Jeep Compass to Reach MarketBuilding upon the Jeep Liberty platform from what was initially inspired by the '98 Jeepster concept vehicle, DaimlerChrysler intends to offer its Jeep Compass to the public by late 2005. Dubbed the JJ, the Compass is aimed to sell to the next large group of consumers now age 24 or younger. At an estimated base price of less than $20,000, the Compass will be situated in the same cost bracket as the Wrangler, though it will feature a number of superior components.
With its sports car looks, the Compass will possess a powerplant to match, using a 3.7L PowerTech V-6 that boasts a 110 mph top speed. The mill churns out 210 hp and 235 lb-ft torque and will feed a four-speed automatic transmission mated to an all-wheel-drive system. A live axle will reside in the rear and be oriented using a multi-link suspension. The independent front suspension will feature upper and lower A-arms, coil springs, and gas-charged shocks. Special P235/55R20 Goodyear tires were used on the concept version of the vehicle, as were 20x8.5-inch wheels.
As with the Liberty model, the Compass will use a lightweight steel uniframe with a 104-inch wheelbase, but it will feature just two doors. The extremely functional cab features four bucket seats trimmed in green leather and Gore-Tex with G Force Green soft-touch grommets. A molded rubber floor and a full-length overhead console add to the vehicle's versatility. The exterior will feature fender-length running lights and a stainless steel brushguard and sill panels with the Jeep name. An integrated roof rack has a diamond-plate-textured liner with built-in tie-down spots. The Compass will also extend a nod to its heritage using the well-recognized seven-slot grille.
'05 Jeep ScramblerThe sign accompanying the Jeep Scrambler at the recent NADA meeting simply said "Engineering Concept," but the display also stated "2005 (model year) production Scrambler will have..."
It was a soft announcement, but there is no doubt about it: the Scrambler will arrive next summer as an '05 model - it will look very much like this concept! This engineering concept has a 19-inch stretched wheelbase, but the actual production model will be stretched far less, only 10 inches as stated on Jeep's very own display, with a 5-inch overhang stretch. However, sources now tell us there may be both long- and short-wheelbase versions. The bed itself will measure in at approximately 4 feet, and the Scrambler will be powered by a four-ylinder engine, with an inline-six option.
The Scrambler concept shown here has a removable top, but others have spied a soft-top version as well. The Toledo, Ohio-built Scrambler will be produced in limited numbers - an estimated 20,000 units per year.
Shop Spotlight - Tennessee Off-RoadOpened in November 1998 to address the fact that there weren't any 4x4 specialty shops in the area, Tennessee Off-Road (TOR) quickly established itself as an authority in fabrication and aftermarket parts installations. Owned and operated by Sam Lewis, Dave Cagle, and Todd Lewis, the shop features two vehicle bays and is fully equipped with welders, plasma cutters, and a tube bender to perform virtually any type of work or fabrication the customer desires. TOR offers complete vehicle buildups, engine swaps, axle setup and service, and regular 4x4 maintenance, including lube jobs, brake jobs, clutch and transmission service, and troubleshooting. The qualified crew also produces its own line of bumpers, swing-away tire carriers rock sliders, and rollcage systems for Jeeps, Land Cruisers, and Land Rovers. Within the showroom, TOR stocks a number of aftermarket parts and accessories for many 4x4 makes and models. An outdoor obstacle course and an RTI ramp allows customers to visualize their vehicle's abilities and get feedback from the shop technicians.
In addition to offering sales and service to the 4x4 community, TOR hosts monthly trail rides and off-road events/competitions. For the past three years, the Tennessee Off-Road Challenge has attracted competitors from across the Nation, testing not only their driving ability but incorporating tasks such as clay target shooting and flat water kayaking. This year's event takes place June 20-22 in Monteagle, Tennessee. For more information, contact: Tennessee Off-Road, Dept. 4WDSU, 1200 3rd Ave. South, Nashville, TN 37210, (615) 248-8638, www.tennesseeoffroad.com.