January 8, 2001
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Detroit auto show:
2002 Jeep Liberty unveiled!
Jeep unveiled the all-new Liberty
yesterday at a press preview for the North American
International Auto Show. The all-new Liberty builds
on themes originated in the previous Dakar and
Jeepster concept vehicles. The Liberty features short
front and rear overhangs, and a tall profile for
efficient space utilization, a high seating position,
and a commanding ‘road presence’.
“The all-new Jeep Liberty stands alone in the world
market because it combines legendary Jeep
capability… with superior on-road refinement to
broaden our buyer base even further,” said Rich
Schaum, Executive Vice President – Product Development
and Quality & General Manager Passenger Car
Operations, DaimlerChrysler Corporation.
DaimlerChrysler says the 2002 Jeep Liberty was
engineered to be as capable off-highway as it is
competent on any freeway. Major features include:
All-new 3.7-litre V6 engine
The new 3.7-litre V6 engine is designed with similar
architecture to the 4.7-litre V8 engine which powers
the Grand Cherokee. The new engine features a
90-degree V6, a cast iron block, aluminum cylinder
heads and a balance shaft. Output is 210 hp @ 5200 rpm
and 225-ft. lbs. Of torque @ 4000 rpm. This all-new V6
shares many technology features with the 4.7-liter V-8
including: chain-driven single overhead cams for
superior performance and long-term durability and
direct mount accessories with a single belt drive for
reduced vibration, harshness and weight. Unique to
the 3.7-liter are gear-driven balance shaft to
minimize engine vibration, composite intake manifold
with individual tuned runners on each cylinder to
improve overall performance, and active knock sensor
system to improve engine performance and reliability.
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The 3.7 litre V6 equipped with a multi-speed automatic
transmission provides 5,000 pound towing capability.
Both this engine and the 2.4-litre 4 cylinder are
available with a 5-speed manual transmission. A new
2.5 litre Direct Injection 4-cylinder Turbodiesel will
be available for international markets.
All-new Jeep independent front suspension
An all-new Jeep-engineered coil sprung independent
front suspension combines excellent overall ride and
handling and steering control with Rubicon-tested
capabilities. It offers a generous eight-inch
suspension travel. Sturdy, cast iron lower and forged
steel upper control arms coupled to a cast iron
steering knuckle with permanently lubricated ball
joints provide a stable base for the front suspension.
This design improves rough road ride by reducing the
vehicle’s unsprung weight.
Link-Coil rear suspension from Grand Cherokee
A link-coil rear suspension, similar to that on the
Grand Cherokee, provides a smooth, comfortable ride.
This system provides a more comfortable ride than leaf
springs because coil springs have less static and
dynamic friction. This configuration also provides a
roll centre closer to the vehicle’s centre of gravity
to reduce body lean during cornering. The trailing
A-shaped upper arm’s sturdy, box section construction,
tuned to provide extremely high stiffness, helps
isolate axle and road noise. Box section lower control
arms provide exceptional durability. Progressive rate
springs in the standard suspension system provide a
consistently comfortable ride and help maintain
controlled handling under varying load conditions.
All-new rack and pinion steering
Engineered to maintain Jeep off-highway ruggedness, a
new rack and pinion steering system provides on-road
steering control. Effort, feel and response are tuned
to give the driver accurate control and positive
New swing gate/flipper glass design
For quick and easy access to the cargo area, the
Liberty features a patented single-action swing
gate/flipper glass system. The swing gate opens from
the curb-side of the vehicle for safe, convenient
loading. A unique pull-type latch mechanism makes the
opening of the flipper glass window and swing gate an
intuitive, one-motion operation versus competitive
multiple step operation. Pulling the release handle
performs both operations, as the latch includes a
detent to separate the functions. Pressing the cargo
door button on the keyless entry transmitter or
turning the key in the swing gate lock also opens the
flipper glass window.
On the inside
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The interior features a bold, round-dialed cluster with large gauges and black-on-beige graphics. Round air conditioning outlets and a round motif applied to the interior door handles add to the functional design aesthetic. Deep sculpted doors with generous map pockets in the front and bottle holders in the rear continue the theme of providing substance with excellent space utilization.
“The interior of the Liberty blends rugged Jeep cues with the contemporary look from the Jeepster,” said Mike Moore, Director Jeep Studios, DaimlerChrysler. “The use of shapes and textures give its interior a rugged, yet refined character.”
The center and side accents on the instrument panel, shifter knob and parking lever feature a mechanical grain. This contrasts with the more traditional animal grain found on the top of the instrument panel, the glove box door and door trim panels. Satin chrome finish is found on speed control bezels, the center of the instrument panel, shifter surround, switch plate bezel on door, door remote handles and lock plungers on premium models. There is also a bright Jeep logo on the round, natural grained steering wheel horn pad. Cloth seat fabric is made of a flat, woven material that gives a sense of ruggedness in a smooth, sophisticated way. The premium leather package uses dramatic color differences of Dark Slate complemented by Light Taupe on the seats and door trim panel inserts.