gets off-camber on the off-road course in Jeep's new Liberty!
summer Jeep will be holding Jeep 101 courses all over the country.
It is being held in conjunction with the Chrysler Proving Grounds
event. Jeep 101 is an extremely interesting approach to marketing
the Jeep brand and the events are designed to nurture and grow future
Jeep enthusiasts. It also holds some fun and interesting stuff for
those of us who are already long time Jeep freaks.
event is an off-road course that Jeep made on-site for people to
test drive the new Jeeps and to introduce newcomers to off-road
travel. This had to be the most fun of the day, but not because
it was a hardcore 4x4 course that you can thrash a new Jeep Liberty
on, though. Most of us could probably take our rockcrawling rigs
through it backward in 2 wheel drive. The course was a series of
hills, banked corners, log bridges, log pits, articulation bumps,
and small rocks. While this stuff is just the path to the real trails
for some of us, the real fun was watching the "ear-to-ear"
grins of the people who were experiencing our passion for the first
time. I wish I could have stood at the end of the course with a
sign that read "It's a Jeep thing
Now you understand!"
Liberty is the star of the show.
of the Class?
I know the rumors have been flying about the new Jeep Liberty. Every
time Jeep changes anything, us loyal Jeep owners get a bit nervous.
The definite focus of the event was the introduction of the new
Jeep Liberty. Everywhere you looked you saw Liberties.
We drove the
Liberty both on the Jeep 101 off-road course and on the on-road
course. With only this limited exposure to it, my final judgment
is still out. I am a little bit more convinced that Jeep may be
headed in the right direction once again. At the main entrance of
the event there was a Liberty sporting many custom parts and 31"
mud tires. The 31's seemed to be a pretty good fit with no suspension
modification. Hmmm, wonder what it would take to stuff some 36"
meats under it?
more could you ever want? I could (and almost did) spend the entire
day talking to a Jeep engineer about all the tech displays they
had set up. There are cut-away displays of all the Jeep drive train
components and even a complete Jeep Wrangler frame and drive train
to play with.
more American is this Liberty?
and more fun!
so it is not a major trail ride or 4x4 event. But there is lots
of fun to be had for new and old Jeepers alike. I don't want to
ruin the experience for you so I wont let you in on all the details.
But here are some of the things you can expect.
There are old
Jeeps, custom Jeeps, outdoor equipment, Jeep Provisions, displays
of the new Liberty and chances to look at the new suspension close
up. Check out how the rear sway bar is mounted! Then travel over
to the Tech tent and ask a Jeep engineer about it!
Got a friend
that does not quite understand the Jeep thing? This is the perfect
place to introduce them to it. Send them on the Jeep 101 course
with one of the instructors and I guarantee they will come back
with an evil grin on their face
a cut-away 5 speed tranny for us to check out.
are always fun to look at, too. Keeps the knees from getting
NV242 lets you see exactly how the transfer case works.
differential was also on-hand for inpection.
This is the
heart of the new Liberty - the 3.7L Power Tech V6, which is
based on the Grand Cherokee's motor, minus 2 cylinders.
isn't Evel Kneivel's car. It's the interior of the custom-painted
Jeep Liberty seen in the photos above.
Michael Lyons (right), showed us around the Jeep 101 camp
and answered all of our questions in the Tech Tent.
are still coming this summer:
June 28-July 1