2 min read.Updated: 12 Oct 2021, 06:23 PM IST Edited By Vivek Punj
Expanding its India portfolio, Jeep is now looking to bring new SUVs to the country to take on the 7-seater segment currently dominated by Toyota Fortuner
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Jeep has been working on bolstering its portfolio in India for some time now. To this effect, it has launched the Compass facelift and even launched a locally assembled Wrangler. Now, the legacy American SUV maker has its eyes set on the 7-seater SUV segment. Reports suggest that Jeep is planning to launch two three-row, 7-seater full size SUVs by mid-2022 to take on the market leader Toyota Fortuner.
The 7-seater Jeep SUV is likely to be called Meridian and it will be based on Commander that SUV that was recently unveiled in Brazil. This SUV might arrive on Indian shores by most probably by July or August. The upcoming SUV will be build locally at FCA’s Ranjangaon facility, with production likely to start by April 2022. The units produced here will also be exported to other markets with right-hand drive rule.
The Jeep Meridian will be based on the Small-Wide 4X4 platform that also underpins the Compass and Renegade. Elements of the design language could be borrowed from Compass and even other bigger Jeeps like the Wagoneer and Grand Cherokee. The Meridian will be larger in the Compass in all aspects.
The 2.0-litre engine that currently does duty on the Compass could be borrowed over for the Meridian. This powerhouse can churn out 173bhp of power and 200Nm of torque. The motor will be paired with a 9-speed automatic gearbox as standard, with the top trim likely to see an all-wheel drive system.
Jeep is also readying a 5-seater Grand Cherokee for India launch next year. It will be placed between the bigger 3-row Grand Cherokee L and the Meridian. The 2022 Grand Cherokee will borrow the style and design from its bigger sibling and we might see panels from the Grand Cherokee L being carried over.
The changes in design could be seen the rear end of the Grand Cherokee, as well as in the front with active grille shutters, air curtains and refreshed rear pillars. It is likely to come with a 3.6-litre V6 engine petrol engine and a 5.7-litre Hermi V8 engine. Both engine will be coupled with an 8-speed automatic gearbox.
We might also see the Grand Cherokee featuring Jeep's 4xe hybrid technology. Report suggests that the SUV could also be launched in a hybrid variant with 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine along with twin electric motors and a lithium-ion battery. This powertrain is expected to deliver 375bhp power and 637Nm torque.