Jeep CEO Mike Manley said that although the replacement for the Jeep Compass and Patriot will come from a front-wheel-drive Fiat car platform, he wants to make it clear that the replacement will be "100 percent Jeep."
Jeep engineers will develop the vehicle, which is why the product stays in the U.S. In about 18 months, the new Jeep will replace both the Patriot and Compass compact crossovers, which share a platform, engine and optional equipment.
Those vehicles offer both fwd and all-wheel-drive configurations. Jeep is debating whether to choose a new name or keep Patriot or Compass, a source said. Through November 2010, U.S. sales for the Patriot and Compass totaled 49,672, up 26 percent over 2009.
Since its debut in the 2007 model year, the Patriot has been Trail Rated, a Jeep designation for traction, ground clearance and other factors that promise off-road capability. The Compass was not built for off-road use, but the 2011 model has an optional Trail Rated package.
Jeep is going to trail-rate the replacement vehicle. Dodge and Chrysler will have compact sedans based on the same platform that will be used by Jeep. Manley claims further that the Wrangler capability of these vehicles will be “more capable” than a compact SUV. [via autonews - sub. required]