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Willys2 Concept Stays True to Go-Anywhere,

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

DETROIT, Jan. 7 -- Continuing the momentum of its award- winning 2001 Jeep(R) Willys concept vehicle, the Chrysler Group design team celebrated the North American premiere of the Jeep Willys2 concept at the 2002 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

"More than 60 years after the original Willys, Willys2 embodies the Jeep brand's core values of authenticity, freedom and legendary capability, generating interest from the young and young at heart," said Jordan Meadows, Product Designer at Chrysler Group's Pacifica Advanced Design Center in Carlsbad, Calif.

As seen in last year's Jeep Willys concept -- which won the Gold Award in the 2001 Industrial Design Excellence Competition sponsored by Business Week magazine and the Industrial Design Society of America -- Willys2 was developed to exist in harmony with nature while being ready to venture out in the rugged wilderness. Willys2 will go anywhere and do anything at any time, featuring unsurpassed approach and departure angles and ample ground clearance.

Incorporating cutting-edge plastic technology and a lightweight aluminum frame, Willys2 sports ultra-modern interpretations of trademark Jeep design cues including the seven-slot grille and trapezoidal wheel arches. Shown by the Chrysler Group in prior concept vehicles, injection-molded plastic bodies save up to 50 percent in manufacturing costs and weight and are nearly 100- percent recyclable.

While its battle-proven World War II ancestor, the American hero Willys MB, was made of sheet metal, this concept was built in carbon fiber to simulate the weight savings that could be achieved with injection-molded plastics. Jeep Willys2 is finished in "Action Green" metallic paint.

The removable hard top comes equipped with a roof rack featuring a full- size spare tire holder and an integrated luggage carrier, as well as bindings for multiple kinds of outdoor gear. Three auxiliary search and rescue lamps emphasize the "go-anywhere, do-anything" attitude that is core to the Jeep brand.

"We call it the 'pure American,'" said Trevor Creed, Senior Vice President of Design for the Chrysler Group. "The Jeep Willys2's usefulness and versatility were developed to exist in ecological harmony with nature, while being perfectly suited for the rigors of an active lifestyle."

The Jeep Willys2, which weighs approximately 3,000 lbs. (1350 kg), is powered by a 1.6-liter, in-line four-cylinder engine that has been supercharged to deliver 160 bhp. (120 kW) and 155 lb.-ft. (210 Nm) of torque. Its four-speed automatic transmission is coupled with a shift-on-the-fly transfer case with full-time four-wheel drive and low-range modes. Estimated performance figures include a sprint to 60 mph (100 km/h) in about 10 seconds and a top speed of nearly 90 mph (140 km/h).

Willys2's chiseled design lends substance and visual weight, suggesting a low center of gravity with a long wheelbase (95 in./2413 mm) and wide track (58.8 in./1496 mm front, 59.4 in./1509 mm rear). It features a custom independent short-and-long-arm front and multi-link solid rear axle suspension with coil springs at all four wheels.

The spacious interior blends colors of aqua and silver, providing an honest and mechanical appearance. Translucent plastics allow for a new approach to Jeep design while remaining true to the brand's legendary versatility.

"You can still take a water hose to this interior and clean it out," said Meadows.


PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS Powertrain Engine: 1.6-liter I-4 supercharged Estimated Power: 160 bhp. (120 kW) Estimated Torque: 155 lb.-ft. (210 Nm) Transmission: Four-speed automatic transmission Drive: Full-time four-wheel drive with low and high ranges Body & Suspension Structure: One-piece carbon fiber body webbed to aluminum frame, with carbon fiber removable hard top and roof rack Suspension Front: Independent short-and-long-arm (SLA) with coil-over- shock setup Rear: Multi-link solid rear axle with coil-over-shock setup Wheels & Tires Wheels: 21" x 7.5" Tires: P235/65R21 Goodyear Dimensions & Weight Length: 142.4 in. (3617 mm) Width: 70.5 in. (1791 mm) Height w/Roof Rack: 70 in. (1778 mm) Wheelbase: 95 in. (2413 mm) Track Front: 58.9 in. (1496 mm) Rear: 59.4 in. (1509 mm) Ground Clearance: 12 in. (309 mm) Overhang Front: 22.7 in. (577 mm) Rear: 24.7 in. (627 mm) Est. Weight w/Roof Rack: 3000 lbs. (1350 kg) Estimated Performance 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h): 10 sec. Top Speed: 87 mph (140 km/h)