India-Bound Jeep Compact SUV To Likely Get AWD System


Jeep compact SUV is expected to follow the launch of the seven-seater SUV based on Compass; to likely use a 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine

Jeep India is working on a seven-seater monocoque SUV based on the Compass and it will more likely go on sale in the first half of 2022. It will be followed by a sub-four-metre SUV that will rival Kia Sonet, Tata Nexon, Mahindra XUV300, etc and it could be launched around 2023. The locally-made Jeep Wrangler will be introduced on March 15, 2021 and the locally assembled Grand Cherokee is also on its way.

Earlier this year, the American SUV specialist launched the facelifted version of the Compass to stretch the lifespan of the existing model as it is the sole volume gatherer for the brand. The Jeep compact SUV holds plenty of importance as it will become the smallest SUV from the brand and Jeep does not want it to stray away from the traditional routes either.

In a recent interaction with ACI, Ralph Gilles, Global Head of Jeep Design told, “We are going to engineer some kind of variant for it. So stay tuned for that.” as he reiterated that it is highly “unlikely” not to have an all-wheel-drive configuration in its lifecycle. Commenting on the latest SUV trend he said,


“We would never just do a soft-roader because that word is not allowed in our vocabulary.” He went on to state that nothing would be done to “dilute the brand”. Manufacturing an AWD model will incur more costs compared to the standard 2WD version. Though Jeep sells two-wheel-drive vehicles, they will have 4WD offered in the top-end variants despite selling in low volumes to not sacrifice the brand’s off-roading identity.

Jeep retails an e-all-wheel drive system with the Compass and Renegade in Europe since 2020 and it could opt for a similar solution with the compact SUV. Both are powered by a 1.3-litre turbocharged petrol engine driving the front wheels while an electric motor mounted at the rear increase the total power output up to 240 horsepower.

The brand is indeed looking at electrifying its IC-engined range in the near future. As for the compact SUV, it will reportedly be based on the CMP platform as the upcoming Citroen CC21. The sub-four-metre SUV with high localisation will likely go on sale in H1 2022 but the architecture does not support 4WD. Thus, Jeep could adapt a similar system as in Europe but it may become more expensive.

Rendering Source: Kleber Silva