The Jeep Compass, in its world premiere at the 2002 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, is a concept that feels at home in an urban environment while possessing the free spirit of a performance rally car. Inspired by the 1998 Jeep Jeepster concept and built on a Jeep Liberty platform, Compass also offers a great combination of on-road dynamics and off-highway capability. Aptly named Compass, this latest Jeep concept will be pointing consumers in its segment toward tomorrow.
Chrysler Group's Pacifica Advanced Design Center in Carlsbad, Calif., was tasked to design a Jeep concept for 'millennials', the next-large emerging group of consumers now-age 24 or younger. This group will outnumber the 'Baby Boomer' generation. The Jeep brand has the third highest percentage of 'definitely consider' of all brands among those buyers, as shown by the 2001 Vehicle Experience Study.
Like a rally car, the two-door Jeep Compass has all-wheel drive, a short wheelbase and a low center of gravity to hug the road. Compass features a lightweight steel 'uniframe' construction and a 210 bhp. (157 KW), 235 lb.-ft. (319 Nm), 3.7-liter PowerTech V-6 engine, offering ample power whether traveling on pavement, gravel, dirt or snowy city streets.
The 'Force Green' exterior paint is reminiscent of a military color scheme. Even as the instrument panel looks like the cockpit of a fighter jet with technical dials and gaugesthe interior is still simple, uncluttered and functional.
Slot machine-style rotating controls operate all primary functions, while the gauges are reminiscent of traditional watch faces, and the air vents have classic aeronautical design. A sturdy grab handle covers the width of the instrument panel, as a visually strong 'backbone' runs throughout the entire interior. This design element is mirrored by a full-length overhead console. The instrument panel features a multi-functional docking station with LCD screen.
Four bucket seats offer all occupants a command-of-the-road seating position, comfort and support. The seats are trimmed in green leather and Goretex with 'G Force Green' soft touch grommets. The rear buckets fold to create a flat loading surface, executed in low-gloss stainless steel with integrated tie-downs in the side trim. True to its Jeep heritage, the interior features a molded rubber floor. The spare tire is incorporated into the rear hatch.
Jeep Compass conveys an expressive personality in its exterior design with details such as fender length running lights, and stainless steel brush guard and sill panels with the Jeep name. The roof features a unique diamond plate textured liner with integrated tie-downs, developed to take the abuse of any type of hauling.