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01 Jun 2017

New Jeep® Compass: engineered to deliver premium on-road performance with legendary Jeep off-road capability


New Jeep® Compass: engineered to deliver premium on-road performance with legendary Jeep off-road capability


  • The "Small-wide" 4x4 architecture of the 2018 Jeep® Compass is the foundation for renowned Jeep capability
  • Superior ride quality and handling thanks to a fully independent suspension, segment-exclusive frequency damping front-and-rear-strut system, and precise electric power steering
  • Jeep Active Drive and Jeep Active Drive Low: two advanced full-time 4x4 systems deliver legendary Jeep off-road capability
  • Exclusive Jeep Selec-Terrain system with up to five different traction modes allows for optimum on or off-road driving performance on any terrain and in any conditions


The all-new 2018 Jeep® Compass was uniquely engineered and developed as a Jeep, leveraging FCA's "small-wide architecture" and featuring a fully-independent suspension to deliver best-in-class off-road capability, with superior on-road driving dynamics and passenger safety.
Jeep Compass' modular architecture means many models can be built using the same basic underpinnings. The result is better quality and reliability, less development time and improved tooling. Its architecture comprises common, modular and interchangeable components, and allows for modularity of the wheelbase, front track, rear track, front overhang, and length and width across vehicle lines.


Through the extensive use of advanced steels, composites and advanced computer-impact simulations, the Jeep Compass architecture delivers exceptional torsional stiffness for optimum control of body geometry. This enables the Jeep Compass to deliver off-road durability and up to 208 mm of rear wheel articulation and 216 mm of ground clearance - while feeling tighter and stiffer, with an added sense of confidence and control during high-speed, on-road maneuvers.


Jeep Compass delivers excellent ride and handling capabilities and was tuned and calibrated on rural roads, thoroughfares, highways, autobahns and test facilities worldwide to meet customer expectations around the globe and, in particular, to match the driving styles and the dynamic handling expectations of customers.


Rigid body structure

Jeep Compass features a unibody structure based on the small wide architecture, with the upper body structure and frame engineered as a single unit for a stiff and more mass-efficient structure.


Its rigid foundation can be credited to the extensive use of high-strength steel and liberal use of structural adhesives. This new compact SUV utilises more than 65% high-strength steel to maximise vehicle dynamics and crash performance while optimising weight efficiency.


Enhanced chassis-to-body structure interfaces, including suspension brackets and cradle attachments, are designed to ensure high stiffness at those points and minimise low-frequency noise inside the cabin. Additionally, this rigid body structure enabled engineers to dial-in the chassis tuning of the all-new Compass. The overall result is a solid, confident and refined feel on the road or trail.


For additional weight and strength optimisation, Jeep Compass features front and rear steel cross members and aluminium knuckles on 4x4 models.


Suspension system delivers Go Anywhere Jeep capability with on-road performance

To deliver best-in-class off-road performance combined with excellent on-road dynamics and comfort, the all-new Jeep Compass features a MacPherson front-suspension design with exceptional rigidity for up to 17 cm of articulation, increased cornering performance and reduced weight. A specially designed front cross member serves two roles by providing rigidity to achieve greater acoustic comfort and to integrate a third-load line to improve energy absorption in the event of a crash.


A new innovation is the adoption of a split type shock absorber mounting that transmits road vibrations to the body structure through two different routes for improved acoustics and better efficiency of the shock absorber.


Designed to dampen unwanted harshness into the cabin and help handle the driveline's torque, the architecture of the Compass features an isolated rear cradle that also provides the attachment points for lightweight Chapman suspension design's two lateral links and half-shafts. With its high-mounted strut-type shock absorbers and coil springs, this rear suspension design enables the Compass to maximise spring rates, improve its roll-steer for on-road performance and offer up to 20 cm of rear-wheel articulation for off-road adventures.


