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DaimlerChrysler: The all new 2002 Jeep Liberty

NAIAS 2001

The All-new Liberty Expands the Depth and Breadth of the Jeep® Brand

An enthusiastic couple during the Jeep Liberty introduction on Sunday in Detroit at the NAIAS 2001 show: Tom Sidlik, head of Jeep and Dieter Zetsche, the new CEO of Chrysler.

Photo: Automotive Intelligence

Through innovative technologies, continuous refinement and a solid reputation earned through six decades, the Jeep® brand has become the most widely known and respected,  go-anywhere, do-anything name in the entire sport-utility vehicle market.

2002 Jeep Liberty
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The Liberty joins the already formidable Jeep lineup as the newest member of the legendary brand started 60 years ago. Grand Cherokee is the flagship of the brand, offering distinctive exterior cues that add appeal for luxury vehicle owners while maintaining a proper measure of Jeep ruggedness to keep brand loyalty strong among current owners. Wrangler is the icon of the Jeep brand, maintaining popularity with its fun and freedom, "go-anywhere, do-anything," youthful image. A direct descendant of the "original" Jeep, it possesses a very rich heritage unique to Jeep – long imitated, but never replicated.

  2002 Jeep Liberty
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The interior features a bold, round-dialed cluster with large gauges and black-on-beige graphics. Round air conditioning outlets and a round motif applied to the interior door handles add to the functional design aesthetic. Deep sculpted doors with generous map pockets in the front and bottle holders in the rear continue the theme of providing substance with excellent space utilization

As more automakers add SUVs to their product lines, the Jeep brand stands out as the only domestic brand dedicated solely to this market segment – a segment invented by Jeep and continuously refined throughout the last six decades.

"The Jeep brand has always been known for its outstanding capability and ruggedness with vehicles such as Wrangler," said Tom Marinelli, Vice President Chrysler/Jeep Division Global Brand Center, DaimlerChrysler Corporation. "Grand Cherokee melded this legendary reputation with luxury and now the next great Jeep idea, Liberty, expands the depth and reach of the Jeep brand even further."

The all-new 2002 Jeep Liberty continues the Jeep tradition of ruggedness and off-highway capability, while adding new levels of on-road durability and refinement.

"Time after time Jeep vehicles have defined the sport-utility segment with industry firsts, yet however innovative the technology, the legendary Jeep brand never wavers from its roots of authentic four-wheel drive capability combined with exceptional on-road handling and performance," said Marinelli. "This is what continues to set us apart from the new generation of ‘soft roaders.’"

Jeep once again moves to the forefront of design and engineering with the introduction of the 2002 Jeep Liberty. An all-new, Jeep-engineered coil spring independent front suspension combines improved overall ride and handling and more precise steering control with Rubicon-tested capabilities. A link-coil rear suspension, like that on the Grand Cherokee, provides a smooth, comfortable ride. Engineered to maintain Jeep off-highway ruggedness, a precise rack and pinion steering provides excellent on-road dynamics.

A Proud History and Heritage

The first civilian Jeep, CJ2A, was introduced in 1945. In 1949 came the introduction of the two-door Jeepster, which was powered by the famous four-cylinder Willys engine. A direct descendant of the original Jeep, the Wrangler was introduced in 1986 as a 1987 model. Possessing a very rich heritage, the Wrangler is the icon of the Jeep brand, maintaining popularity with its fun and freedom, "go-anywhere, do-anything," youthful image.

In 1963, Jeep vehicles were the first in the automotive industry to offer the combination of four-wheel drive and an automatic transmission. The car-like comfort and convenience of these vehicles were unique to four-wheel drive vehicles. Two years later, Jeep became the first sport-utility brand to offer a V-8 engine. Another Jeep brand exclusive was the completely automatic full-time four-wheel drive system with a unique controlled-slip differential called Quadra-Trac®. This innovative system was first offered on the 1973 Jeep Wagoneer.

Introduced in the 1984 model year, the Jeep Cherokee was the first compact four-door unibody sport-utility vehicle, creating an entirely new segment of the sport-utility market.

Originally planned to replace the Cherokee, Jeep established itself as a benchmark for the industry with the introduction of the Jeep Grand Cherokee in 1992. Early research indicated there was room in the market place for both Cherokee and Grand Cherokee, allowing Jeep to grow its full line of SUVs and expand the brand into the upper end of the luxury SUV segment. In addition to a number of new technologies, including the first sport-utility vehicle to be equipped with a driver’s side air-bag, the award-winning Jeep Grand Cherokee again raised the benchmark among luxury sport-utility vehicles when completely redesigned for 1999.

Jeep engineers have designed the all-new Liberty with legendary off-highway capability and superior on-road refinement to broaden the appeal of the brand.

"We welcome this new Jeep as a solid foundation for the next sixty years of ruggedness and refinement," said Marinelli.

All pictures: Chrysler

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