The first Jeep truly designed for the global marketplace—the 2015 Jeep Renegade—made its first public appearance recently at the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland. "Designed in America, crafted in Italy," the Renegade in fact borrows its underpinnings from Fiat and will have a corporate cousin in the shape of the Fiat 500X. (Although, to be clear, the latter has not been confirmed for the U.S. marketplace at this time.)
On the other hand, the brand did take pains to ensure the Renegade could offer Jeep-like off-road performance, thanks to a "Trailhawk" edition that boasts:
- Jeep Active Drive Low all-wheel-drive technology with a 20:1 crawl ratio
- The brand's Selec-Terrain multi-mode drive system with specific "Rock" setting
- Additional ground clearance and restyled front and rear fascias that enable steeper approach and departure angles
- 8.1 inches of wheel articulation complemented by the ability to ford 19 inches of water
- Off-road hardware like skid plates and tow hooks
Further, the 2015 Jeep Renegade will be able to tow up to 2,000 lbs. with a gas engine or up to 3,300 lbs. with an available diesel, with some 16 different engine and transmission combinations available in total. Of course, those choices will be fine-tuned for each individual market, and while U.S. customers may not see the Renegade's diesel powerplants at the vehicle's American launch, they will benefit from a segment-first nine-speed automatic transmission.
There will be plenty of goodies available for the Renegade as well, including the newest My Sky roof options for open-air driving and Uconnect tech with a 6.5-inch touchscreen.
“The all-new 2015 Jeep Renegade expands the brand’s product portfolio and targets the rapidly expanding small SUV segment around the globe with benchmark levels of efficiency and driving dynamics, while at the same time delivering best-in-class 4x4 capability that customers expect from Jeep,” said Mike Manley, president and CEO of the Jeep Brand for Chrysler Group LLC. “Renegade symbolizes the brand’s renowned American design, ingenuity and innovation, marking the Jeep brand’s first entry into the small SUV segment in more than 100 markets around the globe.”
Just note that Manley isn't kidding when he calls the Renegade small; at 166.6 inches in length, it's roughly 16 inches shorter than the new 2014 Jeep Cherokee and right about the same size as a FIAT 500L.