Jeep continues its special edition charge into the 2021 model year.
While Jeeps farther up the model stack have occupied our attention lately — the Grand Wagoneer, Grand Cherokee, Wrangler, Gladiator and so on — clearly FCA hasn’t forgotten about the little Renegade. A member of the WagoneerFans forums posted a 2021 model VIN decoder made available by the NHTSA, showing four bespoke special editions on top of the Renegade’s standard trim levels.
Based on the information, it appears we’ll see the Freedom, Jeepster, Islander and 80th Anniversary Edition models on Jeep’s smallest crossover when FCA switches over to the new model year. All of them are more or less appearance packages, as we expect the powertrain layout for the Renegade to remain the same. For the 2020 model year, the only engine available is a turbocharged 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine with 177 horsepower and 210 lb-ft of torque, mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission.
The Freedom Edition
If the Freedom name rings a bell to you, Jeep does currently offer the trim on the Wrangler SUV. On the Wrangler JL, special features include military-themed decals on the hood, fenders and rear quarter panels as well as an “Oscar Mike” badge on the tailgate. Satin carbon painted aluminum wheels, embroidered seats and a data plate on the rear tailgate round out the changes from a standard Sport S.
If it does indeed come to the 2021 Jeep Renegade, it’s likely we’ll see similar visual cues there. According to the VIN decoder, the Renegade Freedom shares a similar series code to the Sport and Upland trims, so it’s safe to assume the equipment you’ll get will be based on those trims.
While the Freedom Edition actually went into production, the same isn’t true for the ‘Jeepster’. It was a concept for the JL Wrangler displayed at Easter Jeep Safari. However, that name hasn’t been used since the Jeepster Commando produced by Kaiser Jeep through 1973.
Again, it looks like a 2021 Jeep Renegade Jeepster would build upon the Sport or Upland trims, with equipment to suit. The cool part of this package, though, is the two-tone white-on-red paint scheme. Even in a small package, the Renegade would certainly stand out even from the off-road focused Trailhawk model. FCA loves to play on retro styling with their special editions, and this one could be the most popular of the 2021 crop.
Jeep last used the Islander name on the Wrangler JK. Specifically, the latest version appeared at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show. Before that it was last seen on the old YJ in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The decal above shows the coordinates “21° N, 157° W”, which is a location in the Pacific Ocean more or less at the center of the Hawaiian Islands.
When Jeep brought it back to the Wrangler, the company based the Islander on the Wrangler Sport trim. It “conveys open-air fun at first and every glance,” the company said, and came in a Surf Blue Pearl Coat exterior color, as well as Bright Silver Metallic Clear Coat and Brilliant Black Crystal Clear Coat. Not straying far from tradition, we’d expect the 2021 Jeep Renegade to offer up similar paint schemes, this time based on the mid-range Altitude trim level.
80th Anniversary Edition
According to recent rumors, the 80th Anniversary Edition is a special model we’ll likely see across the entire Jeep lineup, including the Renegade. Again, it’s more or less an appearance package according to dealer-leaked bulletins. On the Gladiator, the package includes bespoke alloy wheels, Neutral Gray exterior accents, and a white exterior paint scheme.
Unlike the other 2021 Jeep Renegade models listed in the VIN decoder, this model actually sits apart from the rest. Jeep may base this model on the more luxurious Limited trim or the Altitude. The NHTSA document does list the 80th Anniversary Edition in front- and all-wheel drive variants, so it’s unlikely any of these special editions will be based on the Trailhawk.
For the time being, none of the information beyond the sheer existence of these models through the VIN decoder document is official yet. As far as package contents or trims on which the special editions are based, we won’t have confirmation until Jeep announces the 2021 Renegade lineup, which may happen in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for more updates!