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All-New 2002 Jeep Liberty

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
    DETROIT, Jan. 7 The Jeep(R) brand once again moves to the
forefront of engineering and design with the introduction of the 2002 Jeep(R)
Liberty -- delivering a unique combination of ruggedness, capability and
superior on-road refinement that sets this all-new vehicle apart from the pack
in true Jeep tradition.

    The Liberty joins the already formidable Jeep lineup as the newest member
of the legendary brand that defined sport-utility vehicles during its 60-year
history.  The all-new Jeep Liberty was created to expand the breadth of the
Jeep lineup and broaden the brand's global appeal.  Not only for traditional
Jeep buyers, this vehicle is also for a new generation of SUV buyers who value
on-road refinement and ruggedness.

    Building on themes illustrated by the Dakar and Jeepster concept vehicles,
Liberty features short front and rear overhangs and a very upright profile to
deliver efficient space utilization, command of the road seating and excellent
road presence.  The Jeep Liberty stands apart from the new generation of less
capable compact SUVs.

    "The all-new Jeep Liberty stands alone in the world market because it
combines legendary Jeep capability that our customers have come to expect with
superior on-road refinement to broaden our buyer base even further," said
Rich Schaum, Executive Vice President - Product Development and Quality &
General Manager Passenger Car Operations, DaimlerChrysler Corporation.

    The 2002 Jeep Liberty was engineered with a wide array of new features
that make it as capable off-highway as it is competent on any interstate.
Major features include:

    All-new 3.7-liter PowerTech V-6
    The 3.7-liter V-6 engine is designed with similar architecture to the
highly acclaimed 4.7-liter V-8 engine which powers the Grand Cherokee.  This
engine features a 90-degree even-firing V-6, a cast iron block and bedplate,
aluminum cylinder heads and a balance shaft.  Output is 210 hp @ 5200 rpm
(157 kW @ 5200 rpm) and 225-ft. lbs. @ 4000 rpm (305 kW @ 4000 rpm).  This
all-new V-6 shares many technology features with the 4.7-liter V-8 including:
    *  Chain-driven single overhead cams for superior performance and long-
term durability
    *  Fabricated tubular camshaft with powder metal lobes for reduced engine
    *  Zero-leaks engine sealing system proven successful on the 4.7-liter
    *  Direct mount accessories with a single belt drive for reduced
vibration, harshness and weight

    Features unique to the 3.7-liter:
    *  Gear driven balance shaft to minimize engine vibration
    *  Composite intake manifold with individual tuned runners on each
cylinder to improve overall performance
    *  Active knock sensor system to improve engine performance and

    The 3.7-liter equipped with a multi-speed automatic transmission provides
5,000 pound towing capability that can't be beat.
    Both this engine and the 2.4-liter PowerTech I-4 are available with a
5-speed manual transmission.

    New 2.5-liter Direct Injection 4-cylinder Turbodiesel (for international
    The new 2.5-liter direct injection turbodiesel engine features a cast-iron
cylinder block and a one-piece aluminum cylinder head with 16-valves.  It
provides 140 hp @ 4000 rpm (105 kW @ 4000 rpm) and 253-ft. lbs. @ 1800 rpm
(343 kW @ 1800 rpm).  For improved performance and fuel efficiency this engine
features belt driven overhead cams, state-of-the-art direct fuel injection and
counter rotating balance shafts.  Vehicles equipped with this engine also have
a viscous heater system to supplement passenger compartment heat.

    All-new Jeep Independent Front Suspension
    An all-new Jeep-engineered coil sprung independent front suspension
combines excellent overall ride and handling and precise steering control with
Rubicon-tested capabilities.  The generous eight-inch suspension travel
ensures hallmark Jeep off-highway performance.  Sturdy, cast iron lower and
forged steel upper control arms coupled to a cast iron steering knuckle with
permanently lubricated ball joints provide a stable base for the front
suspension.  This design not only gives consumers confidence about the
vehicle's robustness and durability, but improves rough road ride by reducing
the vehicle's unsprung weight.

    Link-Coil Rear Suspension from Grand Cherokee
    A link-coil rear suspension, similar to that on the Grand Cherokee,
provides a smooth, comfortable ride.  This system provides a more comfortable
ride than leaf springs because coil springs have less static and dynamic
friction.  This configuration also provides a roll center closer to the
vehicle's center of gravity to reduce body lean during cornering.  The
trailing A-shaped upper arm's sturdy, box section construction, tuned to
provide extremely high stiffness, helps isolate axle and road noise.  Box
section lower control arms provide exceptional durability.  Progressive rate
springs in the standard suspension system provide a consistently comfortable
ride and help maintain controlled handling under varying load conditions.

    All-new Rack and Pinion Steering
    Engineered to maintain Jeep off-highway ruggedness, a precise rack and
pinion steering system provides on-road steering control.  Effort, feel and
response are tuned to give the driver accurate control and positive feedback.
Steering response is precise and consistent with steering wheel input, while
retaining the fun-to-drive quality Jeep owners have come to expect.

