All-New Jeep® Commander Expands Jeep into New Territory with Seven Passenger Seating and Classic Design
Auburn Hills, Mich., Aug 25, 2005 - The all-new Jeep® Commander - classic in design and the first Jeep to offer three rows of seats that accommodates seven - signals the start of a Jeep product offensive scheduled for the next two years. The Commander is engineered to perform as only Jeep vehicles can and is equipped with advanced safety technologies that are sure to appeal to European customers and beyond.
"Jeep Commander is the first seven-passenger 4x4 that is as capable as it is distinctive," said Thomas Hausch, Executive Director of International Sales and Marketing, Chrysler Group.
Commander is also the only SUV in its class to offer two V-8 engines, as well as a best-in-class diesel V-6. In addition, the Jeep Commander expands and strengthens what is already an excellent lineup, consisting of the Wrangler, Cherokee and Grand Cherokee and initiates the expansion of the Jeep vehicle lineup that will take place during the second half of this decade."
Heritage Exterior Design, Complemented by an All-New Interior
In developing the Jeep Commander, designers looked to past Jeep vehicles for inspiration: the Willys Station Wagons (1946 to 1962), the Jeep Wagoneer (1963 to 1991) and especially the Jeep Cherokee (1984 to 2001). All were classically Jeep in appearance, with classic lines, planar surfaces and rugged looks. The Jeep Commander is a modern interpretation of that design ethic.
The Jeep Commander's upright windshield, backlight and rear end, as well as its more vertical body sides and side glass, embody the vehicle's classic Jeep styling. The side-view mirrors are also bold and purpose-built. Overall, Commander looks strong and confident because of its military bearing -- upright and rugged.
And because it is steeped in the heritage of Jeep design, the Commander looks familiar and new at the same time. This tension between past and present engages the emotions.
"The Jeep Cherokee is an authentic, classic shape that is rooted in the public consciousness," said Donald A. Renkert, Senior Manager/Jeep Studio, Chrysler Group Product Design Office. "By reinterpreting that vehicle, and other classic Jeep vehicles of the past, the Jeep Commander elicited nods of recognition from consumers, even though it is a brand new vehicle. There is a sense of deja vu about the Jeep Commander that brings knowing smiles of satisfaction."
The satisfaction continues inside the vehicle, where attention to detail is evident. From the gear shift knob, to the four round gauges that make up the instrument cluster, to the new steering wheel, Commander is refined and uniquely Jeep in appearance.
The newly designed seats are supportive and comfortable. And, for the first time in a Jeep vehicle, there are three rows of them, each row slightly higher than the one in front of it. This distinctive theater-style seating arrangement makes forward viewing easier. The second and third row seats fold forward to create a flat load floor. Commander is only 47 mm (1.8 in.) longer than the newest Jeep Grand Cherokee, even though it is designed to accommodate three rows of seats. And since they have the same wheelbase 2781 mm (109.5), Commander is nearly as maneuverable and off-road capable as its Grand Cherokee relative.
The Jeep Commander's stepped roof provides second and third row occupants with plenty of head room. Complementing the available front-mounted sun roof is Command-View™, the new and innovative skylights (complete with shades) over the second row of seats.
The lower portion of the dashboard panel is shared with Grand Cherokee, but the top section is all-new and prominently features four pairs of circular adjustable air vents and proudly displays 16 Allen head bolts (14 are functional) that also contribute to the mechanical, constructed look of the vehicle. Both the steering wheel centre and the gear selector knob present the Jeep logo framed in a bright ring with exposed simulated Allen bolt heads to continue and enhance the overall design theme. A precise four-dial instrument cluster with LED illumination features black gauges with white graphics and red pointers for reading ease in all conditions.
Seating Seven in Style
The Jeep Commander has theater-style seating that enhances the functionality of its three-row, seven-seater layout. The second row seats are mounted 124 mm (4.9 in.) higher than the front row, and third row seats are 128 mm (5.0 in.) higher than the second row -- to ensure that all occupants can enjoy an excellent view of the surrounding cityscape or countryside.
The second row 40/20/40 split seats are engineered so that the outer sections fold down and tumble forward to allow passengers entry or exit from the third row on either side of the vehicle. All three seatbacks can be folded onto the cushions to form a flat load area.
For maximum comfort, Jeep Commander has an available HVAC module in the third row, fully independent of the front system, which feeds warmed or cooled air to a single floor-level outlet and two circular rotating outlets on each side of the rear trim.
As well as accommodating up to seven in comfort, the Jeep Commander can carry a varying combination of people and cargo. With seven on board, there is room for 170 litres (6.0 cu.ft.) of luggage. Folding the third row seats expands the cargo space to 1028 litres (36.3 cu.ft.), and also folding the second row gives a total of 1951 litres (68.9 cu.ft.).
Engineered to Go Anywhere, Do Anything
Class-leading off-road capability and on-road refinement were mandatory for the Jeep Commander. So the Jeep team went to the head of the class: They provided Commander with the same 4x4 systems, suspension and powertrains as the award-winning Jeep Grand Cherokee, including an independent front suspension and rack-and-pinion steering.
"Jeep Grand Cherokee reset the SUV benchmark with its on-road refinement, off-road mastery and overall performance in key areas of customer satisfaction," said Thomas Hausch. "Now the all-new seven-seat Jeep Commander, with the new 3.0-litre CRD engine and a choice of two V-8 petrol engines, including the 5.7-litre HEMI® with MDS, will become a compelling package for many customers in Europe and other international markets."
