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Liberty2002 Liberty Spy Photo, 2001 Grand Cherokee Award
Posted by mike on 2000/11/29 0:00:00 (726) reads



The Car Connection has a new spy photo an article about the recently announced 2002 Jeep Liberty (formery known as the next-generation Cherokee a.k.a. KJ). The photo isn't all that different that the rest of the spy pics of the Liberty, the body making appears to be identical to earlier pics. Here's a snippet from the article:

Company officials aren’t offering many details about the new SUV, though it’s expected to be a bit more carlike than the existing Jeep lineup—reflecting the general industry trend. Key competitors, such as Ford Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Co., have begun rolling out an array of "cute-utes," which sacrifice some off-road capability in favor of on-road comfort and improved fuel economy.

Inside sources tell TCC that the Liberty project has been the subject of much contention within Jeep. By former president Bob Lutz’ rule, every Jeep must be able to tackle the off-road challenges presented by California’s Rubicon Trail. The Liberty, say insiders, may not perform as well as the current Cherokee under those conditions, and that has already upset some of the off-road enthusiasts among the company’s own engineers.

The rest of the article goes on to mention that the Liberty was supposed to be ready for production in January, 2001, but major problems with the suspension forced DaimlerChrylser to delay full-scale production to early spring.

The 2001 Grand Cherokee recently won Petersen's 4-Wheel & Off-Road "4x4 of the Year" - here's a snippet from the press release:

``The 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee is designed, engineered and built upon the combination of heritage and capability that has made the Jeep brand the most highly regarded name in the sport-utility segment,'' said Tom Marinelli, Vice President, Chrysler/Jeep Division Global Brand Center, DaimlerChrysler Corporation.

This is the eighth time a Jeep vehicle has been awarded Petersen's 4-Wheel & Off-Road's ``4x4 of the Year'' -- more than any other manufacturer.

Initiated in 1983, the 4-Wheel & Off-Road's ``4x4 of the Year'' competition is open to all four-wheel drive vehicles with significant updates and performance differences from the previous year. The vehicles are tested for a full month, both in various on-road conditions and in severe off-road use. Vehicles are evaluated and scored on ride & drive, as well as empirical, mechanical, interior and exterior measurements.

The Grand Cherokee upstaged six rivals to clinch the award. The competition included the Chevrolet Silverado LT 2500HD, the Ford Explorer Sport Trac, the Ford F-150 Super Crew, the GMC Sierra 2500HD, the Mitsubishi Montero and the Nissan Frontier Crew Cab SC.

``This award is unique because of its single focus on only one 'best of the best' from all categories of product available in the 2001 4x4 marketplace,'' said Rick Pewe, editor of 4-Wheel & Off-Road. ``The intense competition in the light truck category over the past decade has made this award even more profound because of the sheer number of vehicles qualifying for this competition.

``With its on-road performance and handling, and its capabilities in treacherous off-road terrain, the 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee is still king of the hill,'' added Pewe.

In its inaugural model year, Jeep Grand Cherokee first won the 1993 4- Wheel & Off-Road's ``4x4 of the Year'' competition, a second time in 1996 after its first substantial redesign, and again in 1998 with the high-performance Grand Cherokee 5.9 Limited. The most recent Jeep winner was the all-new 1999 Grand Cherokee.

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Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Patrick
To Griff: Never made a car? What would you call the 1948-1952 Willys-Overland VJ2 Jeepster. Even Willys called it both a car and sedan in advertisments. But perhaps Damilar was the conspirator than too.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Griff
Patrick you said "True Jeep fan know of a past that contained cars and wagons, along with the SUVs they are known for." Well being a "true jeep fan" I would know taht there never was a car and there was a willy's wagon like a station wagon but it was on a truck frame from the willy's pickup. If you call that a car so be it but yes they did have a wagon. The Willy's Wagon though was the forebearer to the Wagoneer which would led to the fullsize cherokees and grand wagoneers and XJ cherokees. I agree that we should wait to see what it looks like but I haven't heard much positive other than from Jeep people that are paid to say good stuff. Jeep insiders that seem to be saying that it has all kind of suspension problems. Its not coming out in January because of problems with the suspension. Look a the Ford Escape it was over hyped and gotten out real fast and last week Ford told dealers to stop selling them because they have had so many recalls that they feel its somewhat of a risk to people and the company image to be selling them till they fix them. You can have a great body but if you have tons of mechanical problems who wants the car? I guess Patrick does. I don't Long live pre-DC Jeep.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Ken
I agree with many of the others that we need to wait and see what the KJ turns out to be. Personally, I hope the KJ is a winner for Jeep, but in this already over flooded SUV market, the new KJ may get lost, even if it turns out to be a great vehicle. From the spy photos, the KJ looks like so many other SUVs, and with the troubles Chrysler is in, Chrysler might not be able to compete with the other manufacturers. I would rather see Jeep come out with something different, like the Scrambler from the 80's. The Wrangler has always been the unique icon of Jeep, and why not expand on that. No one has a convertible roadster pickup truck, so why not produce something no one else has. Unfortunately, it looks like with the German management, it is unlikely we will see anything innovative from the Chrysler group in the future.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Griff
XJ Ken what you are reading about here is an example of how the DC people are screwing over the Jeep nameplate. I really think that the KJ (krappy jeep) will not and should not win the Peterson's 4x4 award when it comes out. While the WJ Grand Cherokee may have a questionable body style with that minivan back door, it does have a great suspension and of course the TJ, XJ, and ZJ Grand Cherokee were all deserving of the 4x4 award. Also I think the new LR Range Rover is coming out the same model year as the KJ and as much as I like Jeep, if the KJ beat a Range Rover on 4x4 of the year I would give up on Peterson's totally. So I wouldn't count on the overly generic soccer mom-esque V6 KJ beating a V8 maybe optional V12 4x4 beast that has 10 cows worth of leather inside of it and a history of being the best. Well I'll leave the KJ to the soccer moms but if the next Wrangler and Grand Cherokee get too pansy I'm done with new Jeeps. It looks like its only going to be Jeeps prior to the introduction of the KJ and LR's. Long live the XJ

