Four wheels good, two are better
Jeep’s focus is the school run as much as the mountainside
versions. ‘‘ Within each of the segments Jeep operates in, we need to have to have segmentleading (4WD) capability and that ties back to the DNAof the Wrangler,’’ Manley says.
He says the aim is to build a vehicle that is essentially a mini Grand Cherokee, combining a modern, hi-tech interior with the robust body that is still capable of taking its occupants wherever they dare drive it.
‘‘ When you get into smaller segments, they will not have the capability, for example, of the Grand Cherokee. But within their segment one vehicle will be Trail-rated and have class-leading capability,’’ Manley says.
The as-yet-unnamed vehicle is based on a Fiat-derived architecture and ‘‘ will undergo significant development to turn it into a Jeep’’.
Manley says the recent Compass and Patriot models have already illustrated the popular appeal of two-wheel drive Jeeps.
‘‘ On those vehicles, we’re 51 per cent two-wheel drive (in the US). That figure will go up for this car because we know that two-wheel drive tends to dominate sales with smaller SUVs,’’ he says.
‘‘ So I’mlooking for a very versatile, mod, fun interior that’s going to be robust enough for those people who take their vehicle off-road.
‘‘ The Grand Cherokee has been an exceptional product for us and this vehicle will continue that approach.’’
Two-wheel thrive: Most Patriot sales in the US are 2WD