Archive for the ‘compass’ Tag

The 2018 Jeep Wrangler will look a lot like the 2017 Jeep Wrangler

 

JL Wrangler Forums suggests the next-generation Wrangler will be restyled in an evolutionary way that maintains the off-roader’s classic looks yet adds new features. The forum used intelligence from spy photos and leaked images to assemble renderings of the new Wrangler.

They show that the front end is still classically Jeep, but with modern updates. The LED headlights and turn signals revealed in FCA drawings are noticeable changes. An interesting touch is just behind the rear bumper, where there appears to be an air dam for aerodynamics. There’s still a gap between it and the front fenders to keep the old-school look intact. The grille, windshield, and hood are also more raked for the sake of aerodynamics.

At the back, the lights follow the FCA drawings as well, though the reverse lights from those illustrations appear to be absent. The square taillights are also shown on the truck variant, along with the plastic fender flares of the SUV version. Spy photos of the Wrangler pickup have shown a streamlined box with integrated taillights akin to the Ram, but it’s likely to be a placeholder until the final design is selected. The sides of both models also feature more squared-off details in the top and door handles, generally with beveled corners for a more modern look.

The top is where things get fuzzy. The new model might lose its removable top altogether, in favor of removable panels similar to the Jeep Renegade. JL Wrangler Forums illustrated how this could work in the above image. The roof can be removed in sections, and the rear-most windows can also be taken out. The overall effect is similar to that of a current Wrangler Unlimited. There is a potential drawback to this system, though. All of these hard panels will have to be left somewhere. And unlike the current model, this one wouldn’t have a soft-top back-up when the weather turns. It’s hard to say for sure if this design will make it to production. FCA has consistently and effectively hidden this part of its Wrangler prototypes since they were first spotted. At this point, we can only speculate on how the top will function.

Otherwise, these renderings seem plausible, and we should know how accurate they are when the Wrangler makes its expected debut next year. The new Wrangler will likely have some aluminum body panels, an 8-speed automatic and an available diesel powertrain. For more details and spy photos, check out our post that has assembled everything we know so far about the 2018 Wrangler.

Read more at: http://www.autoblog.com/2016/11/07/2018-jeep-wrangler-design-renderings/

Wrangler to get “special” treatment

The Jeep Wrangler will be getting the “special” treatment over its final year in JK form, with several named editions to be issued, according to Automotive News’ Larry Vellequette.

The Wrangler JL is due in late 2017, as a 2018 model. Automotive News believes the current JK series will end in September 2017, but one Allpar source believes the JK and JL will overlap for the 2018 model year.

According to the industry weekly, dealers have already been told about the 2017 Wrangler Sport Freedom and Sahara Winter editions, with sales starting in December. Oddly, the Freedom will only last until February, while Winter will continue through May.

The Sport Freedom comes with a star motif on the hood and fenders, an American flag decal on one fender, and other badging; 18-inch Sahara wheels, a new rear differential cover, black fuel door cover, and taillamp guards, for $30,690 (add $3,900 for the four door) including destination.

The Sahara Winter has the LED headlamps and fog lamps introduced this year, along with remote start (automatic only), rock rails, hard top, and numerous decals, badges, and accents. The two door starts at $37,440 with the four door adding $3,800.

Automotive News claimed that other special editions would include the Sport Big Bear, Sahara Chief, Sahara Smoky Mountain, and Rubicon Recon (replacing the Hard Rock in February).

The replacement for the current Wrangler, in production for around a decade, will have an optional eight-speed automatic, which should help both acceleration and economy. It’s set to be built in Toledo, in the plant that currently makes the Cherokee; the current Toledo Wrangler plant may also be used after a refit. The Cherokee will move to Belvidere, Illinois, next month, with the Dart already gone and the current Compass/Patriot slated to be stopped.

Read more at: http://www.allpar.com/news/2016/11/wrangler-to-get-special-treatment-35362

First “New Compass” review

Motorchase has posted, if not the first review of the new Compass, the first review in English. With their blessing, we are posting a summary of writer Gustavo Henrique Ruffo’s Camp Jeep experience.

The tested Compass was Brazilian, and the US/Canadian model is likely to sport different engines than the tested Fiat diesel. The ZF nine-speed is common to both.

Body strength was shown off by a series of alternating holes that keep two or three wheels up in the air at a time. Mr. Ruffo reported that the Multijet diesel’s strong torque was more than enough for the off-road experience. “The Compass confidently overcame obstacles, even a 19-inch-high water tank (at 5 mph) [units converted from metric].”

