I recently drove a lot of jeeps, I even wrote a Cherokee review, but I also got some good info on future Jeeps too from a prominent engineer at Jeep*
Some of you wanted to know:
When is the diesel engine is coming to the wrangler:
Jeep Engineer: "its already in there, the 2.8"
Me: "okay, yeah, but in America"
JE: "I don't see any reason they couldn't put it [the 3.0 vm in the grand Cherokee] in, I guess its just a business case."
JE: "I haven't seen any plans for it.
When will the wrangler get independent suspension?
JE: "I haven't heard any rumors along those lines, I haven't seen any drawings that hint at it."
What about replacements for the patriot and compas?
JE: "Those were just refreshed, expect their product cycle to live out a little longer."
What about the B segment jeep?
JE: "The patriot and Compass are bigger than the B segment, it wont replace them"
Me: "So is it basically a panda 4x4?"
JE: " I can tell you it looks nothing like the renders you see online for the Panda based Jeep."
Me: "That's a relief."
Me: "is it going to be a true Jeep?"
JE: "It may get a trail rated model, we are still setting targets for it."
BONUS: whats the expected take rates for the Trailhawk model of the cherokee?
JE: "about 20%"
So, there you go; don't hold your breath for a diesel. Though if the GC ecodiesel sales are strong and the Colorado diesel sell well it sounds like it wouldn't be a technical challenge to meet demand. Also, don't freak out Wrangler lovers, no Independant Wranglers on the drawing board, so if it does eventually happen, its going to be a long while off.
*They will remain nameless. Mostly because I don't think its all that important to know who they are.