Home » Our Daydreaming Designer Explores Fun Ways To Use Two Years Worth Of Unsold Jeep Renegades

Our Daydreaming Designer Explores Fun Ways To Use Two Years Worth Of Unsold Jeep Renegades

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I’ve never really been a glass-half-full kind of person, but I respect people who can look at seemingly dire situations and turn them into opportunities. Individuals with such an attitude might be good to have at Stellantis right now to deal with a situation that came to light sometime last week — namely the 753-day Renegade supply on dealer lots.

Very few eight year old car designs hold up well against the competition in today’s world of rather rapid new product development. The cute-looking Italian-built Fiat 500L-related Jeep Renegade was not exactly a class leader in terms of performance or dependability when it was introduced in 2015, and considering that it’s received nothing more than a facelift a little while back (styling-wise, that is. There have been changes to the powertrain options), you might guess that new ones are not exactly hot sellers today. Your guess would be correct, and the situation is apparently not great.

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Renegade
Stellantis

Based on the current take rate, it appears that there is a 753 supply of Renegades in dealer inventories right now. That’s right — even if they bring not one more unit over the Atlantic it could take around two years to sell off all of these little Jeeps. How will that happen? Offload them to fleets? Offer super deep discounts? Maybe, but I wanted to think of some more creative ways to make this not-without-its-merits little SUV move from dealer lots.

Here’s a few fun ways to possibly enjoy the near-lifetime supply of these adorable little Renegades in a semi-stock state:

Option 1: Renegade Jolly


Vacation resorts and retirement centers often spend big bucks for little electric golf cart things to transport people, yet these things have some severe limitations in terms of driveability. Modifying a Renegade to take on some of these tasks might not just be a good idea, but also an idea with a strong history.

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Being Fiat 500L based, the Renegade has at least a spiritual ancestor in the Fiat 500 Jolly. This was a factory-built version of the famous little runabout with the doors removed and roof sawed off, replaced by a fabric “awning” and little metal tubing running the perimeter of the open sides. These odd little machines were useful additions to any vacation spot’s motor pool, and surviving examples sell for absurd amounts today (the one pictured above is listed at $49,900).

“Our” Renegade “Jolly” would follow the same design pattern, with black plastic trim to cover up the cutouts and steel reinforcements welded beneath. There’s also black tubing running in the car to replace no-longer-there anchor points for seatbelts to attach to. Weatherproof seat covers and floor coverings finish the conversion.

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Stellantis

The fact that the Renegade has this recessed area on the roof (which is painted black on some models) means that it’s visually a natural thing to be removed, and it looks more unified that the original Jolly. It’s also more cohesive than another similar Stellantis (Chrysler) product conversion done about 45 years ago that you all might know (and whatever you say about the Renegade, it’s a W123 Benz compared to a Volare). Smiles, everyone, smiles!:

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There’s gotta be plenty of coastal hotels, beach umbrella and raft rental firms, and island resorts that could use these things, right? [Editor’s Note: there’s be some serious structural rigidity issues, but maybe that could be mended with a simple roll cage. -DT]. 

Option 2: Purpose-Built Uber

I’m well aware of the fact that Uber supposedly has “standards” for the age and condition of the rolling stock you can use as a driver for the rideshare app. Still, I’ve ridden in far too many Ubers where essentially anything would be better than the rather pathetic hoopties these poor drivers were operating. Well, a new Renegade unquestionably qualifies as “anything,” and it’s actually a pretty good size and layout to be offered at reasonable (subsidized?) lease or finance rates for an urban rideshare car. Also, why not use it as a testbed for some purpose-built modifications to make it sort of a new-day Checker?

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Stellantis

A bold illuminated Uber logo in the grille is the most prominent change, but on top we would add the Uber “Heet Case” for food or for extra luggage. This roof carrier has doors on both sides with LCD advertising screens (on back too) for additional income generation. The carrier/case has heating elements so that the driver could do Uber Eats runs and present customers with warm food (heating elements controlled by a phone app).

There are small vents front and rear on the case (opened and closed by the phone app as well). That way, if the driver does an Uber Eats run from House of India and then has to pick up people at the airport with lots of luggage, the vents can be opened up between assignments so the travelers won’t end up with melted deodorant in hot suitcases that smell like tandoori chicken and curry rice (mmm…tandoori chicken). There’s also green LEDs on the upper front surface so you can tell what ride is yours, though I would think it’s much easier to find your Uber regardless when it’s a white SUV with a giant white box on top and not a beat to shit Hyundai Elantra with a fart cannon exhaust and Amazon adhesive roof wind splitter fins on it.

Rideshare drivers need new cars at some point; why not a Renegade?

Option 3: Fake Side-By-Side


There might some critics out there that claim the Renegade “isn’t competitive” in its “market segment.” If that’s the case, you have two options: try to improve it or take it out of the market segment altogether. I mean, if the market thinks it’s a sub-par small SUV, but it’s reasonable enough off road; could it be turned into a sort of civilized “side by side” — the term for those expensive open-bodied large ATV type vehicles?

