The ‘Jeepster’ Is Coming Back: What Is It?

Remember the Jeep Jeepster? The name was first bonked onto a Jeep product in 1948. It left the automotive landscape for a time, returning again in 1966. Jeepster was also used for a special-edition Renegade in 2020. Now it is set to return yet, again, as the Brand’s little electric-powered vehicle. 

Willys Jeepster
1948 Willys Jeepster | Getty

Known internally as “Project 516” and also “Junior,” it will be a combined effort with Alfa Romeo. Fiat is also getting a version of the Jeepster. All three will utilize the Stellantis CMP platform, with the electrified version called eCMP. Alfa’s will fall under the Tonale brand. 

When will the Jeepster begin production?

EV Jeep
EV Jeep Jeepster | Stellantis

The Jeepster is scheduled to begin production this November in Tychy, Poland, and India. Then the electric version begins production in mid-2023, with a hybrid coming out some time in 2024. The Jeepster EV will be powered by a 134 hp motor in front and a 50 kWh battery. 

There will probably be other electric versions as well. The range is expected to be close to 200-miles, based on its use in the current Peugeot e-2008. Batteries will initially come from CATL before Jeep moves over to ones from China’s BYD. 

The Jeepster will be slotted below the Renegade, meaning it is small. Actually, very small. So small, there is probably not enough room to package all-wheel-drive into. Initial ICE models will be powered by the Peugeot 1.2-liter engine. It might be that the hybrid version utilizes the standard 1.2-liter, with the electric motor in the rear. 

How big or small with the Jeepster be?

 Jeep Renegade
2022 Jeep Renegade | Stellantis

While Stellantis is being mum about all future products, we don’t know the dimensions of the Jeepster. But we expect it to be within a couple of inches here and there of the current Renegade. Or Jeep may intend to produce them concurrently, then wait until Renegade sales slow down before canceling it. So in some respects, this might be Renegade’s replacement. 

The Renegade also shares a platform with Fiat’s 500X. Both are made in Melfi, Italy. Besides Italy, the Renegade has also been built in Brazil and even China. The differences between the two are sheet metal and engines. The Renegade gets the larger 2.4-liter four-cylinder, while the %00X runs a 1.3-liter four. Both utilize a nine-speed automatic transmission. 

Will it look like the concept?

Jeepster concept
1998 Jeepster concept | Stellantis

With Jeep’s concept for the Jeepster, if it can maintain the wheel/tire relationship with the body, it will go a long way toward giving it a more muscular, dynamic look than the Renegade, which tends to look tall and narrow. This is partly due to the lower H-point and taller top, too. But the stance is definitely not the best. 

Sometimes, the concepts will cheat the stance and other details. But let’s hope that the Jeepster shares much of what we like about the concept. From spy shots from Italy’s Autopareri, even with heavy camouflage, it appears to be very close to the concept.