Big changes are in store for the Jeep brand, bringing in models from both the Dodge and Fiat brands, according to an Automotive News report. In addition to new powertrains aimed at improving fuel economy, it appears that Fiat models will underpin new vehicles that will replace some less-capable offerings from the iconic off-road brand.
The biggest change is the yet-to-be named Fiat model that is likely to be based on the new Panda 4x4. According to AN, it will be built alongside the Fiat 500X in Turin, Italy. No name has been given to this model, but it has been confirmed that it will have at least one trail-rated variant.
Elsewhere in the lineup, the Dodge Durango three-row SUV is set to be replaced with an all-new full-size model, possibly called the Grand Wagoneer. This model would compete with the Chevrolet Suburban. The Grand Cherokee, meanwhile, will get the much-anticipated 3.0-liter diesel engine (we also hope it may wind up in the Wrangler).
The standard Cherokee name is likely coming back as the moniker to replace the Liberty. It could be powered by a new 3.2-liter V6 and underpinned by a Fiat platform that it would share with the Dodge Dart – the first Jeep to do so. This new model would come in early 2013 as a 2014 model.
Jeep's soft-roading crossovers, the Compass and Patriot, are set to receive a new six-speed automatic transmission, replacing the CVT currently under the hood. Only one of these nameplates is likely to survive past 2014.
Jeep has been reached for confirmation or denial of this report, but declined to comment on future product.