Single image hints at tiny Jeep Renegade
A leaked image suggesting Jeep’s entry into the compact crossover segment of the SUV market has been found floating around on the Internet. The image, exposed by jalopnik.com, shows a very small vehicle wearing the traditional Jeep grille and logo.
It doesn’t take rocket science to deduce that the baby SUV, apparently to be badged the Renegade, will be targeting the small crossover segment of the market, competing directly with the segment-pioneering Nissan Juke.
The Renegade is said to have been developed alongside Fiat’s own baby SUV, the 500X, and is rumoured to share most of its Italian sister’s underpinnings and platform.
That isn’t to say that the Renegade will be a 500X with round lights and a seven-bar grille; from what we understand at least one of the Renegade models will be 4×4 driven, and will be ‘Trail Rated’, hinting at some authentic, Jeep-style off-road capabilities.
A 4×4 Renegade could herald the first real competition for the very popular Suzuki Jimmy, although it’s doubtful whether the Jeep will be able to match the Suzuki’s low kerb mass, which is one of the secrets to its success.
The entry-level Jeep will probably make use of the same engines as the 500X, with the 1,3-litre Fiat-sourced turbodiesel being the most popular. A 0.9-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol unit will probably also be offered, but it is unlikely that South Africans will be given that option.
Jeep is supposedly targeting a 2015 release date for the Renegade, but it could well make a surprise debut at this week’s Geneva Motor Show.