Jeep Patriot & Compass Concepts Target New Consumers
With one looking like a sportier IFS-equipped Cherokee XJ and the other bearing a striking resemblance to the soon-to-be-released '07 Dodge Caliber, the Patriot and Compass Jeep concepts are geared to appeal to a broader buyer base than the company's more traditional models. The Compass is said to employ a new Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) and an electronically controlled AWD system. With its lower stance and raked windshield, however, it's obvious that Jeep is pushing for that compact-SUV look that's continued as one of the most competitive segments for SUV manufacturers. Furthering the impression, the Compass Concept is topped off with 19-inch wheels and sporty tires, a roof-mounted spoiler, and a large, chrome dual-exhaust system.
The Patriot concept will certainly be a bigger hit with traditionalists like ourselves, who are most likely to get mud in the fenderwells. Certainly reminiscent of the XJ, it lacks the much-adored front solid axle, and instead uses an independent front suspension. It did earn a Trail Rated badge, though, insured by all-new Jeep off-road technology. The Patriot also sports Pirelli Scorpion A/T tires mounted on 17-inch wheels and features a raised roof rack.
Goodyear Wrangler Featuring Silent Armor
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company is quieting things down for truck and SUV owners with its Goodyear Wrangler featuring SilentArmor Technology. Released in limited sizes last spring, the new tire is now available in 24 sizes with rim diameters ranging from 15-17 inches. The Wrangler SilentArmor features two high-tensile steel belts with a layer made from DuPont Kevlar, and Goodyear's exclusive Durawall rubber compound borrowed from the Wrangler MT/R reinforces the sidewall to better resist punctures and cuts. The layer of Kevlar effectively soaks up road noise for a smooth and quiet ride. The tire is also certified for severe snow usage with the industry's mountain-snowflake symbol. Goodyear's silica-blend tread compound is said to maximize wet traction without sacrificing tread wear and features aggressive traction ridges between the tread blocks to provide superb traction in wet or muddy conditions. Goodyear is so confident in its new Wrangler offering that it designed a consumer-friendly after-sale Wrangler Utility Package, which includes a 50,000-mile tread life warranty, a 30-day no-obligation trial period, nationwide warranty service, online product registration, a tire rotation reminder service, and an off-road assistance program.
BFG Outfits NISMO 4x4s
Nismo Titan, Frontier, and Pathfinder 4x2 and 4x4 vehicles are the specially equipped, aftermarket-tuned versions of popular Nissan trucks and SUVs. NISMO models feature NISMO by Bilstein shocks, 16-inch alloy wheels, cold-air intake systems, and most recently, BFGoodrich tires. Adding to these vehicles' appeal, the NISMO Titan, Frontier, and Pathfinder now use the BFG Rugged-Trail T/A, which features a tread pattern and aggressive sidewall appearance adapted from BFG's legendary SCORE Baja Series- dominating tire. It uses a dual-compound tread and offers an optimized tread contact patch to help reduce squirm and minimize surface temperatures, which in turn extends tire life. For more information about NISMO vehicles, check out www. nissanusa.com.
New Wrangler to Resemble Gladiator Concept
Most recent rumors say that the ground-up redesign for the '07-model-year Jeep Wrangler is expected to gain a fair share of its looks from the Jeep Gladiator concept. The new vehicle platform will be dubbed the Jeep TK, and a considerably larger four-door version will also be offered. Solid axles are also still rumored to be part of the package, as are an optional 5.7L Hemi V-8 for the four-door version.
'06 Jeep Commander 4WD Systems
Priced just under $30,000, the all-new '06 Jeep Commander is offered with three available transfer case options. The base unit is the Quadra-Trac I, which is available with the 3.7L V-6. It's a full-time case that doesn't permit driver input for operation. The next model is the Quadra-Trac II, which is offered with the 3.7L V-6 and 4.7L V-8 engine options and features a Low-range setting. The Quadra-Drive II 4WD system is found alongside 4.7L V-8s as an option and is standard issue with Hemi-equipped Commanders. The Quadra-Drive II system includes industry-exclusive electronic-slip differentials in the front and rear axles designed to transfer torque equally for a more stable ride. Though the technology paints the Quadra-Drive II unit to be superior, we'd still probably opt for the Quadra-Trac II system, simply for the driver-engage ability and Low range.