Will launch a Jeep Compass hybrid eventually, hints FCA India’s head

The Jeep Compass in India has remained an ICE-only model even in the just-announced mid-cycle refresh. However, FCA has hinted that a Jeep Compass hybrid launch in India is bound to happen eventually.

Recently, in an appointment with Partha Dutta, President and Managing Director, FCA, zigwheels.com asked if India would get an electrified Jeep Compass in the near future. In response, Dutta said that electrifying the Jeep Compass, presumably with a hybrid system, “is one of the pieces of the entire roadmap.” Without saying so directly, he confirmed that there is a plan to launch an electrified Jeep Compass.

FCA hasn’t revealed the depth of electrification for the Jeep Compass in India. However, we can strike out full electrification for obvious reasons, one that there’s no plan for a Jeep Compass BEV globally, and two that our market simply can’t afford a product like that in appreciable volumes.

FCA has developed a partially electrified Jeep Compass variant for the international markets, but it’s a plug-in hybrid. PHEVs are deemed expensive due to the twin ‘engine’ configuration, and it is safe to assume that the same applies to the 50 km/l Jeep Compass plug-in hybrid as well. In all likeliness, it would be a mild-hybrid variant that makes it to Indian showrooms, that is if the government maintains the status quo on what qualifies as an electric vehicle thereby determining the GST rate and subsidy.

A Jeep Compass mild-hybrid doesn’t exist globally right now, but when it does arrive, we expect it to pack FCA’s eTorque system. Currently, the Wrangler is the only Jeep available with this mild-hybrid technology. It’s based on Continental’s 48-volt Eco Drive unit and an application of the same is found in the Audi A8 mild-hybrid, which is sold in India.

Jeep Wrangler eTorque mild-hybrid system Continental
FCA may use the Continental-developed eTorque mild-hybrid system of the Wrangler in the Jeep Compass if the PHEV variant is not feasible. Image Source: Continental

eTorque uses a belt-driven motor generator instead of an alternator found in a conventional engine, along with a 48-volt Lithium-ion NMC-Graphite battery pack that includes a 3 kW DC-to-DC converter. Depending on the model, FCA can employ either an advanced liquid-cooled motor generator or a typical air-cooled motor generator. Improved auto-start response, torque boost, and higher fuel economy are the benefits customers can look forward to with this mild-hybrid system.

The Jeep Compass mild-hybrid would rival the MG Hector mild-hybrid in India. A three-row SUV derived from the Jeep Compass is also under development, and it is planned for a launch in India by 2023. We expect FCA to offer at least a mild-hybrid system on the two SUVs in view of the upcoming CAFE II and RDE regulations.

Featured Image Source: facebook.com/Jeep India