What Is It?
Jeep Compass Concept

What’s Special About It?
The Jeep stand at the Frankfurt show gave birth to twin concepts: The Jeep Compass and the Jeep Patriot.

The Compass, according to Chrysler Design VP Trevor Creed, is a step away from the typical Jeep. "With the Compass," he told Inside Line, "we challenged our designers to come up with a more stylish vehicle - something that still carried traditional Jeep styling cues, but more youthful." The compact five-door answer his team came up with, Creed says, owes as much to European rally cars as it does to Jeep’s off-road heritage, perhaps more.

The Compass concept’s rear roof wing and 19-inch wheels touch on rally cues, but the steeply raked windshield and smoother lines point to a Jeep that doesn’t have a lot of off-road adventures on its mind.

Is there a Jeep Compass on its way to a dealer near you? Trevor Creed is as elusive as a Cheshire cat on the subject. However, other sources within Chrysler have reconfirmed that the company plans to go into production with a Jeep Compass late next year. The vehicle will end up being a size smaller than Jeep’s Liberty model, and priced, we’d guess, between $12,000 and $14,000.

If the current expectations hold, the production Compass will be built on the forthcoming Dodge Caliber platform, which means front-drive and all-wheel-drive variations should be available. Another well-founded guess would put Chrysler’s 2.4-liter four-cylinder in the engine bay.

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