Mike Stevens | Mar 7, 2011

Chrysler Group is set to extend its engine and platform-sharing program with partner Fiat, with news this week that a compact Jeep SUV is on the way.

With a 2013 launch tentatively scheduled, the new entry-level Jeep is likely to be built on a high-riding version of the platform underpinning the Fiat Punto.

Engine options are also expected to come from the Fiat catalogue, with the company's 1.3 and 1.6 litre JDTm diesel engines, and the 1.4 litre MultiAir petrol engines, likely to slot in.

"There’s definitely space in the market for a Jeep-brand B-segment SUV," Jeep CEO Mike Manley told British magazine Autocar at Geneva this week.

"We’re already working on a project that will meet that need, and expect to have the car on the road by 2013."

Manley added that the new crossover will take styling cues from across the range, focusing on the Wrangler's iconic styling but with a "slightly softer" look.

The new Jeep will be a relatively unique concept in the US market, but in Europe, the brand will be looking to tap into the success of the quirky Nissan Juke crossover, while also bringing younger buyers to the Jeep badge.

“I’ve already reviewed some designs for the car, and I’m very excited,” Manley said. “This is going to be a very special car for us.”

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