The American Panda will be made in Italy.
Earlier this year we heard about Jeep’s plans to introduce a new model to its European lineup, set to be positioned below the current Renegade. No official confirmation has been released so far, but the manufacturer is said to be looking "very closely" at the new project. Word on the street is the vehicle will be based on the Fiat Panda or 500 and will be produced in Italy.
Italy is where our exclusive rendering of the rumored model comes from – it’s created by our colleagues from OmniAuto and previews what could become a pretty attractive offering in the sub-compact crossover segment. In this virtual drawing, it shares some design components with the larger Renegade and wears the traditional Jeep seven-slot radiator grille.
According to preliminary details, the baby Jeep will be assembled at FCA’s factory in Pomigliano in Italy, replacing the Panda on the assembly lines. The Italian city car in turn will move to Poland, where the automaker assembles its Abarth models in the city of Tychy.
If it receives the green light, the new crossover will likely be vastly different to the Panda, as Jeep wants to retain its signature go-anywhere DNA. We won’t be surprised if it receives some kind of rugged version, in the same vein as the Trailhawk variant of the Renegade.
We don’t know much more than that at the moment, but we can speculate the new small Jeep will get some Fiat engines, like the 0.9-liter TwinAir Turbo with 105 horsepower (74 kilowatts) and the 1.3-liter MultiJet diesel with 75 hp (55 kW) and 140 pound-feet (190 Newton-meters) of torque. FWD should be standard, while optionally available could be the Panda Cross 4x4's torque on demand drive system with two differentials and an electronically controlled coupling.
Everything sounds great, but unfortunately Jeep has no intentions to sell the baby Jeep in the United States, as it is apparently too small for the local crossover/SUV standards.
Note: 2017 Jeep Renegade Deserthawk pictured in the gallery below.