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The 2008 Jeep Renegade Concept, shown at NAIAS, is “a sporty B-segment-sized two-seater ideally suited for the all-weather delights of off-roading and dune surfing. Featuring a cut-down speedster windshield, a roll bar, openings in the door lowers and a hose-out interior, it is an ‘eco-friendly’ vehicle with minimized use of materials – designed for those who want to enjoy the earth while taking care of its future. The propulsion system combines a 40-mile lithium-ion battery pack and a small-displacement BLUETEC diesel engine. The result: fuel economy of more than 110 miles per gallon.”
“With an electric motor powering each axle, the Jeep Renegade concept is designed for a ‘hang on and have fun experience,’” said Tony Shamenkov, Jeep Renegade concept principal exterior designer.
Scott Anderson said, “Not only did I minimize the use of materials by making as few parts as possible to construct the interior from, but I also tried to reduce the amount of variation of types of materials, which allows you to disassemble the car very easily and recycle the pieces together so they can be put into another stream into a future product.”
The Jeep Renegade concept starts with a 40-mile lithium-ion battery pack, and a small (1.5-liter, 3-cylinder) diesel engine boosts the range to 400 miles. The little diesel generates an additional 115 horsepower when needed, while greatly reducing exhaust emissions when compared to standard gasoline engines. Renegade is capable of achieving an equivalent petroleum fuel economy of 110 miles per gallon.
The all-new Jeep Renegade concept’s lightweight aluminum architecture and regenerative braking system help to improve overall efficiency, while dual electric 200 kilowatt (268 horsepower) motors propel a very capable 4x4 system – complete with low range and locking differentials -- worthy of carrying the Jeep name.
Constructed of environmentally responsible materials, sustainability is a key theme of the Jeep Renegade concept.
Renegade is targeted at customers in the “Stylish Green” segment of the marketplace – those who are extremely environmentally oriented, appreciate high-tech and innovation, and enjoy performance combined with style in keeping with their “green” attitude.
There is a distinct possibility that, hidden in the Renegade, is a potential replacement for the Compass — or maybe not.
The Jeep Renegade concept’s personality is emphasized by its large, flaring wheel openings, oversized wheels and tires, and cut-down speedster windshield. Among the unique exterior details are “deconstructed” rubber-clad headlamps and taillamps, as well as just-for-fun elongated triangular openings in each of the two sculpted doors.
While the Renegade features a roll bar, it has no top. Instead, the cargo deck just behind the cockpit can be fitted with a variety of “lids.” Options include a plain lid, or lids configured to accommodate the gear of a particular outdoor day-trip activity, such as mountain biking or kayaking. Or it can come “as built” -- with formations designed to accommodate two matching water scooters with open storage underneath. Fluid-fill caps, a plug-in port and a first-aid kit are also included.
Sustainability – a ratio between the energy needed to build and ship the vehicle as compared with the impact these processes have on the environment – is a key focus of the Jeep Renegade concept’s interior design.
Materials used in constructing the Jeep Renegade concept were deliberately selected to be environmentally responsible, both in manufacture and end-of-vehicle-life recyclability.
Innovative construction includes one-piece molded soy-based foam seats and doors, a one-piece co-molded instrument panel with a urethane skin, a co-molded aluminum/silicone steering wheel, a one-piece molded chassis created without using environmentally-harmful resins, and a one-piece molded interior compartment “tub.” This environmental care in designing the Renegade’s interior is aligned with Jeep’s “harmony with nature” philosophy.
“The Jeep Renegade concept’s interior — actually the entire vehicle — is designed to minimize the number of parts necessary for assembly and function,” said Scott Anderson, principal interior designer of the Renegade concept. “We designed the Renegade with an eye toward simplification of systems, both in parts and processes.”
The HVAC system, for example, is not coolant-based, while the color, grain and gloss of the interior parts are molded in one piece. Even the no-gloss exterior color of the Renegade’s lightweight composite body is molded in to avoid the use of solvents present in automotive paints.
The dual-cockpit instrument panel is balanced for easy left-hand drive and right-hand drive applications. There is no conventional wiring. Instead, the instrument panel features wireless electronics in sealed, self-contained units, removable by the customer. The panel is built about an exposed cross-car beam containing an integrated power strip, and on the passenger side, yaw, pitch and roll indicators (also built into the fluid-fill gauges). The instrument panel itself is hollow, allowing ample open storage below the beam. Separately-configured impact-absorbing vinyl-wrapped knee-blockers “float” beneath the cross-car beam.
The thin multi-plane acrylic instrument cluster mounts to the steering column, while the similar but separate center control screen mounts on a swivel base -- providing easy access to both occupants.
Located at the intersection of the steering wheel’s T-shaped spokes, the circular LED screen rotates, allowing the driver to select the drive mode, while a flattened rim provides roomier thigh clearance. A driver air bag is concealed beneath the screen. Red or green translucent shift buttons allow Park, Reverse or Drive selections.
The Jeep Renegade concept’s sporty doors incorporate unique canvas-pull remote “handles,” while the rush of the moving landscape visible through the door’s elongated openings enhance the feeling of carefree, open-air mobility.
The Renegade’s contoured, figure-form seats -- covered in scuba-like waterproof materials that are both soft-touch and flexible -- feature in-seat belts and unusual, hollow, lightweight upside-down “U-shaped” headrests. The seats feature a urethane skin with soy-based foam co-molded with a composite substructure. The integral seatbelts, along with slender accent strips on the seats and instrument panel, repeat the Palm Metallic exterior color.
A “thermal unit” in the center console plugs into the electrical battery pack, permitting food to be either heated or cooled.
The Renegade’s wireless interior is designed to be hosed down. It features a drain in the floor, while the formations built into the floor mat are designed to channel water to the opening. Hollow-section billet-formed pedals float above the tub floor.
Weight/GVWR 3150 lbs./3600 lbs.
Length 153.0 inches/3885mm
Width at H-point 62.9 inches/1598mm
Height 56.3 inches/1431mm
Wheelbase 101.6 inches/2580mm
Front overhang 25.0 inches/634mm
Rear overhang 26.4 inhces/671mm
Track front/rear 62.2 inches/1580mm
Approach angle 44.0 degrees
Departure angle 52.0 degrees
Breakover angle 32.0 degrees
Turn circle 35 feet/10.7m
Maximum width 71.4 inches/1814mm
Powertrain and Suspension: Four wheel drive with low range and locking differentials
Motor: Dual electric 200 kW (268 hp) x 2 with regenerative braking
Battery 16 kWh Li-ion battery pack
Range extender 1.5-liter, 3-cylinder diesel
Fuel volume 10 gallons
Suspension Front – SLA; Rear – Multi-link
Tire size front/rear 235/65R20x7.5 inches 32.1 inches/814mm
0-60 mph 8.5 seconds
Standing ¼ mile 13.6 seconds
Top speed 90 mph
All-electric range 40 miles
Total range 400 miles
Fuel economy 110 mpg (combined, est.)
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Concept cars are often made so a car’s feel can be evaluated, problems can be foreseen, and reactions of the public can be judged. Some concepts test specific ideas, colors, controls, or materials — either subtle or out of proportion, to hide what’s being tested. Some are created to help designers think “out of the box.” The Challenger, Prowler, PT Cruiser, and Viper were all tested as production-based concepts dressed up to hide the production intent.
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