No diesel for Jeep’s Euro-focused city SUV
Jeep is to begin phasing out diesel engines from 2020, with its forthcoming Europe-focused sub-Renegade SUV set to launch with only petrol or alternative drivetrains in the face of costlier emissions compliance.
The as-yet-unnamed ‘Urban UV’ is one of three new segments the brand will enter by 2022, as part of a full renewal of its range around eight nameplates, and was developed with ‘Europe at its heart’, according to head of Jeep for EMEA, Jeff Hines. Across the region, SUV sales are expected to grow from 6.2m in 2017, to 8.7m in 2022, he said, with a trend towards traditional city car and supermini customers now seeking more utility and a higher ride height.
But diesel will play a declining role, reflected by the refreshed Renegade. This gets a range of all-new Euro 6d compliant modular petrol engines, claiming a 35% drop in SMR costs compared to the units they replace. But FCA’s head of fleet and business sales for EMEA, Alessandro Grosso, said diesels face an industry-wide issue of limited cost improvements between generations due to meeting stricter emissions limits – the Renegade’s 1.6 and 2.0-litre diesels now feature Selective Catalytic Reduction.
Across Europe, excluding the still diesel-weighted Italian market, 60% of Jeep’s true fleet sales are already petrol-powered, Grosso added. Even the new C-SUV Compass is 50% petrol, and while its business customers are talking about electrification, this is less than 5% of the total market. Decisions are being steered by emissions, changing homologation and taxation, he said.
So while the Urban UV will sit in a top five or six-ranked segment in Europe, said Hines, plans include plug-ins but no diesel engines. He explained: “From 2020 on, as compliance gets more stringent across Europe, that’s when electrification becomes core to what we do.
“Without commenting on exact timing [for phasing out diesel], from that point on we’ll have to make adjustments to our current powertrain line-up with regards to electrification. Knowing we’re getting out of the diesel business [the Urban UV] is not going to have a diesel option most likely.”