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Concept/DemonstrationNew Jeep Concept Car - Sort Of...
Posted by mike on 2000/10/23 0:00:00 (912) reads



DaimlerChrysler's Jeep division unveiled the newest Jeep concept car today, the Jeep Commander 2 - a sequel to the original Commander that debuted earlier this year.

Jeep Commander 2 merges dynamic design with an advanced fuel cell powertrain in a luxury sport-utility vehicle that is virtually pollution-free while achieving double the fuel efficiency of a conventional SUV.

``Commander 2's predecessor, the Jeep Commander, took the Jeep pledge to 'Tread Lightly!' on the environment very seriously. Commander 2 vows to tread even lighter,'' said Rich Schaum, Executive Vice President - Product Development for DaimlerChrysler Corporation. ``The hybrid drive system integrates an on-board methanol reformer that produces near-zero emissions in one of North America's fastest growing market segments -- SUVs.''

With its trademark seven-slotted grille and characteristic trapezoidal wheel arches among other visual cues, Commander 2 is clearly a Jeep. But it incorporates the philosophy of Bauhaus design that inspired exterior designer Steve Won, and influenced the clean, precise and mechanical appearance of Commander 2. ``It still has true Jeep character, but it is also ultra-modern and sophisticated,'' Won said.

While Commander 2 duplicates the shape and design of the first Commander, the new-generation vehicle is powered by a completely reengineered fuel cell system. The fuel cell is now combined with dual front and rear electric motors and advanced batteries into a hybrid-electric fuel cell powertrain that represents further advancement in the development of ultra-clean, ultra- efficient transportation for the 21st century. Commander 2 has near-zero tailpipe emissions and improves the average fuel efficiency by up to 12 mpg (gasoline equivalent).

``With the increasing popularity of SUVs, we believe boosting the fuel efficiency of a larger vehicle explores an area that is of interest to our customers,'' said Bernard Robertson, Senior Vice President - Engineering Technologies and General Manager - Truck Operations.

Commander 2 runs on electricity generated by the fuel cell, which is fueled by hydrogen from an on-board methanol reformer. Methanol was chosen because it is easy to dispense, simpler to reform while producing lower emissions than a gasoline powered fuel cell, and eliminates the need for large hydrogen storage tanks in the vehicle.

Two AC induction motors, one for each axle, provide full-time, four-wheel drive. A nickel-metal-hydride battery provides supplemental energy during acceleration; while towing heavy payloads; and for cold starts, since fuel cell systems require warm up time. The battery captures energy normally lost during braking and also helps improve fuel efficiency.

To compensate for the additional weight and cost of the fuel cell system, Jeep designers incorporated DaimlerChrysler's unique injection-molded thermoplastic body technology, demonstrating the weight savings that could be achieved with injection molded plastic.

The plastic body technology, first shown in the fall of 1997 in the Composite Concept Vehicle (CCV) and more recently in the Dodge ESX3, saves up to 50 percent in body weight, 10 to 50 percent in manufacturing costs and provides near 100 percent recyclability. Using molded-in-color plastic allowed designers to embody a very machined, high-tech feel to the surface appearance, unlike the design restrictions with stamped metal.

Because of its lightweight body, Commander 2 weighs 5700 pounds, slightly more than typical full-size SUVs. This includes more than 2500 pounds for the hybrid-electric fuel cell powertrain.

The silver-bodied Commander 2's overall height of 69.4 inches is equivalent to the 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee. It stands 80 inches wide overall, more than seven inches wider than Grand Cherokee. This wider stance helps intensify drivers' sense of security and enabled designers to add three comfortable bucket seats in the rear, as well as extra storage space in the center console. The 180 degree convex side view mirrors eliminate blind spots and have wipers for better visibility during inclement weather. In addition, the tow hitch cover folds down and doubles as a step for ease in reaching the roof.

Functionality is a key component not only in Commander 2's exterior design, but also in its roomy interior. The driver ``Infotronic'' system performs as a mobile office with a removable toaster-style pop-up ``plug and play'' laptop computer docked in the center console. The system provides global positioning system (GPS) data and Internet for real-time weather and traffic information and directions, along with e-mail phone and vehicle diagnostic information. A liquid crystal display (LCD) screen in the instrument panel connects to the driver's laptop. The steering column houses a small microphone that allows the driver to access the mobile office via a ``user independent'' voice recognition system.

``By incorporating your personal laptop from either the home or the office in the 'plug and play' system, it is customized to fit your needs and can be regularly updated with the latest computer software,'' said Steve Buckley, Electronics Innovation Manager at DaimlerChrysler's Liberty & Technical Affairs.