New Engines Deliver Performance and Power
The new 3.0 CRD engine is a "next-generation" power unit from DaimlerChrysler producing class-leading levels of torque and towing, with efficient fuel economy. Based on the latest Mercedes-Benz technology, Bosch high-pressure fuel injection (1600+ bar), a variable geometry turbocharger and four valves per cylinder, the new engine meets Euro 4 emissions standards. Additionally, the Commander's diesel emission system is equipped with a standard Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF). Maximum power is 160 kW (218 hp DIN) and peak torque is 510 Nm (376 lb.-ft.) from just 1600 rpm. The accelerator pedal is modified to reduce transmission kick-downs during normal driving but still allow for full pedal travel when quicker acceleration is demanded by the driver.
For customers requiring maximum performance, the 5.7-litre HEMI engine delivers class-leading power and torque - 240 kW (326 hp DIN) and 500 Nm (369 lb.-ft.). Ninety percent of peak torque is available from 2400 to 5100 rpm for excellent performance while trailer towing or traveling off-road, as well as during regular city and highway driving. To boost fuel economy, the engine is fitted with a Multi-Displacement System (MDS) which deactivates half the cylinders during cruising and light acceleration to increase fuel economy by up to 20 percent, depending on driving conditions.
The 4.7-litre V-8 engine was fitted with numerous improvements and refinements for its application in the new Jeep Grand Cherokee, and these are carried over to Commander. An improved Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) calibration delivers better fuel consumption and the cast oil pan now provides better NVH. Maximum power is 170 kW (231 hp DIN) at 4500 rpm, and maximum torque is 410 Nm (302 lb.-ft.) at 3600 rpm.
Two Automatic Transmissions Offer Premium Refinement
The 3.0 CRD engine is mated to a new five-speed W5A580 automatic transmission that offers smooth shifts and optimum fuel economy with the diesel engine. The existing 5-45RFE five-speed automatic transmission used with the 5.7-litre HEMI and 4.7-litre V-8 engines has been refined for higher-quality shifts and to maximize the Jeep Commander's towing capacity.
Both transmissions feature Electronic Range Select driver interactive shift control. The transmission provides fully automatic shifting in the "Drive" position or the driver can manually select each gear sequentially by moving the shift lever left or right from the "Drive" position. This gives the driver precise control to match any on-road or off-road driving conditions.
Sophisticated Suspension Provides Confident Ride and Handling
Jeep Commander shares its suspension and running gear with the Grand Cherokee. This includes a newly developed front suspension that provides the driver with greater control and more precise feedback from the new rack-and-pinion steering system. The new five-link rear suspension geometry, including a track bar, also improves lateral stiffness to match that of the front suspension for optimum handling. A tight turning diameter of 11.2 m (36.7 ft.) - the same as Grand Cherokee - provides for nimble handling.
Jeep Commander also features an Electronic Stability Programme - which aids the driver in maintaining vehicle directional stability in severe driving maneuvers on any type of surface - and a new electronic rollover mitigation system that anticipates critical situations for the vehicle and reduces engine torque and applies a short burst of full braking to the appropriate wheel to stabilise the vehicle.
Class-Leading Four-Wheel-Drive Capabilities
Two new full-time four-wheel-drive systems are available on Jeep Commander in markets outside of North America. Quadra-Trac II® incorporates the new NV245 transfer case that provides full-time active four-wheel drive. This active four-wheel drive anticipates and prevents wheel slip for optimum traction during a wide range of conditions.
The second full-time four-wheel-drive system, Quadra-Drive II®, takes unparalleled Jeep capability to an even higher level using Electronic Limited Slip Differentials (ELSD) - front, centre and rear - offering customers the ultimate in off-road capability. ELSD replaces the Vari-Lok® progressive axles used in previous generation Jeep vehicles for even quicker response to changing conditions and greater torque capacity.
With Quadra-Drive II, Jeep offers the only vehicles in the 4x4 SUV market with an electronic engagement of torque biasing for the front axle, as well as the rear. Therefore, the torque transfer is faster, and almost 100 percent of the torque can be distributed to any of the four wheels - a capability that is unique to Jeep Commander and Grand Cherokee.
Safety and Security Designed in from the Beginning
Like all Chrysler Group vehicles, the Jeep Commander is designed to improve not only handling and accident avoidance, but also to provide excellent crash protection. One safety feature that the Commander offers is electronic roll mitigation. Using input from multiple sensors, the system deploys the air bags in certain rollover scenarios, as well as side impact events.
Crash protection features available on the Jeep Commander include advanced multi-stage air bags, available side curtain air bags, seat belts equipped with pretensioners and digressive load limiting retractors, and BeltAlert®, a buckle-up reminder system for the driver.
Crash avoidance features on the new Jeep Commander include standard:
To meet the anticipated demand for the new Jeep Commander, two world-class facilities will be employed to build the vehicle on the same assembly lines as the Grand Cherokee. The Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit, Michigan (USA) will build vehicles for primarily the North American market. Assembly for European and other world market customers will take place at the Magna Steyr manufacturing facility in Graz, Austria.
The new Jeep Commander is expected to reach international dealer showrooms from the first quarter of 2006.