Following Fiat’s announcement in December that Jeep will officially enter India this year, here are the first-ever spy shots of the India-bound Jeep models spotted by reader Jim Gorde.
The first product to hit our shores will be the iconic Wrangler. The Jeep Wrangler made its debut in 1987 as the successor to the famous World War II Jeep, also known as Willys CJ (Civilian Jeep). The latest-generation Wrangler (code: JK), like the original CJ, uses front and rear live-axles. Fiat is testing the short as well as the long wheelbase versions (as can be seen in the photo), and is likely to launch both in India. The Jeep Wrangler arriving here is expected to be powered by a 2.8-litre common-rail diesel engine that’s good for 197bhp.
The third car in the photo is the Grand Cherokee. Codenamed WK2, this fourth-gen model is powered by a 3.0-litre common-rail diesel that makes 237bhp. The Grand Cherokee was recently given a facelift that included some cosmetic as well as mechanical upgrades such as an eight-speed gearbox. Although the car in the picture looks like the pre-facelift version, we expect Jeep to launch the updated model in India. The WK2 is based on the current Mercedes-Benz M-class – it is thoroughly modern and promises to offer superb off-road ability with plush, comfortable interiors.
Initially, both the Wrangler and the Grand Cherokee will be offered as CBUs.
There are two more models in the pipeline for Jeep in India. The first of these is a B-segment SUV that could share underpinnings with the upcoming Fiat SUV and a second SUV that might be based on the Jeep Compass – currently the smallest model in the Jeep global line-up.
Chrysler has already set up an R&D centre in Chennai that houses about 1,000 employees and is the third-largest Chrysler R&D facility worldwide.