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Polaris

First, we’d rip off all of the doors but offer special half doors (like on the example below) or soft covers for the openings; we could even cut some openings in the roof that canvas might cover so the option of an open-air experience could be there. A rear mounted spare tire, winch and brush bar, combined with tweaked suspension would result in…OK, maybe not a great side-by-side but one with air conditioning and other features likely not found on most market competitors. Let’s face it- they made dune buggies and Baja bugs out of Volkswagen Beetles in period, and the Renegade has to be twice and capable as one of those, right? Maybe?

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Any other ideas? Look, by the time you read this there might still be enough Renegades to last until past the next presidential election, so we have to come up with something. What do you have in mind?

[Editor’s Note: I’d like to point out that, as silly as Bishop’s concepts may be, this idea of turning unsold inventory into something totally different isn’t unheard of. When Malcolm Bricklin struggled to sell the little Subaru 360s he’d imported from Japan, he tried selling his cars as part of a racing franchise. Here, allow The Lane car museum tell you about it:

Hardware store tycoon and automotive entrepreneur Malcolm Bricklin became the first to import Subarus to the US when he founded Subaru America in 1968. Although the brand was popular in Japan, Bricklin was not able to sell many after a 1970 Consumer Reports article rated the vehicle “Not Acceptable”. Bricklin, therefore, created a national racetrack franchise he called FasTrack to sell the approximately 10,000 cars in stock.

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The idea, which used the vehicles like go-karts, cost $25,000 and included 10 modified Subaru 360’s- each with a new custom body, 20 helmets and uniforms, lighting, and plans for a racetrack. The new bodies, plastic and harder to damage, were designed by Bruce Meyers (who later designed and built the Meyers Manx Dune Buggy). Bricklin also proposed a spin-off idea called FasTrack Leisure Land, a chain of resort hotels with go-kart racing.  In 1971, Bricklin decided to leave Subaru of America and but remained the owner of FasTrack.

Bricklin managed to sell a few FasTrack franchises; however, in 1974 he was sued for breach of contract and ordered to pay $2.39 million to his business partner after borrowing large sums of money against FasTrack properties and investing it in other projects.

I personally like the side-by-side option, though I have concerns about the Renegades off-road durability and capability, given its small-car roots and lack of low range. -DT]

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Flyingtoothpick71
Flyingtoothpick71
1 year ago

my dad and I took a 2nd year(?) renegade to moab a while back, idk it was a blast for us. however we had pretty extensively modified it, custom 6inch lift, 33 inch tires, front bumper and winch, the thing sat taller than a stock Rubicon we saw when there. we had fun with it and drove it the 8 hours home afterwards.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
1 year ago

There was a Dirt Every Day episode in which Fred took a buddy over Black Bear Pass in a Renegade. It did sorta ok, but I didn’t feel like it helped the little CUV’s reputation any. The weird part was it almost felt like Fred was being paid to praise it. Maybe I should watch it again as it’s been a few years, but it was the least natural DED episode I remember seeing.

Also, aren’t the majority of enthusiast SxSs double A-arm? I mean, I beat the snot out of my fwd/4wd Subarus on fire trails & such, but my understanding is that live axles are best, then double A-arm, then a distant 3rd is MacPherson strut when you’re needing flex and articulation off-road. -And I should add that I basically rebuilt one half of the front end every 6months (alternated sides doing axle, wheel bearing, tie-rod end)

I definitely get the point about dune buggies, but those were very lightweight: definitely well under 2000lbs. And what I’ve seen of the Renegade in what little snow we get here doesn’t inspire confidence-but that could well be the targeted owners’ lack of competence.

So, yeah: maybe a modern Jolly, but I’m way skeptical about turning them into side by sides

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
1 year ago

What about setting up a national chain of off-roading parks/instructional schools? Pay an upfront franchise fee, dump some piles of dirt, crushed stone, and rip-rap in your parking lot, and get a fleet of Jeep Renegades, some helmets, and signs, and kick back a percent of your sales. You could call it FasTrail or something.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 year ago

I love all 3 ideas and designs. Though i might go Ren a la cart given the mish mash

Jacob Rippey
Jacob Rippey
1 year ago

I don’t think David Tracy has seen the Youtube videos of these Renegades (trailhawks) absolutely crushing it off-road

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
1 year ago

Remember when Domino’s made all those delivery vehicles out of Bolt EVs (I think)?

Maybe they need to replace some of those? Take out the back seat and add in big warmers.

Jim Stock
Jim Stock
1 year ago

Is it finantially better to keep them on lots than just drop the price until they sell or do people automaticly think cheap cars are bas (i know the renegade is already considered that)
Just have a anyone you want for $19999 sale and the better one will sell fast.

Taco Shackleford
Taco Shackleford
1 year ago

The only way to actually the renegade is if they Hellcat it. It worked for a bunch of other old/outdated models in the Chrysler line, why not a Hellenegade Cat?

