Pictures of the much talked about crossover from Jeep have surfaced just ahead of its debut at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show. It was speculated earlier that this car would revive the ‘Jeepster’ moniker which was last used in 1972, on a production model and on a concept in 1999. But a report from Jalopnik suggests that the car will be called ‘Renegade’ and will spawn a Fiat variant called 500X.
Based on Fiat's Small Wide platform architecture, also seen in the 500L minivan, the Renegade marks Jeep’s foray into the entry-level segment. The images released are of the Trailhawk model, which sports dark wheels, a black hood decal and a ‘Trail Rated’ badge on its front doors. The Renegade sheds Jeep’s rugged image to adopt a funky crossover styling influenced by the Fiat Panda 4x4. The top of the car houses a twin sky roof system and rumours suggest that the roof will be removable to make it an open top car.
The Renegade will share its powertrains with the Fiat’s crossover and will include Fiat's 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol unit, the 0.9-litre TwinAir turbocharged petrol engine and the 1.3-litre turbo diesel unit. The Jeep will be available only as a four-wheel-drive, though the Fiat might be offered as a front-wheel-drive in certain markets to reduce costs.
More details are expected to be revealed once it is unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show, later this week. When launched, the Renegade will go up against other crossovers like the Kia Soul, Mini Countryman and Nissan Juke in the international market.
Fiat had earlier revealed that the company’s engineers from Chennai R&D facility had contributed significantly to the development of this car, which means that we can expect the car to be launched here too. Speculations suggest that the car measures 4,250mm in length, indicating that the car cannot avail the sub-four metre concessions in the Indian market. We expect it to be priced around Rs 25 lakh to rival the likes of Audi Q3, BMW X1, Mini Countryman and Renault Koleos. Though it doesn’t have the rugged look which we associate with a Jeep, we think that the Renegade has enough appeal to give the other SUVs a run for their money.