Jeep is planning a small CUV, and it intends to use a vehicle from way back as inspiration and even to use the same name. This is the Jeepster, a Willy’s Overland vehicle from 1948 that merged the rugged qualities of traditional jeep vehicles with more car-like features. In fact, the Jeepster can in many senses be considered the first crossover, since it brought together the attributes of two different vehicles and came up with a somewhat sporty, useful hybrid.
The name Jeepster was later reused from the mid 60s to early 70s for later incarnations of the sporty crossover. It was the kind of vehicle that beach bums liked to take to the beach and hippies liked to ride off into the countryside with.
Not too much is known about the current Jeepster concept, but it will probably be based on Fiat engineering. It may share some similarities with the Fiat 500X, a small SUV Fiat plans to produce fairly soon. The Fiat buyout of Chrysler has brought an Italian tinge to the entire company and its vehicle concepts. This small, sporty, and economical Jeep is a good example. It exemplifies Fiat-like values and design approaches. Sergio Marchionne’s influence can be felt on many levels at this point.
The baby jeep will most likely be shown at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show. This show will take place in early March of next year. Though there are a few spy shots and a lot of rumor, we will have to wait until the spring to see this car in its fully fleshed-out, finished form. However, the reappearance of a nostalgic name and the new design spin are another example of the exciting new directions Jeep, and its parent company Fiat-Chrysler are taking. This post was brought to you by a fine local IA Jeep store, the Jensen Dealership group.