All-New Commander To Expand 2006 Jeep LineupJeeps are growing. Literally. In 2006, the company will launch its largest production Jeep vehicle since the Jeep Wagoneer. The all-new Jeep Commander will feature three rows of seats and will be the only SUV in its class to offer two V-8 engine options. With the looks of an overgrown Cherokee XJ, the Commander was developed with its predecessors in mind. Designers looked to vehicles such as the Willys station wagon, Jeep Wagoneer, and Cherokee for inspiration and ended up with a classic Jeep vehicle that's rugged enough to live up to the trail-rated name.
Though relatively larger in appearance, due mainly to its rear stepped roof designed to provide second- and third-row seat occupants with more headroom, the Commander is just 2 inches longer than the '05 Grand Cherokee, and the vehicles share the same 109.5-inch wheelbase. The rear seats are installed in a stadium configuration for better forward viewing and are complemented by an available innovative skylight system over the second row of seats.
The Commander will also share the same 4x4 systems, suspension, and powertrains as the '05 Grand Cherokee. With an independent front suspension and rack-and-pinion steering, the Commander will be available with three full-time four-wheel-drive systems (Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II, and Quadra-Drive II) and two transfer cases offering a brake traction control system (BTCS) and electronic limited-slip differentials (ELSD). Three engine options will also be offered, including the 5.7L Hemi V-8 with the multidisplacement system, the 4.7L SOHC Power Tech V-8, and the 3.7L SOHC Power Tech V-6. The Commander will further benefit by being the first Chrysler Group vehicle with electronic roll mitigation, which uses input from multiple sensors and deploys the airbags in certain rollover scenarios and side impacts. Additional crash avoidance and safety items available on the '06 Jeep Commander will include an electronic stability program (ESP), an antilock braking system (ABS), an all-speed traction control system (TCS), a tire-pressure monitoring system, rear park assist, Uconnect hands-free communication, a DVD-based navigation system, SmartBeam headlamps, and rain-sensitive wipers.
BFG Launches Limited-Edition Mud-Terrain T/AWith the trend of larger wheel diameters increasing in popularity among both the OEMs and aftermarket, BFGoodrich has launched a limited-edition version of its popular Mud-Terrain T/A KM tire designed for 22-inch wheels. With an all-new concept tread design based on the BFGoodrich Krawler T/A KX tire, the new Mud-Terrain is available in a LT335/55R22 size (that's a 36.8-inch overall diameter and a 13.5-inch width on an 11-inch wheel for you nonmetric types) and is one of the widest light-truck treads the brand has ever produced.
Why the limited edition? Gary Enterline, light-truck-tire category manager for BFGoodrich, stated, "We'll gauge the interest of our customers to see how the tire is received. If successful, this limited-edition tire could be the basis for the design of the next-generation Mud-Terrain T/A KM tire line, including a full range of sizes." The design of the limited-edition-version Mud-Terrain was tested for consumer reception by numerous 4x4 enthusiasts at a variety of off-road motorsport and trade-show events. BFGoodrich used consumer surveys and concept tires to draw reactions on a variety of designs, and the results of these surveys had a direct impact on the final product. The limited-edition Mud-Terrain T/A KM tire is said to feature BFG's TriGard sidewall construction; an aggressive, performance-oriented tread design; and DiggerLugz technology for increased ability in extreme situations. For more information, contact: www.bfgoodrichtires.com.
Rancho Celebrates 50 Years With New Products And SponsorshipsRancho got its start in a Southern California workshop in 1955 and has since grown to offer a full line of advanced 4WD suspension systems, shock absorbers, and other accessories for virtually any popular light truck, SUV, or Jeep model. With 2005 marking the company's 50th anniversary, a host of new products were presented to reaffirm Rancho's commitment to the hard-core off-road marketplace. The stand out among these new products are the Rancho RS9000X Pro Series coilover shocks, which are available in 32- and 36-inch extended lengths and feature upper and lower spherical rod ends, a gas-charged anodized-aluminum reservoir with braided-stainless-steel hose, and a threaded-aluminum sleeve with spring retainers.
Along with the product announcements, Rancho increased its presence within the competitive rockcrawling field with two new sponsorships for the 2005 season. Rancho is now the "official suspension brand" of both the World Extreme Rock Crawling Championship (W.E.Rock) and the Extreme Rock Racing Association (XRRA). The company also reworked its Web site in honor of its 50th anniversary, dramatically enhancing it with timely reports on Rancho-sponsored off-road racing and rockcrawling teams, as well as offering comprehensive coverage of its latest and greatest 4WD technologies. For more information about Rancho, contact: www.gorancho.com.
'06 Grand Cherokee SRT8 Ups the AnteJeep is taking the Grand Cherokee to the next level. In 2006, the company will launch the all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8, which is said to be the quickest, most powerful Jeep vehicle ever produced. Featuring a 6.1L SRT Hemi V-8, the new Grand Cherokee offering is said to produce 415 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque to achieve 0-60 mph in under five seconds. The new vehicle is the first four-wheel-drive SRT vehicle, and the first Jeep-branded SRT vehicle.
Jeep further enhanced the new Grand Cherokee SRT8 with an all-new four-wheel-drive system. The new system was created using the front half of the Jeep transfer case for its capability and light weight and the rear half of a heavier-duty case for its ruggedness and ability to house the electronic full-time four-wheel-drive system components. The transfer-case output shaft was also upgraded and the system weighs 60 pounds less than a Jeep heavy-duty case. Heavy-duty driveshafts designed for the European Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel model lead to a Dana 44 rear differential with a larger ring gear and new axlehousing.
Adding to the SRT's aggressive stance are uniquely forged 20-inch five-spoke aluminum wheels fit with Goodyear W-rated four-season tires with run-flat capability. The Grand Cherokee SRT8 will be available in three exterior colors: Bright Silver, Brilliant Black, and Inferno Red.