Jeep ‘Junior’ Compact SUV To Feature AWD
The carmaker has said an AWD variant of its new compact SUV will come for sure as it will never do a soft-roader SUV per se.
The upcoming Jeep compact SUV for India, internally called the “Junior”, is set to come with all-wheel drive (AWD), the carmaker has confirmed.
Jeep has quite a solid plan in place to have, over the coming years, competitive products in many segments catering to the SUV category of vehicles.
While the 3-row Compass is expected to make its debut later this year, it is the sub-4-metre model from the brand that has caught the attention of many.
To be based on PSA’s Common Modular Platform (CMP), the compact SUV from Jeep, it was believed, will forgo AWD, for the platform does not support it.
But, Jeep does not want to let go of its tradition and as Global Head of Jeep Design, Ralph Gilles put it, nothing will be done to “dilute the Jeep brand”. He also declared that an AWD variant of the Jeep Junior compact SUV will be engineered, as the carmaker would “never just do a soft-roader”.
Thus, it evident that an off-road capable version of the Jeep Junior compact SUV will be introduced, which will become the first AWD model in the sub-4-metre SUV class.
However, as mentioned before, PSA’s CMP does not support AWD, meaning, Jeep will have to employ its e-axle tech, which uses an electric motor to drive the rear wheels independent of the front ones powered by an internal combustion engine. The carmaker already uses this tech on the Compass and Renegade sold in Europe.
But, there is a downside to this approach and that is cost. The AWD version of the Jeep Junior compact SUV will cost a lot more than the front-wheel drive variant. On the upside, it will be a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), which will help the car ease past future emissions regulations.
To be powered by Citroen’s 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine, the compact SUV from Jeep will be offered with both manual and automatic gearbox options and rival the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Tata Nexon, Renault Kiger, among several others when it gets launched.
Source – AutocarIndia.com