From Camp Jeep, Mr. Ruffo concluded, “In all the trail-like situations, the Compass Trailhawk felt very comfortable to drive and also capable of dealing with most scenarios.”

For the 25-mile roadway drive, including city and highway, Motorchase again got the Trailhawk, and commented on the smoothness of the engine and the high visibility. They did say that the automatic didn’t change gears quickly enough in low-rev situations, but that acceleration was still good.

The Trailhawk, not surprisingly, has a stiff suspension, with “harsh and short” body motion, but high stability at speed and low body roll. Fortunately, Mr. Ruffo was also able to test the Longitude, and spoke more favorably of its road manners:

…the SUV was an example of good behavior. Potholes produced no harsh noises, only minor body shakes. … Uneven asphalt also does not cause the boat movements that often make passengers sick.

Motorchase praised the spaciousness in back, but criticized the low seats — while up front they noted the seats were comfortable but did not have enough thigh support in the off-roading course.

Mr. Ruffo concluded that the new Compass “will be a sales phenomenon” around the world. Priced competitively with compact sedans, but in crossover form, it is in the heart of the market. [Original story at Motorchase]

Read more at: http://www.allpar.com/news/2016/10/first-new-compass-review-34232

2017 Jeep Compass debuts with tiny Grand Cherokee looks

Meet the Jeep Compass. It is, thankfully, completely new and entirely unrelated to the Jeep Compass and Patriot that are on sale now. Bet you almost forgot about that pair. As the new C-Segment SUV in Jeep’s lineup, it’ll replace both of those models and take a spot in between the Renegade and Cherokee.

 

The new Compass is based on a stretched version of the Renegade platform, what Fiat Chrysler Automotive in a fit of eloquence calls the “Small Wide 4×4” architecture. We expect front-wheel drive as standard and four-wheel drive as a very commonly selected option. The Compass should offer either a 2.0-liter turbo inline-four or a naturally-aspirated 2.4-liter inline-four, both mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. There’s a chance it’ll get a manual, but it’s a very slim chance. That being said, globally there will be 17 powertrain options, according to FCA, and that may mean US consumers will have more than one choice in the matter. Judging by the first photo above, a an off-road-ready Trailhawk model is a good bet.

We’ve already seen this thing completely uncovered in these spy shots, which were taken in Brazil, where it will be produced, so the overall mini-Grand Cherokee aesthetic isn’t a surprise. The interior looks more like the Cherokee’s than the Renegade’s, however, and you’ll notice there’s no controversial T-handle shifter in sight.

So why didn’t we see the new Compass at the New York Auto Show, like everybody expected? Jeep says it’s because it wanted the reveal to occur at the plant that’s going to build the thing, highlighting the importance of the South and Central American markets for the brand. There will be a North American debut with more information coming at the LA Auto Show in November, so we won’t have too long to wait for more details. As originally planned, the Compass should hit American dealerships in early 2017.

Read more at: http://www.autoblog.com/2016/09/26/2017-jeep-compass-debut-official/?ncid=edlinkusauto00000016#slide-4075447

Crossovers replacing sedans: Back to the past

Sergio Marchionne’s comment that the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 would be allowed to “run their course” and then be replaced by cars from a “potential partner” caused a range of emotional reactions.

This is not the first time for such thoughts. In the late 1980s, GM, Ford, and Chrysler all lost money on each compact car. Chrysler changed that with the Neon and Cirrus/Stratus, which made hefty profits even while GM and Ford kept losing money. This time, though, insiders claim the company does not have the facilities nor the experienced engineers to make it happen; and even Ford now wants a partner for its sedans.

The earliest mass-produced cars included sedans, but many were the equivalent, in size and shape, of today’s crossovers — the area where Sergio Marchionne wants FCA to focus, at least in North America. Long, low, and sleek appeared as “the look to have” a few years after World War II, for 20-30 years; then the hatchback came into style.

Chrysler sparked a resurgence in the large sedan market in the early 1990s, then helped to rejuvenate midsize and small cars. The moribund large sedan market revived, and sedans in general gained a new lease on life.

Still, the popularity of the low sedan is recent and may be at an end. Ordinary sedans have been getting taller, with the 300 just two inches from the Nissan Juke and six from the Compass and 500L. The 1946 Plymouth was taller than any of them — and the Jeep Cherokee: 68 inches.

