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Jeepster name may be used for Fiat-based baby Jeep

Tue, 17 Dec 2013

In 1948, Willys-Overland, the forbearers of Jeep, built a vehicle called the Jeepster. It was a funky little thing, designed as a mix of the more rugged Jeeps that came before with what was then a modern car, which arguably makes it the world's first crossover. The name was later revived from 1966 to 1972, which means for Jeep enthusiasts, it has some history.

Now, the modern Jeep brand may revive the Jeepster name for a new product, likely based on Fiat bones, that will slot in at the bottom of the brand's range underneath the soon-to-depart Compass and Patriot. The report comes from Australia's Drive, which cites a dealer source that has seen the vehicle.

That same dealer confirmed there is a link between the Jeepster and the rumored Fiat 500X, and that the former will be available in both front and all-wheel-drive variants. The source also claims both gas and diesel engines will be available, although as this is an Aussie site, we shouldn't take that to mean we'll get a diesel Jeepster in the US.

We still don't have a great idea of what the production Jeepster will look like - those spy shots we have up top are all we've seen of it testing - but the new baby Jeep will reportedly make its production debut at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, a clue that parent Chrysler has true global ambitions for its small CUV.

By Brandon Turkus

See also: Four-horse race opens up for next Chrysler-Fiat CEO, Ward's Automotive Ten Best Engines of 2014 dominated by diesels, turbos, Chrysler recalls small number of 2013-2014 cars and trucks over engine debris.