The upcoming 7-seater Compass (could be named differently) is based on Jeep’s ‘Small Wide 4×4’ platform
American automaker Jeep, under Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), is working on a new 7-seater SUV based on the proven ‘Small Wide 4×4’ platform. It is internally dubbed Project 598 or ‘D-SUV’. Essentially an extended version of the Jeep Compass, the monocoque SUV was recently spotted as a heavily camouflaged test mule in Brazil. The South American nation holds one of the biggest manufacturing facilities under FCA and Jeep.
Before it hits production, the 3-row SUV would most likely get a different name to stand apart from its 5-seater sibling. It is too early to comment on its Indian debut but considering the fact that FCA India heavily relies on the Jeep Compass to clock sales, chances are not bleak. In fact, the Indian market will soon receive two 3-row SUVs based on the Jeep Compass’ primary rivals: Tata Gravitas and MG Hector Plus. On the other hand, Jeep India might introduce the much-awaiting Renegade subcompact crossover (with strong SUV genes) by this year’s end.
Jeep’s upcoming 7-seater Compass avatar would sport significant differences in styling in addition to an elongated wheelbase. Interestingly, this test mule wears the same 18-inch wheels as the Indian-spec Jeep Compass Limited Plus trim. Almost every other part is hidden from view. Strangely enough, even the ORVMs are covered — indicating either a major overhaul in styling or an overboard attempt to hide its identity.
Brazilian road users have come across quite a few Project 598 test mules in the past. Rumours state that it will be powered by the familiar 2.0 Multijet II diesel motor but at a higher state of tune. The same diesel mill, in varied formats, powers the upcoming Tata Gravitas and MG Hector Plus. A 9-speed TC automatic transmission (which could be programmed differently) will send the power to all four wheels. The American manufacturer plans to introduce the SUV in Brazil for the 2022 model year alongside the next-gen Jeep Renegade.
Jeep India updated its bestseller to BS6 emission norms well ahead of the deadline as well as the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Priced from Rs 16.49 lakh ex-showroom for the base petrol Sport Plus trim, the Jeep Compass is a direct rival to the Tata Harrier, MG Hector and the petrol-only Skoda Auto Volkswagen India siblings, Karoq and T-ROC.
The 2020MY Jeep Compass BS6 comes in two formats: 1.4-litre MultiAir turbo petrol and 2.0-litre Multijet diesel. The former churns out 160bhp and 250Nm while mated to a 7-speed DCT while the diesel variant is good for 171bhp and 350Nm coupled to either a 6-speed manual or 9-speed AT. AWD option is available only in diesel-automatic format.