So why do many of us, including me, prefer sedans? Is it because they are lower to the ground and handle better? I don’t think so, given how most people drive, and the competent handling of most new crossovers (not to mention the popularity of BMW and Porsche’s crossovers).

Even gas mileage is not really penalized much now, with their larger frontal area countered by aerodynamic design, valve timing, and wide-range transmissions. They also have more space for the large batteries and other gear needed for light and full hybrid systems.

I have had numerous sedans in my life, no SUVs, and just two minivans; my only crossover was a PT Cruiser GT. Still, I can see the attraction of the crossover, especially now that everyone has minivans, SUVs, pickups, and crossovers, which makes visibility rather hard from a low-slung car.

I think the sedan will become more and more specialized over time. Two-door cars (including sedans) used to be extremely common, but they rapidly declined from the 1970s on, and now FCA US only makes the Dodge Challenger, Dodge Viper, Jeep Wrangler, Rams, and Fiat 500 in that form; and even in pickups and Wranglers, the two-door form is less and less popular.

I don’t think this presages the death of Chrysler or Dodge. The 200 and Dart (and Fiat 500) need high incentives to sell. Is replacing them worth delaying rear wheel drive cars for Dodge or large cars and crossovers for Chrysler and Dodge? Mr. Marchionne has a finite number of engineers at hand, and only so many factories. Paying off $5 billion in debt will earn the company more cash than building a new plant.

(I am very, very disappointed that Mr. Marchionne’s pledge that Chrysler would “lead” the engineering of future compact and midsize and large cars has been completely ignored and reneged upon.)

Limited resources, limited time, and a class of car that appears to be disappearing, selling only with large incentives … I can’t say I’d have been able to do anything different.

Or… it’s another trial balloon or an attempt to mis-lead competitors. We are talking about Sergio Marchionne, after all; and his announcements tend not to be set in stone.

Update: When buyers choose sedans, they almost invariably choose imports. Of the top ten 2015 best sellers in the US, there were no American sedans — Camry, Corolla, Accord, Civic and Altima accompanied two imported crossovers (CR-V and RAV4) and the three American pickups. The best selling cars (Camry and Corolla) combined barely outsold Ford’s pickups. In Europe, Fiat’s Panda has grown to challenge its best-seller, the 500; while the 500X, in its first year, nearly matched the declining Punto (both were beaten by the 500L). Fiat’s sales in Europe, 500 aside, are heavily biased in favor of crossovers, vans, and utilities. The same is not true for everyone — over half of Ford’s sales are the Fiesta and Focus.

As read on: http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2016/02/crossovers-replacing-sedans-back-to-the-past-31159

2016 Jeep Patriot Planned

Jeep will keep making the Patriot into the 2016 model year, despite the appearance of the new Jeep Renegade, according to reliable Allpar source “Mopar Man.”

Some expected the Patriot to be dropped once the Renegade appeared, since the cars share a basic form and are roughly similar in size and price. However, relatively few Renegades have made it to the United States, and the plant where the Patriot, Compass, and Dodge Dart are all made is not at full capacity.

A new Jeep Compass is planned for calendar-year 2016, having been pushed back at least once. While the name is still not officially settled, most sources believe it will remain Compass, though the platform will change. In the United States, it will likely use a 2-liter Hurricane turbocharged four-cylinder engine, as well as the current 2.4 and possibly the turbocharged Fiat 1.4 to have a fuel economy leader; however, it will almost certainly use a ZF-based nine-speed automatic, possibly in addition to a manual transmission.

Both Jeep Patriot and the current Jeep Compass are to cease production when the new car starts coming down the line. The next-generation, 2017 Dodge Dart is scheduled to appear at around the same time as the Compass.

As read on: http://allparnews.com/index.php/2015/05/2016-jeep-patriot-planned-28695

Compass: “Honey, I shrunk the Grand Cherokee!”

Today, artist SuzyQ044 provided a rendering of the coming Jeep Compass, following Allpar sources’ claims that it will look like a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee shrunk down to Jeep Renegade size.

We have been told by insiders that the coming “MP” Compass will share its underpinnings and drivetrain with the just-released Renegade. The cars are so close that Compass mules are reportedly out and about, except that you cannot tell that is what they are as they are all cleverly disguised as Renegades.

One insider said the rendering was close, but to make it even more Grand Cherokee-like.

The Compass name itself has not been confirmed, but does not appear to carry enough baggage (or connotations that could be an issue in a worldwide car) to justify a name change.

