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LibertyIt's Official! New KJ Name: Jeep Liberty
Posted by mike on 2000/11/22 0:00:00 (692) reads



For those of you who have followed the KJ saga with us over the past 2 years, today is a milestone day. DaimlerChrysler has announced that the former "next-generation Cherokee" is not going to be a Cherokee at all - it will be called the Jeep Liberty. From Yahoo! News:

DaimlerChrysler said Tuesday it will make room in its garage for a fourth Jeep sport utility vehicle when it introduces the Liberty next summer.

The vehicle, originally thought to be the replacement for the aging Jeep Cherokee mid-sized SUV, will instead augment a lineup that also includes the Grand Cherokee and Wrangler SUVs, the German automaker said.

``Liberty will very appropriately join Grand Cherokee, Cherokee and Wrangler in arguably the industry's most prestigious sport utility lineup,'' Tom Marinelli, head of global Jeep marketing, said in a statement.

The vehicle will be built at an all-new plant DaimlerChrysler built in Toledo, Ohio, where it currently assembles the Cherokee and Wrangler in existing factories.

And here's the press release from DaimlerChrysler...

Today Jeep proudly announces that the all-new 2002 Jeep -- to be produced in the Spring of 2001 and available in dealerships this summer -- will be named Liberty.

"It's an epic industry event when an all-new Jeep is introduced, let alone one being added to the legendary Jeep lineup," said Tom Marinelli, Vice President Chrysler/Jeep Division Global Brand Center, DaimlerChrysler Corporation. "Liberty will very appropriately join Grand Cherokee, Cherokee and Wrangler in arguably the industry's most prestigious sport utility lineup."

Liberty is what Jeep is all about -- the freedom to go anywhere and do anything. It is an attribute that closely mirrors the Jeep brand's core values.

The Jeep-engineered Liberty will be produced at the all-new state-of-the-art Toledo (Ohio) North Assembly Plant, located across the street from the original plant where the company currently churns out Cherokees and Wranglers for worldwide consumption.

"Jeep engineers are hard at work putting the finishing touches on what is going to be a great new Jeep vehicle being built in the shadow of where it all started 60 years ago," said Craig Love, Vice President Jeep Platform Engineering, DaimlerChrysler Corporation.

Now all we need is an actual picture...

Here's a final snippet from Autonet.ca:

Speculation from informed sources is that the new Liberty was originally targeted to replace the current Cherokee, but that vehicle is now slated to live on with slight modifications. A similar event took place when Jeep introduced what would become the Grand Cherokee.

The Car Connection is reporting that the new vehicle will be powered by a new 3.7-litre overhead cam V6 derived from the Grand Cherokee’s 4.7 V-8, and a 2.4-litre DOHC four derived from the Neon's 2.2-litre "four". The Jeep Varsity concept unveiled at the Detroit auto show foreshadows the styling cues of the new vehicle, though the profile will reportedly be more like the four-door Wrangler Dakar shown several years back.

The Car Connection is also reporting "an instrument panel with a pronounced brow over the gauge cluster and white gauge faces. Leather seats, a manual transmission and power window switches mounted on the centre console were also seen … The rear hatch has a separately hinged glass rear section and the spare tire mounted to it."

When asked what he could tell us about the new vehicle, Craig Love, Vice President Jeep Platform Engineering, DaimlerChrysler Corporation said "Jeep engineers are hard at work putting the finishing touches on what is going to be a great new Jeep vehicle being built in the shadow of where it all started 60 years ago."

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Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Griff
Right on Comanche Dave. They should ask us what we think would be good. But then again I guess that not what the German guys, with names we can't pronounce right, at DC would want. Don't worry once they ruin the brand they Chrysler will come back with something to pull themselves out of the hole again. So I guess we can all look forward to another line of Chrysler and Dodges based off of one platform. Can we say a K-Car for the new Millenium? I cringe at the thought

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Carter
This is what I think. There should be a new
cherokee and a new truck both with straight sixes
and both should take design cues from the present
wrangler. In other words, build the Dakar and
call it CHEROKEE. I may lose the rest of you with
this, but if jeep goes in the direction of concept
cars like Varsity, when I go to trade in my
cherokee, it will be at a nissan dealership for an

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: JOHNNY
here is my comment

I agree we need a Jeep pickup-other than the Dakota's and Ram's. Why not the Honcho with big beefy rear fenders?


Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Dave n XJ
I think it's great that the cherokee will live on, if just for a little while longer. I hate to see that the new Liberty will be priced between the cherokee and grand cherokee, but something did need to fill that gap. I just hope that when the cherokee is finally retired, and it does need to be, that something does come along to fill its spot so that we aren't left with just the wrangler and a pair of luxo-suv's.

The Liberty sounds like a great truck, even if its specs do seem unJeeplike. But if the engineers can get modern technology to stand up to Jeep durability, then who wouldn't welcome a great riding, more comfortable truck to the jeep line?

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: dan
haha..if i saw this piece of crap in a parking lot
I would go up and piss on it. so long to Jeep.
These KJ's are going to be sitting in the dealer
lots for a long time. no one in there right mind
would buy this th

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: XJ Ken
here is my comment Finally some good news. I love my Cherokee and I was
hating the idea of this legend being replaced by the KJ. I have hoped all along
that the KJ would join the jeep line and not replace the XJ. With Ford and
Toyota seemingly adding new SUV's to their lineup every week the idea of having four Jeep models makes perfect sense. As a fan of all Jeeps especially
the XJ I would like to see the Cherokee have at least a 20 year run. It would
also be cool to see another XJ replacement unable to kill the greatest SUV of all
time.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Jeb
phew! atleast it ain't a cherokee just anew baby in the line-up.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Comanche Dave
here is my comment: Don't you wish DC would ask your opinion about what you need in a new vehicle? I have owned and driven Jeeps since 1972. I wish Jeep would make another small pickup. My Comanche has been the best Jeep that I have owned. BULLETPROOF 4L POWER!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Brian
I have a 2000 XJ sport, and I love it, and plan to buy my second in a year or two(of course for the wife!) There is no way we will even look at these "cute-utes". Adding this KJ to the Jeep family isn't all negitive if it can hold up to the Jeep name. If they did replace the Cherokee with this KJ, I belive it would be the end to an awsome thing and would unfortenatly chase us away.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Griff
You know what i heard Matt? That Jeep insiders said that the KJ had trouble with Jeep's simulated section of the Rubicon trail they have at their testing center. From what I have heard they do test on this simulated trail before they take it to the real Rubicon. But any good DC guy would tell you that this Jeep is one bad mutha of a Jeep because that's what their paid to do. But remember the DC guy that is spewing this garbage used to be some guy from Detroit or Toledo is now some guy from Germany named Hans who's 4x4 experience probably doesn't include transfer cases and wheel hub turning but push buttons and AWD. There is no more Chyrsler in DC its all Damiler. If you find more than a dozen top ranking executives in the company in 5 years that are hard core detroit guys I'll be suprised. Jeep is definately on a downswing that they need to pull out of quick. Sure they could use two or three more rigs in their product like but why the Cute-ute. I have a feeling its AWD stationwagons with high ground clearance next if they keep on with the path they are heading down.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Matt B
here is my comment: I agree that we all need to wait and see what it looks, rides, and off-roads like before we pass judgement. I have a '95 XJ with 200,000 miles on it that I LOVE! It is the best vehicle I have ever owned. I do a lot of hunting and fishing, so I do a lot of off-roading. I had a 91 wrangler before this jeep, and I am a true jeep fan. But let's keep our facts straight. When the XJ first came out, many people thought that it wasn't a "real" jeep. Unibody, coil springs, hatchback? In The Jeep Bible by Moses Ludel, he says the XJ is best suited for light off-road duty (gravel fire roads). We all know that is not true. Mine can rock crawl with the best of them. Now everybody uses the XJ as an example of a "true" jeep. Toyotas are known the world over as great off-roaders with fantastic durability. And they have IFS. It is now the 21st century. Let's see what Jeep engineers can do with technology that is not from 1940. Reports are that the Liberty KJ has done well on the Rubicon Trail. Let's not rush to judgement until either Four Wheeler Magazine, or we ourselves have actually driven the thing!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Griff
Liberty? Well as long as its not cherokee. You can say I'm not being very optimistic about this cute-ute or that the hard core Jeepers haven't actually seen or driven the cute-ute that we are all complaining about, but you can say for sure that this Jeep is not going to be a Jeep along the same lines of the CJ TJ ZJ or XJ. I think it is going to be more like the Jeep minivan-esque WJ(99+ grand cherokee). Also did i read right when i say that the KJ (KRAPPY JEEP) is going to be priced between the XJ and the WJ? How? Who would pay more for something that looks smaller than the XJ. I'm sure throught some magically feat of spacial engineering it has the interior space of a suburban with the outward looks of a
V but really this isn't worth what they are going to charge for it. Its got window switches on the console (Ripped of the Range Rover) and leather, WOOHOO. I can get leather and power windows on a cherokee. This KJ is the bastard child of the Jeep line. Long live the XJ.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Griff
here is my comment

