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MiscellaneousCamp Jeep - Odds and Ends
Posted by mike on 2006/8/18 8:21:22 (2578) reads

Another great feature of Camp Jeep is the Engineering roundtables. These are generally run by someone from marketing, but there are many engineers in attendance. This is an opportunity for us to ask some general questions as well as let Jeep ask us questions. If you are careful and read between the lines, you sometimes can get a hint of future developments.

I was fortunate to have time to attend a couple of sessions, and I thought I would share a couple of things that were discussed at the round tables I was at:

Moderator: How many of you drop the windshield down on your Wrangler?
Audience: Only one person said he did.
Moderator: Oh, then if we removed this feature you would not mind?
Audience: A big uproar that 'do not take away this feature' ensued. This is what makes a Jeep a Jeep. (you get the picture).

Moderator: How important is the Dana name?
Audience: There was a long discussion, but in summary it is important to most.

Moderator: What if we offered a 'Rubicon' version of the Jeep Liberty?
Audience: Would it have solid axels?
Moderator: Ok, let's say it does...
Audience: Some like the idea some did not. I said why bother? If you now offer a 4-door Wrangler in a Rubicon edition, what is the point?

Audience: When are we going to get a Diesel option on the Wrangler?
Moderator and Engineers: It is not so much that we do not want to offer this option; the problem is the Government regulations for emissions have been a big issue. Even VW will not be offering any diesel vehicles for 2007. The Liberty diesel was a good seller, but the emission standards ruled out that engine for 2007. We are planning on a clean burning diesel for the Grand soon. (Sadly, they did not mention any plans for the Liberty or Wrangler).

Audience: What kind of creature were you thinking could sit in that 3rd row of seats in the Commander? We don't know of any humans that could get back there.
Moderator: What if we made the 3rd row of seats removable?
Audience: How about eliminating the 3rd row or making it an option?

Moderator: Would anyone be interested in a system on the Grand to alert you when someone is in your blind spot?
Audience: Sounds interesting. How about a camera or alert system when you are backing up too?
Moderator: How much would you be willing to pay for such items?

Ok, this is just a couple of things I heard. Since the round tables can all be different, maybe someone else heard something interesting. How about posting what you heard in the comments section?

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Poster Thread
Josephus
Posted: 2006/8/21 6:59  Updated: 2006/8/21 6:59
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/7/18
From: Pennsylvania
Posts: 265
 Re: Camp Jeep - Odds and Ends
The 2007 Mercedes E320 CDI (BlueTec) is the only EPA approved diesel to qualify for a tax credit ($1300). It is surprising that Jeep isn't pushing this engine across the board.

Poster Thread
highdesert
Posted: 2006/8/20 9:44  Updated: 2006/8/20 9:44
Not too shy to talk
Joined: 2006/1/9
From:
Posts: 34
 Re: Camp Jeep - Odds and Ends
Interesting that Jeep appears to be able to get an EPA approval for the Grand's diesel but can't do the same for the Wrangler. Hmmm

Poster Thread
BigOldCat
Posted: 2006/8/18 9:36  Updated: 2006/8/18 9:36
Just popping in
Joined: 2006/3/28
From:
Posts: 3
 Re: Camp Jeep - Odds and Ends
I have had the DCX "ParkSense" backup alert system installed on my 2000 WJ. It cost about $500 at a local Jeep dealership. This system gives an audible alert when backing up if you get within 6 feet of an object in your path. I prefer an audible alert system because it creates no visual distraction.

Poster Thread
RUBICON
Posted: 2006/8/18 9:25  Updated: 2006/8/18 9:25
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/7/13
From:
Posts: 377
 Re: Camp Jeep - Odds and Ends
1: I agree with the audience on the first question, the drop windshield is important to it's heritage.

2: I think it is more important to use a reliable, rugged axle than it is to be married to a third-party parts supplier. If some other US company can build a better product then use that instead.

3. I would not be opposed to having a solid axle option on the next-generation Liberty. It could win back some Cherokee fans who preferred the boxy Cherokee style (as the next generation Liberty appears to be getting the boxy style of the XJ and XK) and who want a solid axle. I think DCX would have a hard time selling that business idea though. Why not move the Liberty into the "luxury off-roader" segment of the WK and XK?

4.) Agreed, federal regulations are putting a damper on diesel because a lot of existing diesel powerplants are not clean enough and the EPA can't seem to get around and approve of the Bluetec technology which can make diesels at least as clean as the cleanest gas burning cars.

5.) Make the 3rd row removable and an option on the base model (make it removable but standard on Limited). By the way the third row is not really any worse than the 3rd row in an Explorer or 4-Runner. Obviously it isn't as spacious as the third row in a Tahoe or Durango. But neither of those vehicles are nearly as agile off-road as the Commander.

6.) Backup camera and alert systems are already available on the WK and XK (alert system is standard on the XK). A side sensor that flashed in LED in the side mirror might be helpful.
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