    Innovative Swing Gate / Flipper Glass Design
    For quick and easy access to the cargo area, Liberty features a patented
single-action swing gate / flipper glass system.  The swing gate opens from
the curb-side of the vehicle for safe, convenient loading.  A unique pull-type
latch mechanism makes the opening of the flipper glass window and swing gate
an intuitive, one-motion operation versus competitive multiple step operation.
Pulling the release handle performs both operations, as the latch includes a
detent to separate the functions.  Pressing the cargo door button on the
keyless entry transmitter or turning the key in the swing gate lock also opens
the flipper glass window.

    Sixty Years Experience in Building Capable Off-highway Vehicles
    The Liberty, like each of today's Jeep vehicles, is a direct descendant of
the first Jeep model and offers unrivaled capability and toughness.  When the
first Jeep vehicle was created there was no such thing as a sport-utility
market.  The main customers were the Allied Forces seeking to restore peace
during the Second World War.  It was conceived as a replacement for the trusty
motorbike used to carry messages between US Army units.  Some 60 years later,
Jeep engineers still know the formula for creating truly capable off-highway
vehicles.  Key features include:
    *  Standard Command Trac(R) and optional Selec Trac(R) transfer cases
including low range mode to provide traction on four-wheel drive vehicles
    *  Jeep-designed independent front suspension / link coil rear /
progressive rate springs
    *  Jeep-engineered Uniframe construction that is both stiffer and lighter
than body on frame construction used by truck based competitors
    *  Generous suspension travel, approach and departure angles
    *  Unique engine and ABS calibrations and clutch interlock defeat in low
    *  Water fording capabilities for off-highway trails and flooded
    *  Available off-road group including Trac-Lok, all-terrain tires and skid
    *  Jeep ruggedness ensured by durability testing derived from the original
test used to qualify Jeep vehicles for military use, including 15,000 off-
highway miles, and validation on challenging off-highway trails including the
famed Rubicon Trail -- a benefit to consumers who use their vehicles mostly
on-road as well

    Liberty Delivers Refined Safety
    Jeep also has a long tradition of integrating safety into every vehicle --
and Liberty represents the next chapter in that history.
    "We know that safety is a major concern for buyers in the SUV market,"
said Craig Love, Vice President Jeep Platform Engineering, DaimlerChrysler.
"The 2002 Jeep Liberty builds on the rock-solid safety reputation that Jeep
already owns.  The result is a vehicle that, from top to bottom, offers as
much safety and security as it does performance."
    Whether the all-new Jeep Liberty is carrying people to the mall or to the
mountains, safety is always an integral part.  Important active and passive
safety features provide protection and peace of mind customers expect from the
sport-utility pioneer:
    *  Sturdy construction with high-strength alloy steel for a network of
steel beams, rails and pillars, creating a "safety cage" that surrounds and
protects occupants
    *  Standard multi-stage driver and passenger front air bags designed to
deploy at different levels depending on the severity of the crash and whether
the occupant is buckled in
    *  Available side curtain air bags for additional head protection for both
front and rear outboard occupants
    *  Seat belt pretensioner in the driver's position and constant force
retractors for both the driver and the front passenger
    *  A lap-and-shoulder seatbelt in the center rear seating position
    *  Larger, thicker, full-cast brake rotors with greater heat capacity and
larger, stiffer calipers in front combined with an available new, integrated
anti-lock brake system that includes electronic brake distribution for optimal
braking performance
    *  Available theft deterrent system and keyless entry fob which can
program owner preferences, such as unlocking the driver's door only, for added

    DaimlerChrysler's Toledo North Assembly Plant Represents Worldwide Best
    DaimlerChrysler's newest assembly plant, the Toledo North Assembly Plant,
represents the culmination of best practices from the company's worldwide
operations for lean, flexible, high-quality production.  Slated to begin
customer production of the all-new Jeep Liberty in the Spring of 2001, the
facility is currently producing pre-production prototype vehicles to validate
quality, train employees and refine manufacturing processes.
    "As our newest assembly plant, the Toledo North Assembly Plant is the
culmination of the latest manufacturing best practices from our operations
worldwide, and like all our plants, is a learning field of innovative
processes," said Gary Henson, Executive Vice President Manufacturing,
DaimlerChrysler.  "We designed the facility to be flexible and lean, and we
have 'error-proofed' our processes to ensure top quality.  It's also a great
example of incorporating new technology from our colleagues at
    These best practices include:
    *  Manufacturing processes to ensure top quality
    *  Synergies with Mercedes-Benz to yield manufacturing best practices
    *  Flexible manufacturing to enable facility to add new products and
changeover quickly
    *  Virtual manufacturing to enable company to build plant for only $54 per
square foot -- an industry benchmark