Edit: I would take the jolly option

Last edited 1 year ago by Taco Shackleford
TXJeepGuy
TXJeepGuy
1 year ago

The Jolly idea has some roots with Jeep as well. There was a CJ-2A “Surrey” for the same purpose

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
1 year ago

Why not a renegade reef? That should solve the inventory problem quickly.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
1 year ago

Cut off the roof, convert to mini halfcab pickup and test the market.

Chris D
Chris D
1 year ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

A quick shortcut to the new Rampage. Great idea! They would all be sold within a week.

Marc Fuhrman
Marc Fuhrman
1 year ago

[I personally like the side-by-side option, though I have concerns about the Renegades off-road durability and capability, given its small-car roots and lack of low range. -DT]

David doesn’t seem to get the idea of this exercise at all. Small car roots and a lack of low range basically describes every Baja Bug and dune buggy, yet those do just fine offroad. A striped down Renegade will likely do fine for 90% of people’s off road adventures.

Wangan Tuned Kei Car
Wangan Tuned Kei Car
1 year ago
Reply to  Marc Fuhrman

If we don’t care to keep it road-legal, you can add some better offroading bumpers to improve clearance!

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
1 year ago

I saw the one with “New York Dolls” and thought it was the glam band from the early 70’s featuring David Johansen and, briefly, W.A.S.P.’s Blackie Lawless.

Jason pollock
Jason pollock
1 year ago

I owned a front wheel drive renegade for commuting. I bought it in 2017 for 16,800. It was a great car for driving to work, had heated seats, remote start, decent infotainment. Traded it in 2021 for a Honda pilot, got 17,500 for it with 50,000 miles. I think for commuting I should of kept the renegade, it is more fun than the pilot

Drew
Drew
1 year ago

Pretty sure the conversion to a fake side-by-side would sell so many more of them. It would at least get a little more love from the portion of the Jeep crowd more interested in accessories than off-roading.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 year ago

Any other ideas?
1 877 KARS FOR KIDS
GM could get 7,630 vacation vouchers and help a questionable charity.

TXJeepGuy
TXJeepGuy
1 year ago

GM?

Jim Stock
Jim Stock
1 year ago
Reply to  TXJeepGuy

They have the sidesaddle gas tank voucher from GM on their mind.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 year ago
Reply to  TXJeepGuy

And I can’t approach myself
Skidding over this perdition

Sleep, sleep, sleep
Sleep, sleep, sleep
Sleep, sleep, sleepless

Last edited 1 year ago by Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Tim Beamer
Tim Beamer
1 year ago

If you’ve ever driven one (I have a couple times as rentals) you know why there’s that many sitting on the dealer lots…

Drew
Drew
1 year ago
Reply to  Tim Beamer

I’ve been a passenger in the back seat. I don’t want my passengers to go through that.

IRegertNothing, Esq.
IRegertNothing, Esq.
1 year ago

Double decker those things. Strip one Renegade down to nothing but a passenger compartment and weld it to the roof of another Renegade. Add some rope ladders and you now have a 4 row 10 passenger Renegade. Better yet, you’ve just cut the number of unsold Renegades in half.

Usernametaken
Usernametaken
1 year ago

If you Google it, Floridaman (somewhere or other in Florida) converted a mild crash damaged one into a 2 door pick up, and it look close enough to factory to pass the quick glance test

Arch Duke Maxyenko
Arch Duke Maxyenko
1 year ago

Why not spec Renegade Rallycross? Turn up the BOOST, rally suspension, brakes, wheels, tires, safety cages/equipment and sell them for $65K

Icouldntfindaclevername
Icouldntfindaclevername
1 year ago

I just check to see what’s on car lots around me. Not one was less than $33K.
I’m not spending that much on one, no flippin way

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
1 year ago

Same here. They’re all listed super high. This day in age, buyers are assuming that nothing can be had for less than list price, so I doubt anyone is interested in even checking them out.

I don’t think that dealers want to break the news to everyone that yes, you can theoretically bargain your way below MSRP for anything, otherwise they’d list them closer to what they’d have a prayer selling them for. At some point, something has to give and they’re going to have to list them at 5k off or something like that.

Icouldntfindaclevername
Icouldntfindaclevername
1 year ago

You’d think they would advertise a discount to at least try to up-sale people to other vehicles. What are they going to do with all this supply they can’t sell because the prices are hugely inflated on a (IMO) piece of crap? On top of it, they are holding that loan note this whole time too.

Brian Ash
Brian Ash
1 year ago

Is that factored in with the $5-15k discount you can negotiate off any Jeep Ram Chrysler product easily the past 20yrs? Anyone walking off those lots without at least a 10% discount should outsource buying their cars to someone else.

Sc00t3r
Sc00t3r
1 year ago

I just looked in the DFW area as well. $26k. Oof… for a Renegade? It they were $15k, I’d grab one and Mad Max the heck out of it. I’m imagining longhorn steer horns on the front, doors ripped off, sawzalled sunroof, rattle bombed stenciled signage like on a military vehicle, etc. Hmmm… Seems I need a little side project.

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