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The future face of Jeep revealed


October 17, 2003

Image Gallery (20 images)

Saturday October 18, 2003

The Treo concept is a radical new design approach from Jeep that utilises an all-new platform combining drive-by-wire technology, a zero-emission fuel cell and twin electric motors. Premiering at the 37th Tokyo Motor Show, the compact 3-seater Treo also takes a fresh look at classic Jeep design themes such as the seven-bar grille and prominent windshield and includes a radical body that tapers front-to-back in a distinctive tear-drop shape.

Aimed at extending the brand's future customer base and capturing the youth / lifestyle market, the full-time four-wheel drive urban mobility vehicle has "A form and a presence that challenge the brand's traditional dimensions, but in the end, can still be viewed as being authentically Jeep." said Trevor Creed, Chrysler Group's Senior Vice President of Design.

The Treo's front end presents a new take on the classic Jeep 'face' before tapering front-to-back in a tear-drop shape to end with two high-mounted spar wings that house rear lamps and serve as mounts for two mountain bikes. The rear hatch with a large cutout notch provides easy access to rear storage.

Open front fenders give the over-sized tires plenty of play and the military-style tire tread, exposed front suspension, fender-to-body bolt-on look, and the hiking boot tread detail on the sill plate all enhance the vehicle's adventurous potential.

Jeep Treo's interior continues the simple, honest Jeep look. The steering wheel and column, pedals, speedometer and other instruments are housed in a single, sculptured module. The entire module slides through a slot in the dash for quick adaptation to right or left-hand driving, extending Treo's reach to world markets. The radio, global positioning satellite locator and climate controls with touch-screen operation are housed in a second, removable module.

Lightweight seats are made of translucent material over a strong carbon fiber frame. The rear seat folds flat for storage of additional gear. Another configuration allows for the front wheels from mountain bikes to be removed and mounted in the rear of the interior, while still allowing a third passenger to ride along.

Despite the vehicle's compactness, a feeling of openness is maintained in the interior by the large windshield, a 'see-through', seven-slotted Jeep front grille, and a glass roof that extends over the rear passenger space.

Jeep Treo is powered by two electric motors driving the front and rear wheels, giving the vehicle full-time four-wheel drive capability. For the future, Treo is designed to adapt to new technologies, such as drive-by-wire, fuel cells or other advanced powertrains.

Jeep Treo Preliminary Specifications

Wheels and Tires

19" x 6"


Dimensions & Weight

Length: 3235 mm (127.4 inches)

Width: 1680 mm (66.1 inches)

Height: 1585 mm (62.4 inches)

Wheelbase: 2450 mm (96.4 inches)


Front: 1499 mm (59.0 inches)

Rear: 1499 mm (59.0 inches)

Ground clearance: 200 mm (7.8 inches)


Front: 350 mm (13.8 inches)

Rear: 430 mm (16.9 inches)

Weight: 816 kg (1800 pounds) (estimated)

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
1 Comment

I think a better power system for long distances would be to have one set of wheels (back or front) run off an electric motor and the other set run off a small ICE. Then the ICE part could be used for the highway and a combination of the ICE and electric would be for the rough places and to assist with acceleration and passing. Using an ICE would permit charging of the batteries when necessary as I doubt if there would be charging stations planned for remote areas unless they operate off PV modules. It just would not be economical.

Adrian Akau
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