Jeep Renegade – Chrysler Goes Green

Chrysler recently unveiled three concept cars in the 2008 Detroit Motor Show. One of these is the Jeep Renegade concept – a ‘green’ sporty two-seater vehicle constructed out of environmentally friendly materials. The Renegade is equipped with a 40-mile lithium-ion battery pack backed by a BLUETEC diesel engine. The seats feature a urethane skin with soy-based foam co-molded with a composite substructure. The instrument panel features wireless electronics instead of the conventional wiring. According to Chrysler, Jeep Renegade was designed for people who love outdoor activities and truly care about the environment.

Jeep Renegade’s propulsion system startswith a 40-mile lithium-ion battery pack. Beyond that range, a back up 1.5-liter BLUETEC diesel engine allows for longer journeys (up to a 400-mile range). Compared to standard gasoline engines, the diesel engine substantially reduces exhaust emissions.

The Jeep is equipped with oversized wheels and tires and cut-down speedster windshield. The doors have elongated triangular openings, allowing the driver and passenger to enjoy the outdoor experience to the maximum. The cargo deck can be fitted with a variety of “lids” as it features a roll bar but no top.

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“, explained the Jeep’s designers.

Renegade’s interior is composed of co-molded aluminum/silicone steering wheel, a one-piece molded chassis, a one-piece molded interior compartment, one-piece molded soy-based foam seats and doors, and a one-piece co-molded instrument panel with a urethane skin. Anderson, Principal Interior Designer of the Renegade concept, explained that the Jeep was designed to minimize the number of necessary parts and to simplify the systems as much as possible.

The instrument panel features wireless electronics in self-contained units that can be easily removed. The panel is hollow and built “about an exposed cross-car beam containing an integrated power strip, and on the passenger side, yaw, pitch, and roll indicators“. A rotating LED screen is located at the intersection of the steering wheel’s T-shaped spokes, allowing the driver to select Park, Reverse or Drive mode. In addition, the waterproof wireless interior and a drain in the vehicle’s floor make the Jeep durable and functional under any kind of weather.

TFOT previously covered other concept vehicles, including “sQuba” – the world’s first ‘green’ diving car. This innovative car is capable of driving on roads just like a normal car, and can also be turned into an amphibious vehicle capable of diving. Other concept interesting vehicles covered by TFOT are Honda’s PUYOdesigned to be a corner-less, soft box that is both friendly to the environment and feels good to the touch, and the world’s first water-powered car.

Information on Chrysler’s vehicles can be found on the company’s website.