NEW YORK—Jeep used America's largest metropolis to debut its smallest-ever vehicle, the 2015 Renegade, for the first time on U.S. soil on Wednesday at the New York auto show.
The New York reveal follows the Renegade's global debut in March at the Geneva auto show, and it underscores Jeep's intent to try to lure new, younger buyers in the emerging small crossover segment.
“The Renegade is essential equipment for the next urban adventurer,” Jeep CEO Mike Manley told the crowd at the New York auto show.
Smaller urban crawlers were a trend this year at New York, as Chevy rolled out the Trax ute, which will join the line late this year and carmakers increasingly are concentrating on the segment for growth.
The new Jeep makes use of Fiat's so-called “small-wide” architecture for four-wheel-drive vehicles. It allows for 8.1 inches of wheel articulation, and offers 8.7 inches of ground clearance. The idea is to translate the traditional values of Jeep into a small package.
The Renegade powertrain lineup will include a 184-hp in-line four-cylinder paired with Fiat's new nine-speed automatic transmission and a 160-hp I-4 mated to a six-speed manual. Jeep said today it expects the 2015 Jeep Renegade to achieve more than 30 mpg on the highway with either engine, although exact numbers have yet to be released.
The Rengade's U.S. debut showed off Jeep's growing momentum, and Manley said the global sales target for the brand has been raised to one million this year on the strength of the new Cherokee and growth in emerging markets. Jeep sold 85,000 units globally in March, the best single month ever for the brand.