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Report: Jeep to build subcompact by 2013?

CEO Mike Manley let word slip at the Geneva Motor Show that his company is looking to build a subcompact-sized B-segment SUV by 2013.

Manley said that Chrysler's partnership with Fiat would be critical to building the new car, as Jeep is looking at using Fiat's 1.6-liter and 1.3-liter JDTm diesels, as well as the 1.4-liter Multiair gasoline mill.

The package would likely be based on the Fiat Grande Punto, and most models would be front-wheel drive. Since this is a Jeep product, at least the top-of-the-line trim level would get four-wheel drive.

Expect the subcompact Jeep to be aimed at the Mini Cooper and the Audi A1, with a premium options list in a supermini. Despite targeting the premium hatchback market, the Jeep will carry at least a passing resemblance to the Wrangler, and won't totally abandon its rugged off-road ethos.

[Source: Autocar | Image: Matt Coors via Flickr (used w/ permission)]

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