Future Models - Jeep 2018 Compass
Jeep Compass could get performance halo
New direction: For now, the Trailhawk is the jewel in the Compass crown, but Jeep is mulling other variants to join the range.
Driver-focused Jeep Compass not ruled out, hybrid unlikely
6 March 2017
JEEP considered shoehorning its Pentastar V6 petrol engine under the bonnet of
its freshly-launched Compass small SUV to create a more potent version but,
while the sporty variant does not quite stack up at this stage, a
higher-performance version is not out of the question, it says.
For now, the all-new 2017 Compass will be offered with a range of four-cylinder
engines including petrol and diesel power, but with the most powerful 2.4-litre
version producing just 134kW there is plenty of space to accommodate a punchier
variety at the top.
Speaking at the international launch of the Compass, leading engineer Jim
Lyijynen said that while the V6 will not currently slot into the Compass, the
company has already looked at more powerful possibilities and had not closed
the door on a more driver-focused version.
“Could a six-cylinder package? That’s something that we may decide to look at,”
“Right now it does not currently package. We haven’t studied it recently. It
was studied before but the engines that best met the customer requirements are
the four-cylinder 2.4.”
For now, it seems unlikely that a faster Compass version will be powered by
six-cylinders, but Mr Lyijynen explained that extra capacity was not the only
path to more power, suggesting a sportier Compass might borrow a different
engine in the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) repertoire.
“There’s a perception that customers have had in the market place for many
years that more cylinders equals better power and more performance. Certainly,
what the industry has continued to prove over and over is that performance does
not necessarily equal the number of cylinders.”
If the Compass gets more grunt, such engines could include the 1.7-litre turbo
four that powers the Alfa Romeo Giulietta QV with a healthy 177kW or a version
of the Giulia 2.0-litre turbo that produces up to 206kW.
While a donor engine from one of Jeep’s sister brands would make the most
economical sense, Mr Lyijynen said the company was also continuing to develop
its own future engines, which open up further possibilities for a new Compass
“We certainly do and as you imagine, all the other auto-makers are doing, we
are continuing to develop advanced power trains.”
Mr Lyijynen was quick to dowse hopes that the Compass might be the first model
to debut rumoured hybrid power for the seven-slot-grille brand.
“It’s hard for me to speculate on the future but right now I can tell you with
certainty that there are no current plans for a hybrid of the Compass.”
While more typically associated with the off-road realm, Jeep is no stranger to
tyre-shredding performance for the road since the introduction of the manic
Grand Cherokee SRT8 in 2004 – a model that continues to sell strongly in
Australia (now dubbed SRT).
Jeep Compass exterior chief designer Vince Galante explained that models like
the unapologetic SRT were conceived through a culture of free thinking and that
the same approach continues to be applied to other Jeep models including the
“Stylistically we continue to try things,” he said. “Originally, the Grand
Cherokee back in 2004 we thought - ‘why would we do this’ and it turned out it
was really cool. We try stuff thinking ‘there’s no way this is going to work’
but it turns out kind of cool.”
Mr Galante explained that it was the same sky’s-the-limit attitude that had
spawned the Altitude variant of the Grand Cherokee offered in the United States
and that all Jeep vehicles are versatile enough for the treatment.
“All the Jeep products are so flexible so we keep trying things and we always
go too far and then pull back. That’s how we ended up with our Altitude models.
“We’ll continue to try things”.
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