Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep news from Allpar

Compass, Patriot: new AWD, transmission?

If you wanted to buy a Jeep Compass or Patriot with a traditional six-speed automatic transmission, preferably one sourced from Hyundai, your chance will come soon — but you’ll have to buy quickly.

Coming in the 2014 model year, according to ever-reliable source oh2o, will be an odd transition: the Compass and Patriot are, he said, to switch to a normal six-speed automatic, jettisoning the Nissan CVT2 they currently use. This will be a fairly brief stay for the new automatic, because the 2014 model year is expected to be fairly short, even assuming that the 2013 model year will also be short. By January 2014, Compass and Patriot are to be gone, at least in their current form.

The new transmission will, according to informed speculation at the Allpar forums, likely be the same one used on the Kia Sportage and Hyundai ix35. Hyundai-Kia have exclusive rights to a clever Magna Dynamax all wheel drive system, which lasts through 2013; but in 2014 the system will be open for grabs, and Chrysler will be able to dip into the Hyundai and Magna parts buckets and use it. The Dart already uses a Hyundai six-speed automatic, largely because Chrysler’s own six-speed is too large, and the nine-speed ZF model is not ready yet (and would likely cost too much).

Given the cost of creating controls for new powertrain systems, even those which have already been used by other automakers, one can speculate that the system will also be used in the Compass’ replacement, recently spied at Allpar.

The DynaMax AWD system, currently built in Korea by Hyundai, uses an electric oil pump to create pressure, applying a multi-disc clutch to move torque from the front wheels to the rear differential. As more pressure is applied, more torque is shifted back. The Controller Area Network (CAN bus), which is also used by Chrysler, monitors the steering angle, car’s speed, throttle position, wheel speed sensors, and the clutch oil pressure, to calculate the ideal front-rear torque split and the current system status. The system starts up with all wheels engaged by default. It does not use any pump valves.

Update: a reader told us, “Message: Belvidere assembly has already built some Compass pilots with the 6 speed auto. Rumor in the plant is the Compass will be freshened with a new rear lift gate with back up camera.”

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