|The Jeep Liberty|
|The 3.7L PowerTech V6|
The Jeep(r) brand once again pushes the forefront of engineering and design with the introduction of the all-new 2002 Jeep Liberty - delivering a unique combination of ruggedness, capability and superior on-road refinement that sets it apart from the pack in true Jeep tradition.
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, Liberty is also for a new generation of SUV buyers who value on-road refinement and ruggedness. And true to the Jeep heritage, 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 the legendary Jeep capability that our customers have come to expect with superior on-road refinement to broaden our buyer base even further," said Tom Sidlik, Executive Vice President, Procurement and Supply, and General Manager, Jeep Operations, DaimlerChrysler Corporation.
Building on themes illustrated by the Dakar and Jeepster concept vehicles, Liberty has short front and rear overhangs for excellent off-highway capability, and a very upright profile for efficient space utilization, and command-of-the-road seating. With its round headlamps and seven slot grille, Jeep Liberty brings to production a modern look for the trademark Jeep face. Jeep Liberty goes on sale in mid-2001 as a 2002 model.
New, State-of-the-Art Powertrain
The 2002 Jeep Liberty was engineered with a wide array of new features to make it as capable off-highway as it is competent on any interstate. Putting the power behind the fun-to-drive Liberty is an all-new 3.7-liter PowerTech V-6 engine, similar in architecture to the highly acclaimed 4.7-liter V-8 engine powering the award-winning Grand Cherokee. Rated at 210 horsepower (157 kW) at 5200 rpm and 235 lb.-ft. (319 N*m) of torque at 4000 rpm, Liberty enters the segment at the head of the pack. Designed to get more power from less displacement, the 3.7-liter engine maximizes air flow through the engine and reduces internal friction. This engine features a 90-degree even-firing V-6, a cast iron block, compacted graphite bedplate, aluminum cylinder heads and a balance shaft. The 3.7-liter is mated to the smooth-shifting NV3550 5-speed manual transmission, refined for use in the new Liberty. When equipped with the available multi-speed automatic transmission, this engine provides 5,000 pound towing capability that can't be beat.
Jeep Liberty offers the 2.4-liter PowerTech I-4 available only with the NV1500 5-speed manual transmission as standard equipment. The 2.4-liter engine is rated at 150 horsepower (112 kW) at 5200 rpm and 165 lb.-ft. (224 N*m) of torque at 4000 rpm.
"The all-new 3.7-liter is derived from Grand Cherokee's highly successful 4.7-liter and gives Liberty segment-leading power," said Craig Love, Vice President, Jeep Platform Engineering, DaimlerChrysler Corporation. "This combines with a Jeep-engineered independent front suspension to achieve just the right blend of capability and refinement."
Innovative Suspension & Steering
The fun-to-drive features of the 2002 Liberty are also attributed to an all-new Jeep-engineered, coil spring independent front suspension. Liberty combines excellent overall ride, 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 handling and rough road ride by reducing unsprung weight.
A link-coil rear suspension, also similar to that on the Grand Cherokee, provides a smooth, comfortable ride, and an advantage over leaf springs because coil springs have less static and dynamic friction. With a roll center closer to the vehicle's center of gravity, this system reduces 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. The "A" arm attaches to the axle through a single, lubricated-for-life ball joint atop of the rear axle differential housing. Box section lower control arms provide exceptional durability. Progressive rate springs provide a consistently comfortable ride and help maintain controlled handling under varying load conditions.
Engineered to maintain Jeep off-highway ruggedness, a rack and pinion steering system provides precise 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.
Enhanced Braking System
Excellent on-highway and off-highway performance both demand a state-of-the-art brake system. Large, thick full-cast rotors with high heat capacity combine with larger, stiffer pin-slider calipers at the front. The pin slider system provides smooth, quiet operation that remains consistent over time. Larger, full cast rear drums with greater heat capacity provide fade resistance and more dimensional control for smooth operation. A new tandem-diaphragm vacuum booster provides state-of-the-art response characteristics.
A new, integrated anti-lock brake system (ABS) includes refinements that provide quieter operation and less pedal pulsation than previous systems. In addition, the ABS system is lighter and less complex than that in the Cherokee, using a new hydraulic control unit with a plug-in electrical controller currently used on Grand Cherokee.
To provide more effective stopping in off-road situations, the anti-lock brake system has a separate calibration when the vehicle is operated in four-wheel drive low range. This calibration will allow some wheel lock-up during hard stops on low traction surfaces to improve stopping. The system uses new, active, electrically powered wheel-speed sensors that allow the system to minimize brake lock-up at very low speed.
More than Skin Deep
Boasting the stiffest Jeep body to date, Liberty provides optimum ride and handling performance and low passenger compartment NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) levels. With 8,900 ft.-lb./degree in torsion and 36,600 lb./in. in bending, Liberty represents 43 percent torsion and 58 percent bending improvement over Grand Cherokee. More than 70 percent of the underbody is high-strength steel to add rigidity to the structure. Sill-to-rail torque boxes improve load distribution for enhanced body stiffness. A one-piece rear closure panel increases structural stiffness, durability, and improves body fit. Liberty is designed for off-highway durability, which also benefits on-road customers encountering everyday obstacles such as potholes. Exclusive to Jeep, Liberty's "uniframe" construction incorporates all of the strength and durability of a body-on-frame set up into a unitized construction. Front and rear shock mounting points have been reinforced and directly aligned with the longitudinal rail structure for load distribution. All body load points are fully validated through severe off-highway simulations and testing.
"What this capability translates to for everyday drivers is the confidence of knowing that you're behind the wheel of a tough, durable vehicle that can handle just about anything - on-road or off," said Love.
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 right 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 competitors' multiple steps. 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.
Comprehensive Safety System
Jeep 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 Love. "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. Liberty's sturdy construction comes from a network of high-strength alloy steel beams, rails and pillars, creating a "safety cage" that surrounds and protects occupants. Standard multi-stage driver and passenger front air bags are designed to deploy at different levels depending on the severity of the impact and whether the occupant is buckled in. Available side curtain air bags provide additional head protection for both front and rear outboard occupants. The all-new Liberty also features a seat belt pretensioner in the driver's position and constant force retractors for both driver and front passenger.
The first all-new Jeep since the Grand Cherokee in 1999, the Liberty was engineered by the Jeep Platform Team and is being built at the all-new, state-of-the-art Toledo (Ohio) North manufacturing facility. As 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.