Jeep EV rumored to be called Jeepster appears in new photo

·3 min read

A couple of months ago, Stellantis gave us front and rear images of its coming electric Jeep for international markets. The chunky little guy was a hit, packaging all the necessary Jeep cues into a dinky package — the model will slot under the Renegade when it launches later this year — while still being clean, crisp, and full of attitude. Said to be known internally as "Project 516" or "Junior," it will be built in Tychy, Poland, and in India. A member of the Autopareri forum, where we got a look at a prototype Dodge Hornet crossover not long ago, posted a photo of what's said to be the camouflaged Jeep. The post didn't divulge where the photo was taken. It's hard to be certain, but it seems Jeep hasn't changed much, if anything, from concept to production other than the side mirrors.

That would be a great thing, if true. We still don't know specifics about the model, but its looks should draw attention.

What we do know is that it rests on the CMP platform shared throughout the Peugeot-Citroen family that also comes in a pure electric version called eCMP. A Fiat and coming Alfa Romeo under the Tonale — which won't be called the Brennero — are the brand-engineered versions of Project 516. Speaking of names, rumor has it the Jeep will be called Jeepster, a moniker first applied to a Willys-Overland product from 1948 to 1850, then to a Kaiser Motors product from 1966 to 1973, then on a special-edition Renegade in 2020.

Junior Jeepster is scheduled to hit assembly lines in November this year, powered by an internal combustion engine expected to be a 1.2-liter Peugeot unit. The electric version is anticipated for production in April 2023, followed by a mild hybrid trim in January 2024. The Peugeot e-2008 built on the same platform fits a 50-kWh battery powering a 134-hp motor turning the front wheels up to a range of 193 miles on the WLTP cycle. The e-2008 is within inches of the Renegade, though, so those specs could shrink for this sub-Renegade Jeep. The electric Jeepster will start with a batteries from CATL, same as in the Pug, then switch to cells from Chinese automaker BYD not long after production commences.

It's not clear when the Jeepster will get all-wheel drive, because the CMP platform wasn't designed to accommodate such a drivetrain. Reports from last year said the AWD Alfa Romeo version, which isn't expected until 2024, would be the first to turn both axles and then share its AWD system with the Jeep. But that was in reference to the ICE version that would use the combustion engine to turn the front wheels and an e-motor to turn the rears. It's not clear what's in store for the battery-electric trim.

Stellantis apparently has an annual production of about 300,000 in mind for the Jeep, Fiat, and Alfa Romeo, the Jeep sales figured to account for a little more than one-third of that. Check out Autopareri for the leaked image of what's headed to places that aren't the U.S.

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