Four wheels good, two are bet­ter

Jeep’s fo­cus is the school run as much as the moun­tain­side

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News -

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

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