``Also, you can keep your hands on the wheel and still get business done on the drive to and from the office by verbally sending commands to your computer,'' Buckley added. ``Commands such as sending e-mails, getting directions, reviewing traffic, checking vehicle systems and dialing phone numbers are easily done with voice commands.''

The instrument panel contains another unique feature that provides extra security: a tiny camera positioned to take a picture of the driver. If the vehicle is stolen, a picture of the thief is electronically sent to the authorities.

The instrument panel is further enhanced with chrome details and a brushed aluminum surface accented with light burl wood on both the panel and steering wheel. Sophisticated navy blue is the primary color of the interior and seats, complemented by cognac leather trim inserts.

Commander 2 offers advanced design and technologies that will meet customers' needs in a clean, efficient SUV that will address the environmental challenges of the 21st century.

                             Jeep® Commander 2                            Preliminary Specifications        DIMENSIONS      Overall length          186" (4.72 m)      Overall width           80" (2.03 m)      Overall height          69.4" (1.76 m)      Wheelbase               114" (2.9 m)      Track, F                69" (1.75 m)      Track, R                69" (1.75 m)      Curb weight             5700 lbs (2590 kg)      Tire, F & R             275/55R20 on 20x9 wheel        POWERTRAIN      Engine                  Methanol fuel cell      Motor/transmission      Dual traction electric motors (front and rear)           Peak power         82 kW           Maximum torque     176 lb-ft/239 Nm      Battery pack            324V nickel-metal hydride      Suspension, F           Upper and lower control arms, unequal length gas                               shocks with coaxial springs                              Viper 4-piston floating calipers                              Vented disc brake rotors      Suspension, R           Upper and lower control arms, unequal length gas                               shocks with coaxial springs                              Viper 4-piston calipers                              Vented disc brake rotors      Acceleration            13 seconds (0-60 mph/96 kph)      Fuel tank capacity      10 gallons/40 Liters      Range                   120 miles/1902 Kilometers      Fuel economy            24 mpg/10 Liters/100 Kilometers (estimated                               combined city/highway, gasoline equivalent)      Emissions               SULEV        BODY/CHASSIS      Architecture            Body-on-frame                              4-door sport-utility vehicle      Material usage          Aluminum/composite frame                              Carbon fiber body to simulate PET weight savings                              Cast aluminum wheels      Special features        4-inch adjustable ride height in off-road position  

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Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: erin
ohhh, i think it's UGLY, this is so sad! if they changed the headlights, then maybe...but the fuel thing is cool, i like that it's so environmentally friendly.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Tim
This design first caught my attention a year ago with Commander !, and I think the Grand Cherokee should adopt this styling in its next reincarnation, afterall, 1999's revision of the Grand was more internal than external, and it would certainly improve it's looks immensely to pattern it after this. I hate the idea of Jeep following the sport-ute trend of rounding off the bodies. One of the trademarks of Jeep is the squarish body styles, which the Grand has gotten somewhat away from, and to make it more like this would be a great big step back in the right direction.

I'm okay with the fuel cell technology, and especially with the 24 MPG, if only they can figure a way to get it from Zero to 60 in at least 9 seconds or so. Thirteen seconds just won't cut it. It will also need to retain the towing capacity of 6500 pounds, or even more would be better. And its got to have the low-end torque for off-road enhancement.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Gr Wagoneer Owner
Look at the dimensions of this. . . .looks like the new Grand Wagoneer to me! Just drop a 5.9L in it, and it would sell like hotcakes!!!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: t.unnold
very interesting. former quality teck in aircraft engine mfg
at this time i would not buy one due to lack of qualified service persons.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Bob Elliott
5700 lbs and 13 seconds to 60? That's gutless land barge class despite being nearly able to
safely take a breath from the tailpipe. And where are you supposed to buy methanol?
They're nuts in that regard but the design sounds good. Electric has fantastic torque and
efficiency (lack of heat loss) but energy requirements are a problem. I don't think Jeep
will bet the farm on the populsion system though Daimler has been tinkering with fuel cells.
I wonder how much of that weight is in the batteries? Crossing over from gasoline to other
stuff will be quite interesting in the years to come.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: rich
God bless Griff..he hits the nail on the head
every time!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Griff
The body looks good and rugged. This is what the Grand Cherokee should have been in the 99 redesign. But the fuel cell thing will never take off. Leave the fuel cell for Chrysler or Dodge. If they wanted to dramatically redesign the XJ why didn't they use more design cues from this truck than from Kia Sportages and Suzuki Vitaras. Long Live the XJ!
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