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Ken
How about something like the Scrambler from the 80's, but use the TJ platform. Dakota and Ram are too big, and a pickup based on the TJ wrangler (but stretched) would be a nice small pickup. Chrysler has no small pickups to compete with the other truck builders, so this vehicle would not take sales away from the existing Dodge line. On top of that, it could be a removeable top or a soft top, making it one of the only convertable pickup trucks on the market. Jeep did such a nice job with the TJ, why not take advanatge of that design.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: joe
here is my comment

Let me say first I have been around Jeeps for all my life of 28 years, I own Jeeps from 1942 to almost present (MB, 2A'S, GPW, CJ-5, early truck, Commanche and Cherokee) and I want to say that I hope 'Liberty' holds up to the 'Jeep' title-I know that the Jeep assembly line workers take pride in their work. However, what I worry about are the engineers, designers, and economists that dream up ideas that they think 'us' the 'Jeep crowd' will enjoy. Such as 'V-6' again (which Jeep tried in the early 84,85,86 Cherokees as well as then late 60's CJ's) and IFS or IFS-type suspensions-if these ideas were so good, where are they now? V-6 are no torque monsters like the venerable AMC-ERA Straight 6's and if V-6's were so good, then why is the new Chevy trailblazer going to have a 270-some horsepower straight six.

Jeep if your going to add anything to the market bring back the Jeep pickup-call it what you want-Comanchee, Commando, ETC ETC. But keep it Jeep or people are going to a different market-I'd even consider a Land Rover if Jeep goes to IFS, AND V-6's!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Patrick
I think its great that Jeep will retain the present Cherokee. It will allow them to diversify their collection of SUVs for the future. However, I have to question the pessimistic attitude of most respondents in the past few months. No one has truly seen the new Liberty ( so what exactly is that one going to pee on), driven it, or seen what the new suspension can do. True Jeep fans would hold judgment until the vehicle is released and driven. They would also leave the rumor and gossiping to the suburban moms they despise so much.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: JamesR
Reuters reported that Jeep will maintain the Cherokee into mid-2002 largely to avoid having to reduce the price of the Liberty.

Plans to create a new Wrangler using the KJ platform have been dismissed due to budgetary reasons.

The Grand Cherokee won't be upgraded until 2003 at the earliest.

Jeep is sacrificing it's future by trying to cut short term costs. The SUV market is very fickle.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: DILLINGER
It should have solid axles to be considered a "true" jeep.
When and if they drop the solid axle from the wrangler and Cherokee, I'll go somewhere else for my trucks.
I have supported Jeep for 20 years, and really thought they were turning for the better with the introduction of the all-coiled TJ.
It was a rockcrawlers dream in a factory produced vehicle. Then out popped this POS, and I think they have forgotten about where it all started.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: eddie
can' wait to see it, though I in the market for a TJ I wonder who much of this new styling will go into the next generation 'TJ'

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: babu
I work for DC and worked on the Liberty is fully a Jeep and will really kick rear end when it comes out. It's another winner from the "real" Jeep guys.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: rich
Liberty? Somehow that sound strange coming from
the new Daimler/Chrysler high-ups!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: kelly
In our newpaper this morning there was a picture of it camouflaged. To me it looks like a cross between the PT and the grand cherokee.
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