer.
The compact Jeep will lock horns with Skoda Yeti and Honda CR-V. FCA is working on getting the price tag under INR 19 lakhs (ex-showroom). Expect Jeep to world premiere is C SUV at 2016 Geneva Motor Show in March. Production in India should commence in second quarter of 2017.