By 2025, every Jeep SUV will be available with a 100% electric powertrain. And that includes a new entry-level model, which will become the first electric Jeep SUV next year. Here’s what we know so far about the car that will change how you see Jeep that could carry the Jeep Jeepster nameplate.
There’s no official word on what the new Jeep small SUV will be called. While web reports have referred to it as the Jeep Junior and Jeep 516 (codename), MoparInsiders reports that Stellantis could bring back the Jeep Jeepster nameplate for the baby SUV when it arrives in Q1 2023. It would be the second time the company has used the Jeepster badge in three years, as the brand last applied it on the MY2020 Jeep Renegade Sport special edition.
Electric Jeep SUV Design
This first electric Jeep SUV is smaller than the Renegade but looks worthy of the Jeep tradition of a seven-slot grille. It has a rugged and outdoorsy feel, and as with every Jeep launch since the Compass, it has a solid stance.
At the front, apart from the signature seven-slot grille, which is a uniquely closed piece and features a blue “e” logo, the Jeep 516/Jeep Jeepster Electric sports chunky yet sleek rectangular lamps, an inward-slanted prominent bumper, and a muscular hood with a central bulge.
The first electric Jeep has a squarish profile with plenty of muscle, giving it a dominant look. The beefy wheel arches, the strong shoulders, and the black fender flares rocker panels contribute to its aggressive character. The roofline slopes swiftly, improving the aerodynamics and thus reducing the energy consumption. Hidden rear door handles and the petal-style alloys help build funkiness into the design.
The shape of the rear windscreen, the recess for the registration plate, and the tailgate itself make the Electric Jeep SUV reminiscent of the Compass. The rectangular tail lamps resemble the Dacia Spring, although their clusters feature a Renegade-inspired “X” shape. The X-motif is noticeably wide, yet another example of Jeep designers emphasizing the SUV’s width.
eCMP platform to underpin the Jeep electric SUV
Merging with Groupe PSA into the new entity Stellantis opens new avenues for FCA brands. One of the resources at its disposal is CMP or Common Modular Platform, the low-cost platform Groupe PSA co-developed with Chinese company Dongfeng Motors. The upcoming entry-level Jeep SUV will ride on the CMP, and there are many advantages it would allow over the Small-Wide 4×4 platform.
Unlike the Small-Wide 4×4 platform, CMP doesn’t allow fitting a four-wheel drive system. However, according to Automotive News’ supplier sources, the new electric Jeep could still get a four-wheel drive variant with an electric motor at the rear axle, following what could have been a lengthy reengineering of the platform.
The true advantage CMP offers over the Small-Wide 4×4 platform is that it is ready for full electrification. An EV-specific variant of this platform, called eCMP, is used by Opel, Peugeot, Citroen, and DS in the European portfolio for front-wheel drive vehicles.
In June 2018, there was no plan to offer a pure electric variant of the new small Jeep SUV, probably because, among other possible reasons, it would not have been possible with the Small-Wide 4×4. Now, thanks to CMP (eCMP), the baby Jeep will be electric-ready and future-proof.
In April 2021, Automotive News Europe reported that the new entry-level Jeep SUV (codename Jeep 516) would enter production at Fiat’s Tychy factory in Poland in November 2022. A pure-electric variant would follow the launch, but the Jeep electric SUV could be a forbidden fruit for the U.S. market, much like the Commander, a China-special.
The vehicle’s dimensions would be unsuitable for the United States. The Jeep 516 would be a size smaller than the Renegade, and there’s not much demand to take the effort of adapting it for the United States. Stellantis has confirmed that two Jeep EVs, a pure off-road UV and a lifestyle family SUV, are coming to the U.S. in 2024. These are expected as the Jeep Wrangler Electric and the Jeep Grand Wagoneer Electric.
The first all-electric Jeep will be available in the first half of 2023, according to Carlos Tavares, the CEO of Stellantis. Along with the confirmation, Tavares released the first pictures of the electric SUV (featured in this story) during a strategy conference held on March 1, 2022.
Electrification will amplify Jeep’s core brand attributes: capability, open-air freedom, fun, and style. This new model will launch during the first half of next year and is the first of a comprehensive fully electric Jeep line-up that will cover every SUV segment by 2025.Carlos Tavares, CEO, Stellantis (Stellantis long-term strategic plan on March 1, 2022)
Electric Jeep SUV (Jeep Jeepster Electric) FAQs
What is the first electric Jeep SUV release date?
The first Jeep electric SUV will go on sale in H1 2023. It is unlikely to come to the U.S. market.
Which models will be alternatives to the first Jeep electric SUV?
What is the expected Jeep Jeepster electric price?
Expect Jeep to price its electric SUV starting at around EUR 35,000.
Featured Image Source: FCA/Stellantis