Jeep’s been on a tear lately, with the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee arguably the two models keeping all the lights on at FCA. Even the regular, not-so-grand Cherokee has been doing well in dealers. Now, the muddy brand that’s driving the company is turning its attention to its littlest machine – the Renegade.
In Europe at least, there will be a bevy of new engines, including a 1.0-liter turbocharged inline-three. Limited and Trailhawk trims promise to increase the trucklet’s average transaction price.
The Euro arm of the company has dropped details on what to expect from next year’s Renegade in that market. That Jeep chose to release details of an upcoming product in Europe first before its American home market could be a glimpse into their newfound push to widen the brand overseas. Or, I could be reading too much into the whole thing.
It’s unclear which of the engines – a brace of gasoline units and two diesel motors – will make their way to the United States. Jeep is saying that 1.0L turbo three-pot makes 120 horsepower, while a 1.3L turbo four will be available in two states of tune: 150 or 180 horses. That’s as powerful as the naturally-aspirated 2.4L TigerShark engine that’s currently found between the Renegade’s fenders. Both engines are all-aluminium and have four valves per cylinder.
It would be extremely surprising, given the recent diesel flaps at FCA and other manufacturers, if either of the diesels – a 1.6L and 2.0L – make their way to our shores.
Styling has been tweaked, with a slightly revised front fascia for the Limited and Trailhawk models. In particular, the available LED headlamps are said to follow the styling language set out by the new Wrangler JL when equipped with optional LEDs. Swapping out last year’s wheels for snazzier units is a sure-fire way for any company to update its line, and Jeep does that here as well.
Off-roaders will note the Trailhawk-branded trim, which will afford wheel articulation of eight inches and ground clearance of about eight-and-a-half inches. That’s about the same ground clearance as a Cherokee, except for the TrailHawk, which enjoys 8.8 inches of ability to run over stuff. Renegade Trailhawks earn a “Rock” setting that will either give drivers the People’s Elbow or finesse the throttle for surmounting a stony trail.
New interior treatments are largely limited to updated versions of FCA’s excellent UConnect, especially the 8.4-inch unit that now supports Apple CarPlay. USB ports have been moved around for better access, and colors get new names.
According to the company, the Renegade was the best-selling Jeep SUV in Europe last year, with 73,200 new registrations. With growth like that, maybe it’s not so surprising they chose to launch the thing in Europe after all. Expect American news later this summer.
[Images: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]