August 7, 2005 , Auburn Hills, Mich. -

Beneath the 2006 Jeep® Commander is the formula that separates the Jeep brand’s newest SUV from off-road pretenders by making it the most capable seven-passenger 4x4.

Following in the footsteps of its predecessor – the 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee – the 2006 Jeep Commander is designed to meet the needs and expectations of Jeep buyers. Unlike any other seven-passenger SUV on the road today, the Jeep Commander offers three full-time 4x4 systems - providing the right level of capability and outstanding tractive performance – and three engine offerings, including the 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 engine. What’s more, Commander is the only SUV in its class that offers two V-8 engines.

Commander is the first Jeep vehicle with three rows of seats, yet is only two inches longer than the 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee. The two vehicles share the same wheelbase – 109.5 inches – meaning Commander is as maneuverable and as off-road capable as the Grand Cherokee.

“Because it is engineered by Jeep, there is no doubt that the 2006 Jeep Commander is the most capable vehicle in its segment today,” said Craig Love, Vice President – Rear-Wheel Drive Product Team, Chrysler Group. “No matter whether you take your vehicle off-loading in Moab or cruising down the highway, the Jeep Commander will exceed your expectations.”

The 2006 Jeep Commander offers three, full-time, four-wheel-drive systems designed to conquer a variety of road surfaces and satisfy all types of drivers.

And for the first time, a two-speed transfer case is available with the 3.7-liter engine. Also new in the 2006 model year, optional two-wheel-drive capability, which will be offered late in the year, on the 5.7-liter V-8 engine. (Both options will be offered on the 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee as well.)

Quadra-Trac I®
For customers who want the assurance of full-time four-wheel drive without any switches or levers to pull, Quadra-Trac I is the right system. The system provides for smooth operation of the vehicle over a variety of road surface conditions.

The NV140 transfer case splits torque 48/52 percent (front/rear) for nearly even distribution of engine power. The single-speed transfer case has been designed to withstand rigorous Jeep durability standards while offering smooth and quiet operation. The use of the Brake Traction Control System (BTCS) with the NV140 transfer case makes the 4x4 system extremely competent in most situations.

Quadra-Trac II®
The Quadra-Trac II 4x4 system for the Jeep Commander gives the customer the benefit of the NV245 two-speed active transfer case and BTCS. The NV245 two-speed transfer case is optional on the 3.7-liter SOHC V-6 engine and standard with either the 4.7-liter SOHC V-8 or 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 engines.

The transfer case is the same one used in the Quadra-Drive II® system. It takes input from a variety of sensors to determine tire slip at the earliest possible moment and take corrective action. The system also uses Throttle Anticipate™ – sensing quick movement in throttle from a stop – and takes steps to maximize traction before tire slippage even occurs.

Torque is transferred to the individual wheels as needed by the BTCS to maintain traction in changing road conditions. When the system senses tire slip, it modulates brake pressure to the slipping wheel, which directs torque to the tires with the best traction.

Quadra-Trac II features an electronic shift mechanism for ease-of-use. The transfer case offers a low range for off-road situations and includes a neutral position for trouble-free towing behind another vehicle.

Quadra-Drive II®
The Quadra-Drive II Jeep 4x4 system offers customers the ultimate in off-road capability. It combines the NV245 full-time transfer case with Electronic Limited Slip Differentials (ELSD) for best-in-class tractive performance. The system instantly detects tire slip and smoothly distributes engine torque to the tires with traction. In some cases, the vehicle will even anticipate low traction and adjust to proactively limit or eliminate slip.

The heart of the system is the NV245 active transfer case. This transfer case includes a center differential coupled with an electronically controlled clutch pack, varying it from a completely open state to completely locked, with infinite possibilities in between. The 4-Low gear ratio is 2.72:1.

A key component in the Quadra-Drive II system is the ELSD and the new benchmark for automatic traction differentials. The ELSD uses electronically controlled clutch packs to automatically and instantly vary from slip to lock at each axle. This maximizes traction when needed without any of the on-road drawbacks normally associated with such a robust 4x4 system.

All components of the system work together; they continually monitor needs to provide smooth and automatic application of the components for best-in-class tractive performance while improving the day-to-day on-road driving experience. For example, the ELSD releases the clutch packs in the front axle during turns to allow differentiation and prevent crow hop.


3.7-Liter SOHC V-6

The 3.7-liter V-6 engine provides the 2006 Jeep Commander with a powerful standard engine that is efficient, durable and smooth. It produces 210 hp (157 kW) @ 5,200 rpm and 235 lb-ft (319 N•m) @ 4,000 rpm.

4.7-Liter SOHC V-8

The 4.7-liter V-8 is the mid-range engine in the Commander. The engine produces 235 hp (175 kW) @ 4,500 rpm and 305 lb-ft (414 N•m) of torque @ 3,600. Dual knock sensors enable improved engine calibration for both fuel economy and power output.

