Jeep(R) Willys: 'Pure American' Jeep Design Incorporates Cutting-Edge Plastic Technology
AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Jan. 9 /PRNewswire/ — The back-to basics, composite-bodied Jeep(R) Willys concept vehicle pays homage to Jeep vehicles of the past while showcasing the design and technology of the 21st century. "We designed this concept vehicle with the self-expressive, free-thinker in mind," said Trevor Creed, Senior Vice President – Design, DaimlerChrysler Corporation. "The Jeep Willys' usefulness and versatility were developed to exist in ecological harmony with nature while being perfectly suited for the rigors of an active lifestyle. Call it the pure American." The Willys, unveiled at the 2001 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, features plastic body-technology, allowing for a radical approach tom Jeep design while remaining true to the brand's legendary capability. Shown in several concept vehicles designed by the Chrysler Group, injection-molded plastic bodies save up to 50 percent in weight and manufacturing costs and are nearly 100 percent recyclable. The molded-in-color plastic allows designers to create shapes not permitted with stamped metal, such as the crisp, rigid lines that give the Willys its high-tech, machined appearance. The Jeep Willys' lightweight aluminum frame-web is similar to technologies found in today's top performance sports and military equipment. While its battle-proven, World War II ancestor was made of sheet metal, this concept was built in carbon fiber to simulate the weight savings that could be achieved with injection-molded plastics. Frame-web technology molds the one-piece carbon fiber body to an aluminum frame, giving the Jeep Willys industry-leading rigidity. Designed with a sense of adventure, the Willys creates a fresh, ultra-modern interpretation of the legendary Jeep brand. Confidence-inspiring shapes such as the seven-slot grille, the uniquely executed wheel arches, the extremely short rear and the vehicle's athletic stance maintain true Jeep character. Willys' chiseled body lends substance and visual weight, suggesting a low center of gravity with a long wheelbase (95 inches, 2413 mm) and wide track (58.9 inches, 1496 mm front, 59.4 inches, 1509 mm rear). The 2,900-pound (1315 kg) curb weight of the Jeep Willys allows a 15:1 weight-to-horsepower ratio. "The Jeep Willys' design was inspired by American culture," said Jordan Meadows, Product Designer at DaimlerChrysler's Pacifica Design Center in Carlsbad, Calif. "Individualism and free thinking are pure American values as well as Jeep brand elements. The vehicle exterior design features precise machine-like aesthetics while still showing traditional Jeep design cues, such as the trademark grille and wheel arches and its commanding feel on the road, as well as off the beaten path." This visual character is carried on in the interior. Willys' spacious interior sports a light palette in colors and materials. Featured are brushed aluminum and aqua and grey leather with "Starbrite Silver" accents. "In keeping with the philosophy of purity, the Willys' interior is very honest. The aluminum and plastics used in the vehicle's structure and body detail the interior," said Meadows. "The Jeep Willys is a prime example of a vehicle embracing its past while looking to its future." Emphasizing the combination of heritage and modern technology, the concept comes equipped with a Sirius Satellite Radio. It offers digital quality audio with crystal clear reception coast to coast from more than 100 news, sports and entertainment channels, of which 50 music channels are commercial free. The Jeep Willys is powered by DaimlerChrysler's 1.6-liter, in-line four- cylinder engine that has been supercharged to deliver 160 horsepower (120 kW) and 155 pound-feet of torque (210 Nm). Its four-speed automatic transmission is coupled with a shift-on-the-fly transfer case with full-time four-wheel drive and low-range modes. Custom, independent short-and-long-arm front and multi-link solid rear axle suspension with coil-over-shock set-up and sizeable 22-inch wheels with P235/840R560 PAX-tires embraces the "go anywhere" attitude synonymous with the Jeep brand. Estimated performance figures include a sprint to 60 mph (97 kph) in 10.2 seconds and a top speed of almost 90 mph (140 kph.) "The custom suspension and supercharged powertrain were engineered to preserve the rugged capabilities that the Jeep brand is known for," added Creed. "We wanted the DNA of the Willys to speak to the heritage of its ancestors. We were looking for the most efficient yet stylish way to capture the spirit of classic Jeep vehicles enhanced with modern technology. Marrying 21st century technology with 20th century tradition, the pure American Willys captures the bare essence of the Jeep brand."
