US carmaker Chrysler is planning three new SUVs for its Jeep line-up for 2013, CEO Sergio Marchionne has confirmed this week.
The plan comes as part of a push by Marchionne - boss of both Fiat and Chrysler - to nearly double Jeep's global sales from 420,000 in 2010 to 800,000 by 2014.
The first of the three new SUVs, codenamed D-SUV, will replace the existing Cherokee in early 2013. An all-wheel-drive platform is expected, and powertrain options will include Fiat's 2.0 litre four-cylinder MultiAir engine, producing around 125kW.
In the months following, Jeep's first entry into the hugely popular small SUV segment will make its debut. Codenamed B-SUV, the new model will be built in Mexico and will utilise an existing Fiat platform.
The new models will be rounded out by a replacement for the Jeep Patriot and Compass. Dubbed C-SUV, it will be developed specifically for the European market (although an Australian debut is also likely) and built at Fiat's plant in Mirafiori, Italy.
The same platform is expected to underpin a future Alfa Romeo compact SUV, and both models will debut between 2012 and the end of 2013. Both all-wheel-drive and front-wheel-drive configurations are expected.
Engine options for the smaller Jeep SUVs are likely to include Fiat's 1.3 and 1.6 litre JDTm diesel engines, and the 1.4 litre MultiAir petrol engine.
The announcement follows comments from Jeep CEO Mike Manley in March, who confirmed that at least one new 'B-segment' Jeep is in the works.
“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.”