We took our time posting this story from the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) that took place in Detriot earlier this month - seeing how "popular" the Jeep Treo was when it was first announced. Our coverage of the Treo led to an extensive list of Reader Reactions - many of which were not all that favorable.
Regardless, with DaimlerChrysler showing off the Treo again, we felt the need to provide you with a portion of their press release.
A vivid new interpretation of where the Jeep® brand could go in the future, the Jeep Treo exemplifies the idea of “fluid imagination” thinking in a stunning, unexpected package – a form and presence that challenges the brand’s traditional dimensions, but in the end, can still be viewed as authentically Jeep.The Treo is the next-generation, urban-active Jeep – one that will allow it to thrive in a city or campus environment, yet one that will easily take its owner to the trailhead. All of this adaptable with the ability to use the freedom of fuel cell technology.
Advanced, Efficient, Environmentally Accountable Propulsion
Treo’s forward-thinking design brief is matched by its equally forward-thinking alternative propulsion system. Imagined with an efficient, hydrogen fuel cell powering all four wheels via dual electric motors, the Treo is designed to operate in all conditions – while being sensitive and accountable to the environment.
A Bold New Jeep Signature
Treo – a name meaning “three” in various languages - comes from the concept’s unique 2 + 1 seating configuration, which can be changed to accommodate a 2 + gear scenario. The Treo’s “face” presents a bold new Jeep signature – despite the concept’s compact dimensions.
The classic Jeep design elements – the seven slot grille, large “eye” headlamps and the prominent windshield presence – are freshly nuanced and then enhanced by a purposeful lower-front bumper with rugged, oversized tow hooks, slightly exposed front suspension componentry and bolt-on fenders.
The Treo’s shape narrows front-to-back, and culminates in a dramatically tapered tail, which is augmented by twin, high-mounted spar wings that serve a triple functional role as running, brake and tail lamps, cooling air intakes and as the exterior mounting points for twin Jeep Rubicon bikes.
Unique Interior Packaging “Driven” by “Drive-by-Wire” Controls, Advanced Materials
An advanced drive-by-wire system provides a fascinating functional detail to the Treo interior, which in turn allows for instant adaptability for either left- or right-hand drive. The steering column, pedals and instrumentation are all contained in one module – a single piece of sculpture that can be easily slid to either side of the car – which mounts to a one-piece structural beam (a second module contains the radio, GPS and HVAC controls in a touch screen that is removable). This unique functional design feature, combined with the added visibility provided by the Jeep see-through grille and its creative greenhouse design, contribute to the Treo’s roomy, airy interior – allowing it to take full advantage of natural and ambient light sources.
It is important to remember that this is only a concept vehicle - highly unlikely that it will ever be mass produced - it's main purpose is to demonstrate new technology that might make its way into future Jeeps.