Chrysler Crossfire: 'Modern American,' Sports Youthful, International Flair
AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Jan. 9 /PRNewswire/ — The Chrysler Crossfire concept car features a sophisticated design blending traditional European proportions and handling characteristics with the power and personality of an American performance car. "The Crossfire concept provides a new image for Chrysler, combining American power with international flair," said Trevor Creed, Senior Vice President – Product Design, DaimlerChrysler Corporation, at the 2001 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. "The expressive execution of this small coupe is tangible proof of our capability to elevate and broaden the Chrysler brand. From its distinct design to its potent powertrain and suspension, this modern American coupe is set to impress enthusiasts around the world." A classic, clean design with a decidedly youthful flavor is reflected in the concept's sleek, athletic lines. The sculptured hood focuses attention on the Chrysler winged badge and new grille. Built as a one-piece carbon fiber body on an all-aluminum frame, the Crossfire's design seems to be more architectural than traditionally automotive. Similar to the Chrysler Atlantic concept car shown first in 1995, a center peak line, or "spine," runs the length of the car and works with the dynamic character lines to give the Chrysler Crossfire its chiseled appearance. Its compact body suggests a low center of gravity and stable stance with a long wheelbase (102.6 inches, 2606 mm) and wide track (58.3 inches, 1481 mm front, 59.9 inches, 1521 mm rear). Highlighted by brushed aluminum details, the Crossfire's exterior design features a "boat tail" emphasizing the rear wheels, tires and wide fenders, which is a new direction for the Chrysler brand. Artistically inspired shapes continue in the wheels, as the eight-spoke design reinforces the vehicle's sure-footed, grounded look. The concept is executed in a "Sapphire Silver Pearl" finish with "Starbrite Silver" accents. "If we were to build it, I feel sure that this could be an instant classic," said Creed.
"The Crossfire provides the performance and precise handling that would make this concept a real contender on the street or on the track," said exterior designer Eric Stoddard. "The inspiration stemmed from a desire to blend pure sculpture with technology. We designed the Crossfire for anyone who is looking for the thrill of driving. It's light, nimble and powerful with an expressive personality." The Chrysler Crossfire is powered by a supercharged 2.7-liter, 275 horsepower (205 kW), 270 lb.-ft. (366 Nm) V-6 engine coupled to a five-speed manual transmission. The custom independent short-and-long-arm front and rear suspension uses coil springs placed over the shock absorbers. Nineteen-inch front wheels with P255/40R19 tires and 21-inch rear wheels with P295/35
R21 tires provide the ride and handling expected from a classic rear-wheel-drive coupe. The Crossfire is estimated to achieve 60 mph (97 kph) in 5.8 seconds and a top speed of 148 mph (238 kph). "The Chrysler Crossfire was engineered with performance and artistic expression in mind," said Stoddard. "The powertrain and suspension system validate the concept's personality as an agile athlete, while design features beg for individual interpretation. Its design forces people to react and reflect simultaneously." The Crossfire's sophisticated interior complements its exterior. The interior design effort was lead by Glenn Abbott, who said he aspired to create the feeling of a stylish sports coupe with a sense of control, accuracy and simplicity. "I was able to give it a serious, enthusiast's appeal, yet add significant character to it," said Abbott. "That's most evident in the design of the carefully crafted instrument panel gauges, as well as the shape of the steering wheel and seats." The Crossfire houses an on-board vehicle data acquisition center. This Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) captures vehicle performance information and displays it on a passenger-side liquid crystal display. "We like to refer to this as the 'G-Meter,'" said Abbott. Appealing to the true enthusiast, the EVIC measures such factors as acceleration, lap time and g-forces, allowing the driver to assess and, thereby enhance the vehicle's optimal performance. A true two-seater, the Crossfire features electronically adjustable competition seats, manually adjustable pedals and integrated trunk space for two helmets, which further emphasize this concept's spirited theme. Crossfire's interior sports a rich spectrum of colors and materials, accented by a two-tone "Deep Sapphire Blue" and "Cedar Tan" leather interior, featuring a brushed aluminum spine-like center console and brushed accents on the steering wheel. "The Chrysler Crossfire concept perfectly harmonizes international flair with modern American design," concluded Creed.