The shooters at KGP Photography got their first look at a test mule for the ’17 Jeep Patriot, which uses a stretched version of the FCA-derived "small" platform that currently underpins the new Jeep Renegade. The mule shows a riveted section, which lengthens the Renegade donor body by several inches.
The stretched Renegade-based Patriot mule largely confirms speculation that the singular follow-up to the Patriot/Compass duo will follow a path closer to the more rugged Patriot, instead of the more car-like (and oft-derided) Compass. Sources at AutoPacific suggest that the ’17 Patriot replacement (which may get renamed) will likely use an adaptation of the Renegade's independent suspension setup, which uses MacPherson struts up front with Chapman struts out back.
The timing of this mule seems to confirm earlier reports that the next Jeep Patriot will appear sometime in the second quarter of 2016, as a ’17 model—slotting between the Jeep Cherokee and Jeep Renegade to better flesh out Jeep's model range.
The Patriot's engine lineup will likely mimic the more robust end of the Renegade's offerings, with AutoPacific reporting a direct-injected, turbocharged 2.0L 16-valve four-cylinder from FCA's Hurricane engine family as the likely volume engine option. A ZF/Chrysler nine-speed transmission is expected, while the Renegade's six-speed manual transmission is also an outside possibility.
Photo credit: KGP Photography