2015 Jeep subcompact test mule spy shots
The vehicle will share its underpinnings with a similar sized model from Fiat, dubbed the 500X. Those underpinnings are a shortened version of the front-wheel-drive platform found in the 500L (a different design to that in the smaller Fiat 500), which has been modified to feature an all-wheel-drive setup.
We know this test mule is for a Jeep, because of the familiar multi-slatted grille up the front. The vehicle was also spotted at a Chrysler proving ground in North America. Not much is known about the vehicle though its styling is expected to resemble that of the Wrangler.
It will primarily be an on-road vehicle, however. Front-wheel drive will be standard, but it will offer an all-wheel-drive trail-rated option for those needing some off-road capability. Power will come from four-cylinder engines, most likely those fitted to the existing 500 and 500L models.
Production of both this Jeep and its Fiat 500X cousin will take place at Fiat Chrysler’s plant in Melfi, Italy. Preparing the plant for the production of the two new vehicles will cost approximately $1.3 billion. The first cars are expected to roll off the line in late 2014.
Worldwide sales of the Jeep model alone are expected to top 150,000 units annually, thanks to the burgeoning compact crossover market. Key rivals will include the MINI Cooper Countryman and Buick Encore.
Stay tuned for updates as development progresses.