The engine has improved NVH characteristics, realized through the use of composite valve covers, structural improvements to the air box and resonator, and improved dampening of the heat shields.

5.7-Liter HEMI V-8

The 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine delivers outstanding performance and reduced noise, vibration and harshness (NVH), resulting in a highly refined powerplant. The engine gives the Jeep Commander best-in-class power: 90 percent of the engine’s peak torque is available from 2,900 rpm through 5,100 rpm for excellent performance. The engine produces 330 hp (246 kW) @ 5,000 rpm and 375 lb-ft (509 N•m) @ 4,000 rpm.

Also included with the HEMI engine is Chrysler Group’s Multi-displacement System (MDS) that deactivates four cylinders when the V-8 is not needed. MDS seamlessly alternates between smooth, high-fuel-economy, four-cylinder mode when less power is needed and V-8 mode when more power from the 5.7-liter HEMI engine is demanded. This optimizes fuel economy when V-8 power is not needed, yet without sacrificing vehicle performance or towing capability. As a result, consumers will experience estimated fuel economy gains of up to 15 percent under various driving conditions. In addition, improved fuel economy is realized without changing the customer’s driving experience.

Chrysler Group was the first manufacturer to offer fuel-conserving MDS in an SUV when the system was introduced on the 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Some of the significant technologies enabling MDS include the speed of electronic controls, the sophistication of the algorithms controlling the systems, and the use of Electronic Throttle Control (ETC). The HEMI is able to undetectably transition from eight cylinders to four in a mere 40 milliseconds.

The HEMI engine that powers the 2006 Jeep Commander uses aluminum cylinder heads with hemispherical combustion chambers, creating outstanding airflow to produce high power and torque. Dual ignition (two spark plugs per cylinder) increases peak power and torque, reduces exhaust emissions, increases fuel economy and provides a smooth idle. The combustion system has been refined and the engine uses direct-mount accessories for quieter operation.

This 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine with MDS has completed over 6.5 million customer-equivalent miles through Chrysler Group’s development and durability testing procedures.

Suspension and Steering System
Jeep Commander’s independent front suspension provides the driver with a greater sense of precision and control, offers more precise steering, and reduces vehicle weight and head toss. The five-link rear suspension geometry, including a track bar, also improves lateral stiffness to match that of the front suspension, to provide optimum handling.

Standard on the Jeep Commander is an Electronic Stability Program (ESP), which aids the driver in maintaining vehicle directional stability in severe driving maneuvers on any type of surface. Using signals from sensors throughout the vehicle, the system determines the appropriate brake and throttle adjustments for directional stability of the vehicle.

Commander’s rack-and-pinion steering system imparts a precise steering feel translated to the driver through fewer linkages than a recirculating-ball steering system.

Five-Speed Automatic Transmissions Provide Refinement
A five-speed automatic transmission offers smooth shifts and optimum fuel economy with the 3.7-liter V-6. A second five-speed automatic transmission, the 545RFE, is available with the 4.7-liter V-8 and 5.7-liter V-8 HEMI; it has higher-quality shifts while also giving Commander a class-leading towing capacity of 7,200 lbs., which is equal to that of the Grand Cherokee.

Both transmissions feature Electronic Range Select (ERS) driver interactive shift control. ERS allows the driver to select the top gear through which the transmission will operate. ERS also helps to improve performance in trailer-towing and mountain-grade situations as well as control performance more precisely during on- and off-road driving conditions. The shifter provides fully automated shifting when in the “Drive” position. Or the driver can manually select each gear by simply moving the shifter left and right from the “Drive” position. This gives the driver the needed control to precisely match any on-road or off-road driving requirement. The instrument cluster displays the number of the top-most gear.

Jeep Trail Rated®
The Jeep Trail Rated® badge communicates that the vehicle has been designed to perform in a variety of challenging off-road conditions identified by five key consumer-oriented performance categories: Traction, Ground Clearance, Maneuverability, Articulation and Water Fording.

Jeep Trail Rated is an industry-leading methodology established by the Nevada Automotive Test Center (NATC) and Jeep Engineering to objectively measure and consistently predict off-road performance for all Jeep vehicles today and into the future. Through a combination of natural and controlled field tests, as well as computer-simulated environments, Jeep Trail Rated provides a repeatable and consistent measurement of off-road performance for Jeep vehicles. Only Jeep vehicles are Trail Rated.

The 2006 Jeep Commander will be produced at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant (JNAP) in Detroit, starting in the third quarter of 2005. The Grand Cherokee is currently assembled at JNAP. The Jeep Commander will also be produced at the Magna Steyr manufacturing facility in Graz, Austria, for Europe and other markets outside of North America.