The production of the Dodge Journey in Italy reinforces the creation of a Fiat Toro SUV

A recent report from Automotive News says the next generation Dodge Journey will be produced in Italy. This new piece in the puzzle, even with conflicting information, makes us even more certain about the development of a Fiat Toro SUV. The new crossover would replace the Fiat Freemont, which is nothing else than a rebadged Dodge Journey. The Freemont is available in Latin America and in Europe. In other words, it would be locally produced at the Old Continent and probably also in Brazil, where the Fiat Toro pick-up is already produced.

Fiat-Toro-SUV-Freemont-2

According to AN, the Dodge Journey would share the rear-wheel drive platform Giorgio with the Alfa Romeo Giulia. That makes no sense for us. If the latest rumor about the Chrysler 300C is that it will become a front-wheel drive machine, why would the Dodge Journey, which costs less and appeals to a much less demanding public, have that privilege?

The fact is that it would make much more sense if the new crossover used the SUSW platform. It is the same one from the Jeep Renegade, Fiat Toro and the future Jeep Compass. The Renegade is already produced in Italy, more specifically at the Mirafiori plant. Side by side with the Fiat 500X, which is not selling as much as Fiat wanted it to sell in the US market. Why not give that plant another product, with much bigger chances of earning the American customers’ trust?

 

A new front end

For our readers that did not like the Toro, a relief: the Dodge version of the SUV would have an entirely new front fascia. A badge engineering would not work well in this case.

The new SUV will probably follow Toro’s measures: 4.92 m long, 1.84 m wide, 1.74 m tall and a wheelbase of 2.99 m. The new SUV will offer 5-seat and 7-seat bodies and will use at least one of the engines currently under the Toro pick-up’s bonnet. It would be the 2.0 MultiJet turbodiesel engine, which produces 125 kW at 3,750 rpm and 350 Nm at 1,750 rpm. It will probably come with a 6-speed manual, as a front or an all-wheel drive vehicle, or a 9-speed automatic gearbox, only as a four-wheel drive SUV.

The 1.8 E.torQ flex-fuel engine will probably be replaced by a 2.0 Hurricane flex-fuel engine. While the former delivers 104 kW at 5,750 rpm and 189 Nm at 3,750 rpm on ethanol, the latter is said to produce 121 kW at 6,000 rpm and 200 Nm at 4,400 rpm on ethanol. It is the same engine that will power the new Jeep Compass, also known as project 551.

Gustavo Henrique Ruffo

I have been an automotive journalist since 1998 and have worked for many important Brazilian newspapers and magazines, such as the local edition of Car and Driver and Quatro Rodas, Brazilian's biggest car magazine. I have also worked for foreign websites, such as World Car Fans and won a few journalism prizes, among them three SAE Journalism Awards and the 2017 IAM RoadSmart Safety Award. I am the author of "The Traffic Cholesterol", a book about bad drivers that you can buy at Hotmart, Google Play, Amazon and Kobo.