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

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Griff
I think calling the first Jeepster a car is all in the way you view it. Sure it was marketed as a phateon, but its lack of success stemmed from it being on the Willy's Overland Jeep Truck chassis. Today if you produced this it would probably be more of a cross-over AWD type of car. It never made it as a car because the origin of most of its parts. Take in mind Patrick that Jeep realized their mistake and came out with the Jeepster Commando with four wheel drive and a number of different configurations. It did better in the marketplace but it too never met expectations of many Jeep previous Jeep owners. Hmmm... does any of what I'm saying sound familiar. It sounds like Jeep might be producing another Jeepster with the KJ. I don't wish to demoralize the Jeepster because it was a much better vehicle than the KJ but Jeep is producing and marketing a vehicle that doesn't beg past owners to buy it and it may end up being still too truck like for the soccer moms with low range four wheel drive that they actually have to throw a lever or hit a button to get to work. I really don't endorse the KJ or any thing that is going to be based off of it in the future (probably the next XJ WJ & TJ), but I will say it would have done alot better if it had had AWD. Jeep fans, know as i type that I cringe at the thought of having AWD in the Jeep lineup but it would have sold. The reason the Cherokee stopped selling as well this year is DC dropped its to good to last for long incentives on the XJ Cherokee. Its not the Cherokees fault, its DC's for dropping the incentives. Long live the XJ.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Carter
Many of you have mentioned the fear that DC
might be pandering to the soccer mom crowd
with the introduction of the Liberty. One of the
biggest competitors as of 2000 for the
capable offroad Cherokee is the equally
capable Xterra. I couldn't buy a Range Rover
if I wanted to, it's a completely different class
of vehicle. But the cherokee and the Xterra are
within my means. What I'm getting at is this,
prior to the Xterra, Cherokee was its own
niche. Now, from what I can tell, it has its first
direct competitor since its introduction. What I
hope is that DC realizes this too, and are
concentrating on creating a high style, highly
capable offroad Liberty.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Patrick
The idea of the Jeep hertiage seems to be taking on whatever definition one wants it to be. True Jeep fan know of a past that contained cars and wagons, along with the SUVs they are known for. This idea that Jeep is dying is wasteful. It should be noted that SUVs like the Hummer and new Montero both have independent suspensions and are two of the best SUVs offroad. Why is it believed that a Jeep vehicle with the same could not perform offroad? I am as excited as the rest to see the new Liberty, but hold judgment until it has been REVEALED. If the lastest picture and info on car-truck.com, based on those that have seen and driven it, is accurate, I see no problems for anyone, except maybe getting one. So leave the bitching and gossip for the "soccer moms" you despise yet emulate.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: XJ Ken
It seems that I unlike the hardcore jeepers out there have been encouraged
by what I have heard and seen (artist drawings) lately about the Liberty. They
are worried that the Liberty is not going to be as capable off-road as the rest of
the JEEP line. I don't necessarily believe that the Liberty has to be as capable
as the other Jeep vehicles, I believe it is more important that the new Jeep is
more off-road capable than the competition. From what I have read so far, that
is not going to be a problem. Besides we better worry about what will be left of
the Jeep brand when the idiots in Germany get done with it.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: rich
And those offroad enthusiasts/engineers probably
have good reason to squawk! Meanwhile the(successful) Range Rover shows there sales staff etc., tackling extreme off-road trails in new tv spots.
Seems like the venerable Jeep is seeking the soccer mom marketplace.
Rich
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