Continuing the momentum of its award-winning 2001 Jeep Willys concept vehicle, the Chrysler Group design team celebrated the North American premiere of the Jeep Willys2 concept at the 2002 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Willys2 was developed to exist in harmony with nature while being ready to venture out in the rugged wilderness. Willys2 will go anywhere and do anything at any time, featuring unsurpassed approach and departure angles and ample ground clearance.
Incorporating cutting-edge plastic technology and a lightweight aluminium frame, Willys2 sports ultra-modern interpretations of trademark Jeep design cues including the seven-slot grille and trapezoidal wheel arches. Shown by the Chrysler Group in prior concept vehicles, injection-moulded plastic bodies save up to 50 percent in manufacturing costs and weight and are nearly 100 percent recyclable.
While its battle-proven World War II ancestor, the American hero Willys MB, was made of sheet metal, this concept was built in carbon fibre to simulate the weight savings that could be achieved with injection-moulded plastics. Jeep Willys2 is finished in "Action Green" metallic paint.
The removable hard top comes equipped with a roof rack featuring a full-size spare tyre holder and an integrated luggage carrier, as well as bindings for multiple kinds of outdoor gear. Three auxiliary search and rescue lamps emphasise the "go-anywhere, do-anything" attitude that is core to the Jeep brand.
The Jeep Willys2, which weighs approximately 1350 kg (3,000 lbs.), is powered by a 1.6-litre, in-line four-cylinder engine that has been supercharged to deliver 120 kW (160 bhp) and 210 Nm (155 lb.-ft.) of torque. Its four-speed automatic transmission is coupled with a shift-on-the-fly transfer case with full-time four-wheel drive and low-range modes. Estimated performance figures include a sprint to 96 km/h (60 mph) in about 10 seconds and a top speed of nearly 140 km/h (90 mph).
Willys2's chiselled design lends substance and visual weight, suggesting a low centre of gravity with a long wheelbase (2413 mm/95 in.) and wide track (1496 mm/58.8 in. front, 1509 mm/59.4 in. rear). The vehicle features a custom independent short-and-long-arm front and multi-link solid rear axle suspension with coil springs at all four wheels.
The spacious interior blends colours of aqua and silver, providing an honest and mechanical appearance. Translucent plastics allow for a new approach to Jeep design while remaining true to the brand's legendary versatility.