January 10, 2001
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Detroit auto show:
Plastic-bodied Jeep Willys goes back to basics
The Jeep Willys concept vehicle marries 21st century technology with 20th century tradition, says DaimlerChrysler. Injection-moulded plastic bodies save up to 50 percent in weight and manufacturing costs and are nearly 100 percent recyclable. The moulded-in-colour plastic allows designers to create shapes not permitted with stamped metal, such as the crisp lines that give the Willys its high-tech, machined appearance.
In addition, the Jeep Willys’ lightweight aluminum frame-web is similar to technologies found in today’s top performance sports and military equipment.
The Willys has 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.
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 and 155 lb.-ft. of torque). 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.
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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,” said Trevor Creed, Senior Vice President – Product Design, DaimlerChrysler Corporation. “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.”