In the past few weeks, Fiat has sent out a few press releases, where along with the Fiat logo, there was the Chrysler logo as well. Confusion prevailed as to why the Chrysler logo has been put on Fiat India’s press releases, when the former company has absolutely no presence in the country. Turns out, Fiat is already working on bringing the Jeep brand to India and the Italian automaker confirmed the same at the ongoing Paris Motor Show.
Fiat India will launch the Jeep Grande Cherokee in the Indian market next year, bringing it through the CBU route. The off-roader will be priced at around Rs. 40 lakhs and if there is demand, Fiat might consider CKD operations at their Ranjangaon facility. At that price, the Jeep Grand Cherokee will have to fend off competition from the Land Rover Freelander 2, Toyota Prado, Mitsubishi Montero, BMW X1 and Audi Q3. The Grand Cherokee is based on the old Mercedes-Benz M-Class platform and has received 4-star safety rating from EuroNCAP.
The Jeep Grande Cherokee is powered by a 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine which was engineered by Fiat Powertain. This engine is available in two sets of tune, 188 BHP, 440 Nm and 237 BHP, 550 Nm. We are likely to get the more powerful engine. Both the engines are mated to a 5-speed automatic gearbox. The fourth generation Grand Cherokee is also available in a SRT-8 version which is the most powerful Jeep till date. This version of the Grande Cherokee produces 465 BHP of power from its 6.4-litre V8 engine.
What is so special about Jeep? They were the inventors of the SUV and are the oldest 4-wheel drive brand in the world. You must have heard and seen the iconic CJ series of army jeeps, they were developed by them. Fiat will setup a new distribution network for Jeep and post the launch of the Grand Cherokee, other vehicles like the Patriot, Commander and Compass might be brought to India. Fiat should also consider bringing in Dodge to the Indian market.