Jeep working on compact crossover, could compete with Mini Countryman

2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Jeep is looking to give the Mini Countryman some hot competition by late next year. The brand is currently developing the currently dubbed “SS”, B-segment crossover model.

Sizing for the new Jeep will be similar to that of the Countryman, but it will feature off-roading capability. The platform will be shared with a Fiat, and will have its share of Italian design influence, as well. Consideration has been given to Europe’s expertise with smaller vehicles.

Several different propositions have been made so far for design. One proposal is to make is rounder, and therefore more similar to its competitor. another is to take influence from the Wrangler.

Front-wheel drive is the most likely option, to be paired with off-road ready electronic breaks, and a torsion-beam rear suspension. All-wheel drive options will get is own suspension and breaks, if they become available.

The Engine will also be supplied by Fiat with the 500 motor, which will most likely end up with forced induction to get power up around 30-70-hp higher than the current 101-hp. An all new nine-speed gearbox may also find a home in the upcoming SS, courtesy of Chrysler.

Readers, do you think Jeep will be able to produce a solid competitor for the Mini market?

– By: Alexandra Koken

Source: CARandDRIVER