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Jeep pins big hopes on small offroader

By Frederick Olson, Automotive Contributor
Published On: Apr 16 2014 12:40:58 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 30 2014 01:21:28 PM CDT

Image: Jeep

NEW YORK -

Jeep used the New York Auto Show Wednesday to show off the U.S.-bound version of the 2015 Jeep Renegade.

The small new SUV is the first Jeep to be built overseas and is designed to be sold worldwide. The car is built on a new 4x4 platform that Chrysler intends to use on other international models, too.

In the Renegade, that platform has nearly nine inches of ground clearance and long wheel travel for true off-road capability.

However, Jeep executives say they were also careful to make sure the ride is smooth and comfortable on city streets. The car's body is made mostly of high-strength steel for rigidity, which helps give the car a quieter, smoother ride.

Inside, the car makes use of the latest technology, including a configurable 7-inch screen for the center gauge cluster and Bluetooth connectivity so drivers can access phone features seamlessly.

The little Jeep comes with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 184 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. There is also a 1.4-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine available. That engine cranks out 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque.

Transmission choices are a 6-speed manual or a segment-first 9-speed automatic that's available on cars with the 2.4-liter engine.

Prices and exact sale dates for the new car have not yet been released.

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