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CAUGHT: New 2024 Jeep® Jeepster BEV Spotted On Set In Portugal!

Jeep's First 100% Electric Offering Caught Uncamo'd In Public...

During Stellantis’ Dare Forward 2030 strategic plan presentation, Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares showed the public two teaser images of the first-ever 100% battery-electric (BEV) Jeep® vehicle. Internally called “Project 516”, the so-called “Jeep Junior” is scheduled for launch early next year.

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Our sources have indicated that the vehicle could feature the iconic “Jeepster” nameplate when it makes its debut at the Paris Motor Show from October 17th to 23rd in Paris Expo Porte de Versailles. 

The new Jeep BEV was spotted on set in Portugal, during a promo shoot. Looking just like its teaser images, sans the hood graphics, the newest electrified model wears a license plate saying “JJ” for its Jeep designation code and “516” for its project name.

Due to the Stellantis timeline, the new mini-compact SUV will not be based on the all-new STLA Small architecture, instead will be built upon the second-generation eCMP/CMP platform. This is due to the fact that Stellantis has already announced that the STLA Small architecture won’t debut until the 2026 model year.

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While the BEV model has been making all of the headlines, outside of Europe, the new Jeepster will feature an internal combustion engine (ICE) variant as well. That model will be powered by a turbocharged 1.0-liter inline-three-cylinder engine from the Stellantis Global Small Engine (GSE) family, according to our sources. That engine is currently available in several models and should give the Jeepster around 118 horsepower (88 kW) and 190 N⋅m (140 lb-ft) of torque.

The Jeepster should also be equipped with an electronic all-wheel-drive (eAWD) system, giving the vehicle Jeep 4×4 capability. We also expect it to carry other basic technology items we have come to expect from other Jeep vehicles. Things like the Uconnect 5 infotainment system, digital gauge cluster, and selec-terrain modes in a small B-SUV package. 

Several overseas websites have the new Jeepster measuring less than 162 inches in length. For reference, the current Renegade (BU) measures 166.6 inches long. The Jeepster also should be slightly narrow and shorter than the Renegade as well. However, at this present moment, those numbers are still unknown.

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Although the Jeep brand is American through and through, don’t expect this vehicle to be arriving in either the United States or Canada. The new Jeepster should be marketed and launched in all other markets though. So Americans and Canadians will be left out of the fold once again, as we tend to like bigger vehicles. That could change later on, depending on sales and demand.

The new Jeepster will start production in late December at the Tychy Assembly Plant in Poland. It will be joined by two new platform siblings, one for Alfa Romeo and the other a FIAT product.

Robert S. Miller

Robert S. Miller is a diehard Mopar enthusiast who lives and breathes all that is Mopar. The Michigander is not only a Co-Editor for MoparInsiders.com, 5thGenRams.com, and HDRams.com but an automotive photographer. He is an avid fan of offshore powerboat racing, which he travels the country to take part in.

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I remember the ENVI projects and this Jeep BEV reminds me of the 2009 Jeep Patriot range extended EV. The Patriot, along with the other range extended EV concepts from 2008-09, used a 2-cylinder engine with range extending EV transaxle, all provided by a vendor. In other words, it was a kit. Today there is a 3 cylinder GSE engine available in-house along with the eFlite hybrid transaxle. All this would easily fit in a Renegade, but Stellantis already has both a mild hybrid and front drive based 4Xe plugin hybrid setups, which they aren't selling to us here in North America. The B-Jeep now represents a third item we don't receive.

There is a PHEV powertrain option on the Ford Escape that uses a sizable battery pack for a longer range. Ford also offers this powertrain in lower trim levels for affordability. An Escape equipped this way will exceed the battery only range of the Patriot ENVI concept. Our regional electric utility has some Escape PHEVs in a fleet trim level.

Affordability seems to be a lost concept to Stellantis. I realize there is a chip shortage to deal with and there is a whole new generation of electrified vehicles always around the corner. At least I can get on a waiting list with Ford. (That seems to be the only way to get a Maverick hybrid.) I also understand the Renegade comes to us from Europe where the demand for EVs is much higher. The Compass, on the other hand, is made in Mexico and uses the same powertrain pieces as the Renegade.

If battery electric vehicles are going to be hard sell for North America, plugin hybrids as well as other hybrid types will be more successful. I'm glad the Jeepster is going with a GSE option. I don't like the PSA based engines. My wish is there would be a less complex plugin hybrid with a small gas engine (GSE) to try to keep things more affordable.

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Jeep is expanding its electric commitment to the ambitious European green agenda, which at this point has little relevance to the North American market. Frankly, I believe that agenda is doomed to the realities of capacity, manufacturing and public acceptance shortfalls. In any case keeping the Jeepster on the sidelines and perfecting its mechanics is wise, just in case these very significant shortfalls are resolved and additional folks fall under the spell of the green agenda. Not me of course, I own and drive a HEMI. Enough said.

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