2011 Jeep Grand CherokeeEnlarge Photo
Jeep’s entire lineup is in for a major overhaul, with the brand being transformed into a global player and injected with fresh new models and technology borrowed from new parent company, Fiat. We’ve already seen the first of Jeep’s new lineup in the form of the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, which goes on sale later this year.
It will be joined by a restyled Wrangler off-roader later this year as well, while the Compass and Patriot crossovers are given a minor facelift to keep them fresh until they are replaced by a single model around 2013. This new model will be based on Fiat's Compact Wide platform, which is available in two different lengths and is capable of accommodating a four-wheel drive system.
Some of the changes planned for the Wrangler include the addition of Chrysler’s 280 horsepower Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6 as an option, as well as new body-matched color hard tops.
The big news, however, is the addition of a new compact crossover also in 2013. Though Jeep is yet to officially confirm this model, previous reports have suggested the car will be based on the compact Fiat Panda Cross. The move is designed to help Jeep meet tough CAFE regulations set to roll in this decade.
Another model being replaced by a new Fiat-based vehicle is the Liberty, which was just given a minor update this year and will likely bow out in late 2012.
[Automotive News, sub req’d]