Jeep - Willys
The back-to-basics, composite-bodied Jeep Willys concept vehicle pays homage to Jeep vehicles of the past while showcasing the design and technology of the 21st century.
'We designed this concept vehicle with the self- expressive, free-thinker in mind,' said Trevor Creed, Senior Vice President - Product Design, DaimlerChrysler Corporation. 'The Jeep Willys' usefulness and versatility were developed to exist in ecological harmony with nature while being perfectly suited for the rigors of an active lifestyle. Call it the pure American.'
The Willys, unveiled at the 2001 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, features plastic body-technology, allowing for a radical approach to Jeep design while remaining true to the brand's characteristics.
Shown in several concept vehicles designed by the Chrysler Group, injection-molded plastic bodies save up to 50 percent in weight and manufacturing costs and are nearly 100 percent recyclable. The moulded-in-colour plastic allows designers to create shapes not permitted with pressed metal, such as the crisp, rigid lines that give the Willys its high-tech, machined appearance. The Jeep Willys' lightweight aluminum frame-web is similar to technologies found in today's top performance sports and military equipment.
While its battle-proven, World War II ancestor was made of sheet metal, this concept was built in carbon fibre to simulate the weight savings that could be achieved with injection-moulded plastics. Frame-web technology moulds the one-piece carbon fibre body to an aluminium frame, giving the Jeep Willys a very high level of rigidity.
Designed with a sense of adventure, the Willys creates a fresh, ultra-modern interpretation of the legendary Jeep brand. Confidence-inspiring shapes such as the seven-slot grille, the uniquely executed wheel arches, the extremely short rear and the vehicle's athletic stance maintain true Jeep character.
'My 'pure American' design philosophy for the Jeep Willys led me to the very clean, precise and mechanical appearance,' said Jordan Meadows, Product Designer at DaimlerChrysler's Pacifica Design Center in Carlsbad, Calif. 'However, it still shows traditional Jeep design cues, such as the trademark grille and wheel arches and its commanding feel on the road, as well as off the beaten path.'
The theme is continued in the interior which was kept spacious and light in colour.
'In detailing Willys' interior with an honest look and feel, we reinforced the versatile Jeep lineage,' said Meadows. 'The Jeep Willys is a prime example of a vehicle embracing its past while looking to its future.'
Emphasising the combination of heritage and modern technology, the concept comes equipped with a Sirius Satellite Radio. It offers digital quality audio with crystal clear reception coast-to-coast from more than 100 news, sports and entertainment channels, of which 50 music channels are commercial-free.
The Jeep Willys is powered by DaimlerChrysler's 1.6-litre, in-line four-cylinder engine that has been supercharged to deliver 160 bhp (120 kW) and 155 lb.-ft. of torque (210 Nom). Its four-speed automatic transmission is coupled with a shift-on-the-fly transfer case with permanent four-wheel drive and low-range modes. Custom, independent short-and-long-arm front and multi-link solid rear axle suspension with coil-over-shock set-up and sizeable 22-inch wheels with P235/840R560 PAX tyres embraces the 'go anywhere' attitude synonymous with the Jeep brand. Estimated performance figures include a sprint to 60 mph. (97 kph) in 10.2 seconds and a top speed of almost 90 mph. (140 kph).
'The custom suspension and supercharged powertrain were engineered to preserve the rugged capabilities that the Jeep brand is known for,' added Creed. 'We wanted the DNA of the Willys to speak to the heritage of its ancestors. We were looking for the most efficient yet stylish way to capture the spirit of classic Jeep vehicles enhanced with modern technology. Marrying 21st century technology with 20th century tradition, the pure American Willys captures the bare essence of the Jeep brand.'
Engine & performance:
Type: 4-cylinder, in-line, supercharged
Power: 160 hp
Torque: 210 Nm
0-96 km/h: 10.2 s
Top speed: 140 km/h
Length: 3617 mm
Width: 1791 mm
Height: 1605 mm
Wheelbase: 2413 mm
Weight: 1315 kg