Paris Preview: Chrysler to unveil 25th Anniversary minivan, Jeep Compass Overland

Click above for more high-res shots of the Jeep Compass Overland

We already took a look at MOPAR's first concept due to be displayed at the Paris Motor Show next week, and it turns out that it has a twin. This one is based on the unloved Compass mini 'ute and reuses the Overland moniker that's been popular with the Jeep brand, once owned by Willys-Overland. It's painted in a classically-Jeep dark green color that covers almost the entire exterior, minus some silver accent panels on the sides (why?) and a mesh grille that's actually kind of cool. On the inside, it's been tarted-up with new sill plates and seats with stitched-in Overland logos.

The last (and least?) vehicle Chrysler is set to show off in Paris is a 25th Anniversary Chrysler Grand Voyager, which has French-stitched leather seating surfaces and " Blackwood accents." Outside are 17-inch rims, chrome trim and special badges. All in all, pretty mundane stuff. Oddly, nobody ever asks us for our opinions. If they did, we'd tell them they could leave these two at home. Chrysler has issued a press release detailing everything it's bringing to Paris, see it after the break.

[Source: Chrysler]


Chrysler LLC Displays Latest Innovations at the Mondial de l'Automobile in Paris

* Company celebrates 25 years of innovation with the minivan's silver anniversary
* Two special Jeep® models debut featuring all-new interiors
* New transmission technology improves efficiency

Auburn Hills, Mich., Sep 25, 2008 - The Company that invented the modern minivan 25 years ago continues to innovate with bold American designs, new technologies and thoughtful features created specifically for the European consumer.

At the 2008 Mondial de l'Automobile in Paris, Chrysler LLC is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its minivans while also showcasing refined interiors for the Jeep® brand, new transmission technology and the expansion of the Dodge brand outside North America.

"The voice of the customer is driving our business worldwide, and we are making changes right now to address their needs – from interior design, to powertrains, to overall vehicle size," said Michael Manley, Executive Vice President – International Sales, Marketing and Business Development, Chrysler LLC. "Clear examples of this direction are the newest Jeep Patriot and Jeep Compass, two of the most fuel-efficient SUVs in the segment. With all-new interiors and soft-touch surfaces, plus a more quiet and refined ride quality, these vehicles provide exceptional value and remain the entry level to the legendary Jeep brand."

25th Anniversary of Modern Minivan
Twenty-five years after it first invented the modern minivan, Chrysler LLC continues to raise the bar and perfect its award-wining formula. The all-new Chrysler Grand Voyager offers all-new interior and exterior designs and more than 30 new or improved features.

Now, to mark the occasion of the minivan's silver anniversary, Chrysler is introducing the "25th Anniversary Edition" special model. This model features new interior premium appointments, such as a Dark Slate Gray color palette, Blackwood accents, satin finishes and new leather seats with French-seamed stitching. Special "25th Anniversary Edition" badging is incorporated inside and out.

Exterior equipment on the 25th Anniversary Edition includes unique 17-inch aluminum wheels, chromed belt and body-side moldings, and a roof rack with cross bars. Underneath the surface, several engineering improvements make the newest Chrysler Grand Voyager even more desirable. The 25th Anniversary Edition introduces improvement in drive quality with new steering and suspension tuning, and the efficient common-rail turbo-diesel engine has been optimized for both fuel consumption and emissions improvements without any sacrifice to horsepower and torque.

The new Chrysler Grand Voyager 25th Anniversary Edition will be available for international markets beginning in early 2009.

Two Special Jeep Models Debut in Paris
Built around the fuel-efficient Jeep Patriot and Jeep Compass, two special vehicles make their debuts in Paris. The Jeep Patriot Back Country concept exudes a fresh, youthful appeal and features a redesigned interior, authentic Jeep accessories by Mopar® and a blend of unique colors, textures and materials that exemplify an active lifestyle.

The Jeep Compass Overland prototype takes the Compass even more upscale with premium safety, connectivity and audio features, and exterior styling cues from the Overland models of Jeep Commander and Jeep Grand Cherokee. Inside are a redesigned interior and unique, embroidered seats designed for additional comfort.

These two special models highlight the redesigned interior and refined ride quality featured in the newest Jeep Patriot and Compass production models. The fresh interior includes all-new redesigned instrument panels, center consoles and door trim panels, while added insulation and tuning improvements further reduce noise in the interior. With their already high levels of safety, utility and 4x4 capability, the Patriot and Compass continue to advance the Jeep brand by providing customers with outstanding value.

Smoother, More Efficient Transmission
First launched on the all-new Dodge Journey, Chrysler's smooth-shifting, dual-clutch transmission is now available on the Dodge Avenger and Chrysler Sebring in markets outside North America. The transmission, developed in partnership with Getrag, is available with the 2.0-liter turbo-diesel engine, and it provides improved fuel economy and reduces CO2 emissions by six percent compared to a traditional four-speed automatic transmission.

Chrysler Brand
In 2007, Chrysler brand sales comprised 34 percent of total Chrysler LLC sales outside North America. The Chrysler 300C is one of the Company's three top-selling vehicles outside North America, and it led the Chrysler brand's sales for the year, growing seven percent over 2006.

The Chrysler line-up for international markets currently includes the following models: Sebring Sedan and Cabrio, 300C Sedan and Touring, 300C SRT8 Sedan and SRT8 Touring, PT Cruiser Sedan and Grand Voyager.

Jeep Brand
The Jeep brand led Chrysler LLC sales outside North America in 2007, accounting for 41 percent of total sales. Jeep sales grew 13 percent for the year, fueled by strong demand for new models such as the extremely capable Jeep Wrangler and the segment-leading, fuel-efficient Compass. The Jeep Grand Cherokee was the sales leader for the brand, and it is the second-highest volume vehicle outside North America for Chrysler LLC.

The Jeep portfolio includes seven model lines outside North America, all of which offer right-hand drive and petrol and diesel powertrain options. Jeep models available are the new Cherokee, Commander, Compass, Grand Cherokee, Patriot, Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited. Jeep also offers the high-performance Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8.

Dodge Brand
Dodge brand vehicle sales accounted for 25 percent of sales outside North America for Chrysler LLC in 2007, the brand's first full year of sales in all major international markets. The Dodge Caliber outsold all other Chrysler LLC products in its first year of sales outside North America, providing the brand with a solid foundation for additional growth.

In 2008, Dodge brand vehicles offered outside North America are Avenger, Caliber, Caliber SRT4, Journey, Nitro and Viper SRT10.

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