March 22, 2005 , New York -

From their exterior design to their interior appointments, the new 2006 Jeep® Commander and 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee are worlds apart. Underneath the two vehicles, on the other hand, their worlds come together. That’s because the 2006 Jeep Commander is equipped with the same 4x4 systems, suspension and powertrains that give the award-winning Grand Cherokee its legendary Jeep off-road capability and refined on-road driving manners. What’s more, Commander is the only SUV in its class that offers two V-8 engines.

“When the all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee was introduced last year, its best-in-class tractive capability and best-in-class power made it king of the full-size SUV mountain,” said Craig Love, Vice President – Rear-Wheel Drive Product Team, Chrysler Group. “Now, because of their shared underpinnings, Grand Cherokee and the new Commander occupy that same lofty space.”

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.

Three Full-time Four-wheel-drive Systems
Quadra-Trac I® utilizes the NV140 single-speed transfer case to provide convenient full-time four-wheel drive with no transfer case lever to shift or driver interaction required.

Quadra-Trac II® incorporates the NV245 transfer case that provides full-time active four-wheel drive, which anticipates and prevents wheel slip for optimum traction during a wide range of conditions. The NV245 also includes electronic shift with a true low-range gear and neutral for towing Commander behind another vehicle.

Quadra-Drive II® takes unparalleled Jeep capability to an even higher plateau using Electronic Limited Slip Differentials (ELSD) — front/center/rear — offering customers the ultimate in off-road capability. ELSD replaces the Vari-Lok progressive axles used on the Quadra-Drive system from previous generation Jeep vehicles for even quicker response to changing conditions and greater torque capacity.

HEMI® V-8 Leads the Engine Lineup
The 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine with the Multi-Displacement System (MDS) is available on Commander. MDS imperceptibly deactivates half the cylinders of the 5.7-liter HEMI during cruising and light acceleration to increase fuel economy by between 10 and 20 percent, depending on driving conditions. A sophisticated Electronic Throttle Control (ETC) system tailors throttle response to pedal movement based on operating conditions, and maintains a more consistent vehicle speed on rolling grades when cruise control is active than with the former mechanical throttle control system. The HEMI produces 330 hp (246 kW) @ 5000 rpm and 375 lb.-ft. (509 N•m) @ 4000 rpm.

4.7-Liter SOHC V-8 Power Tech® Engine
The 4.7-liter V-8 is the mid-range engine in Commander. The engine produces 235 hp (175 kW) @ 4500 rpm and 305 lb.-ft. (414 N•m) of torque @ 3600. Dual knock sensors were added to provide improved engine calibration for both fuel economy and power output.

The engine has improved noise, vibration and harshness (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.

3.7-Liter SOHC V-6 Power Tech Engine
The 3.7-liter V-6 engine provides the 2006 Jeep Commander with a powerful base engine that is efficient, durable and smooth. It produces 210 hp (157 kW) @ 5200 rpm and 235 lb.-ft. (319 N•m) @ 4000 rpm. The engine was first introduced in the Jeep Liberty and has been continuously refined to provide smooth V-6 power with optimal economy.

Significant changes in the 3.7-liter include a revised cam profile and new valve lash adjusters. These changes improve the engine’s smoothness at idle. To ensure quiet operation, the engine has a thick-wall composite manifold, and also benefits from structural improvements to the air box and resonator.

Suspension and Steering System
The independent front suspension provides the driver with a greater sense of precision and control, more precise steering, and reduces vehicle weight and head toss.

The new five-link rear suspension geometry, including a track bar, also improves lateral stiffness to match that of the front suspension for 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 more precise steering feel translated to the driver through fewer linkages than a recirculating ball steering system.

Five-Speed Automatics 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, used with the 4.7-liter V-8 and 5.7-liter V-8 HEMI, has been refined for higher-quality shifts while giving Commander class-leading towing capacity of 7,200 lbs., equal to that of the Grand Cherokee.

Both transmissions feature Electronic Range Select (ERS) driver interactive shift control. 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 control to precisely match any on-road or off-road driving requirement.

An off-road group is available with Commander that includes a stamped steel transfer case skid plate that mounts to the transmission cross member, a fuel tank skid plate that provides off-road protection to the transfer case and all-terrain tires.

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.