Theoretically, it could be built at any of the three Renegade/500x plants in the world (Italy, Brazil and China), but it could make more sense for to be domestically produced. If that happens, could the Renegade also find a domestic production line? There is room at the old 200 plant at Sterling Heights, at Toluca in Mexico, and, once the current Compass and Patriot stop, at Belvedere. The question is, which cars can be built on the same lines as each other — and which plants are ready for it?

Read more at: http://allparnews.com/index.php/2015/03/compass-honey-i-shrunk-the-grand-cherokee-28086

2015 Jeep changes: power boost, more

The 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT will get a minor power boost to match the Challenger and Charger — going up to 475 hp. So far, there is no Hellcat, and while it was reportedly considered, Allpar finds it unlikely that the 707 horsepower beast will make it into the luxoJeep.

All prices in this article including a $995 destination charge. Hawaii residents have a $1,045 destination charge.

In addition to the power boost, a new Red Vapor Special will be available to Grand Cherokee SRT buyers (and, despite some odd speculation by other publications, yes, the name will remain Grand Cherokee SRT.)  Grand Cherokee Summit buyers will also find un-named “enhancements” to the top of the line model, which will start at $49,590 without all wheel drive. (The base Laredo runs $30,590, in rear wheel drive form. The SRT makes even Summit look inexpensive, with a price tag of $65,390.)

Wrangler has stereo improvements and a new, optional “black steel” 31 inch wheel setup.  It starts at $23,590 for Sport (two-door), and runs up to $36,190 for Rubicon Unlimited. Generally, moving from the two-door to the extended-wheelbase four-door Unlimited adds $4,000 to the price.

All Wranglers now have a 4×4 setup, and mail carriers (and presumably anyone else who likes the steering wheel on the “wrong” side) can opt for a right-hand-drive Sport Unlimited at $36,190. That’s around $5,000 more than the usual Sport Unlimited.

Cherokee adds a backup camera and automatic headlights to Latitude and Trailhawk models. It will start at $23,990 for the Sport FWD and run up to $31,190 for the Limited AWD; AWD adds $2,000 to the price. Trailhawk is the only model with skid plates and is the base model for those who really intend to go off-road, beyond gravel and dirt roads.

Compass and Patriot Latitude gain a navigation system option, but remain otherwise unchanged as they soldier on. The little Jeeps, made in the same plant as the Dodge Dart, start at $17,490 for the Patriot Sport FWD and end at $28,990 for the Compass Limited AWD. Generally, AWD adds $2,000 to the price, and Patriot is  $1,500 to $2,300 cheaper than equivalent-level Compass, though it has more space and looks “more like a Jeep.”

Read more at: http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2014/08/2015-jeep-changes-power-boost-more

Jeep’s upcoming 5 year plan

Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Machionne presented a five-year plan for the company brands this morning, with Jeep first up on a long day of presentation. Jeep’s head honcho Michael Manley wasted no time in laying out what the foreseeable future will look like for what he calls the “lead global brand” of the company.

Big goals for the next half-decade will include expanding the lineup from five nameplates built in one country, to six nameplates build in six countries. That expansion of models will include both a three-row competitor, and, of course, a small vehicle to slot below Cherokee. The company is also seeking to add a whopping 1,300 dealers over the next few years, to sell all this new metal, and has an aggressive goal of doubling Jeep sales by the time 2018 rolls around.

As expected, that first salvo from the off-road brand will be the debut of the much ballyhooed Renegade small crossover in the third quarter of this year. Jeep has already designated that Renegade will get refreshed for the 2017 model year, as well.

The three-row vehicle in question will be a redux of the Grand Wagoneer nameplate, slated to come to market in the second half of 2018. Manley called the upcoming product the “most premium Jeep we will have ever made,” which sounds promising considering recent product offerings.

2016 will be an unusually important year for Jeep; fitting as it will also mark the company’s 75-year anniversary. An as-yet unnamed C-segment SUV will make its debut in ’16, and the current Cherokee will be due for its mid-cycle refresh as well while both the Patriot and the Compass lines will meet their maker by 2016.

Finally, on to brand cornerstones Wrangler and Grand Cherokee. According to the company, we should expect a completely new Wrangler in the second quarter of 2017, though there is, as of yet, little to no detail on what we should expect. The current Grand Cherokee is slated to get a refresh in the fourth quarter of 2015, before the next generation debuts in the third quarter of 2017.

As read on: http://www.autoblog.com/2014/05/06/jeep-5-year-plan-grand-wagoneer-new-models/?ncid=edlinkusauto00000016