Premium frequency selective damping system

The all-new Jeep Compass integrates the frequency selective damping (FSD) front and rear strut system. This damping system enables the Compass to deliver world-class road holding and handling characteristics. In addition, the FSD system actively filters out high-frequency suspension inputs from uneven road surfaces and adjusts for comfort and smoothness while maintaining excellent ride control.


Advanced electric power steering system

Jeep Compass features precise steering, thanks to its electric power steering (EPS) and driving steering torque (DST) systems, which improves both handling and performance.


The vehicle utilises the latest advanced steering-column-mounted EPS system technology available, which delivers sporty handling by managing significant loads at all steering wheel operating speeds and power assist curves modulated according to driving conditions. All of the power boost, or assist, is provided via an electric motor. Because the system is fully electronic, the driver experiences optimal steering effort at all vehicle speeds with improved fuel efficiency, since there is no parasitic loss from a power steering pump.

The DST system improves both driving safety and handling performance by actively carrying out corrections, and automatically controls over steer over surfaces with low grip in all driving conditions.


Go Anywhere Jeep capability with two 4x4 Systems

Jeep Compass offers a choice of two innovative driveline systems - Jeep Active Drive and Jeep Active Drive Low - for best-in-class 4x4 capability in all weather conditions. It also features a rear-axle electronic disconnect system delivering 4x2 levels of fuel-efficiency and instantly engaging the 4x4 system without any driver interaction when traction is needed.

Both Jeep Active Drive and Jeep Active Drive Low automatically and seamlessly switch between 4x2 and 4x4 for full-time torque management and optimal traction when required. Each of the two advanced, intelligent 4x4 systems can send 100% of available torque to any one wheel.


All 4x4 Compass models feature the 4WD Lock function that locks the 4x4 traction permanently and can be activated by the driver via a dedicated button on the Select Terrain dial control.


Jeep Active Drive

Enabled by an innovative power-transfer unit (PTU), Jeep Active Drive is fully automatic and delivers seamless operation in and out of four-wheel drive, and at any speed. The system requires no driver intervention, delivers yaw correction during dynamic events and improves both understeer and oversteer conditions.


Jeep Active Drive can provide up to 2,000 Nm of the engine's available torque to the rear wheels, enabling optimal grip in low-traction conditions. A fully variable wet clutch housed in the rear-drive module supplies the proper amount of torque for any driving condition including slippery conditions, aggressive starts and dynamic driving. Sophisticated algorithms allow the system to contribute to the driving dynamics while interacting with the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system when approaching the traction limits of the road surface.


This new generation of drive systems adds new functionality that provides enhanced fuel economy over past 4x4 systems. By utilising automatic disconnect to the auxiliary driveline, the system can completely remove power to the non-driven axle when FWD performance is adequate - for example, when driving on dry surfaces. The driver just drives in the 'Auto' mode and the intelligent controls will ensure that the proper mode is engaged based on conditions and drive style. The driver can select a terrain mode (via the Selec-Terrain dial on the console) other than 'Auto' in order to continuously maintain 4x4 operations if there is concern of non-optimal traction or enhanced dynamic driving performance. The system fully disconnects when not needed, ensuring maximum fuel economy. The tuning of Jeep Active Drive changes based on the Selec-Terrain system.


Jeep Active Drive Low

In addition to the disconnecting and variable clutch performance features of Jeep Active Drive, Jeep Active Drive Low adds a selectable low range via a 4.334 final drive ratio and relating 20:1 crawl ratio for severe off road maneuvers. This allows for enhanced climbing ability as well as navigation of severe off-road conditions. Working in conjunction with the Selec-Terrain system, Jeep Active Drive Low aggressively modifies torque distribution while monitoring the engine, transmission and ESC system.


In the additional Selec Terrain Rock mode - specific to the Trailhawk model - the throttle and braking systems utilise precise programming designed to help the vehicle travel over rough terrain. The front axle is locked and power is evenly balanced between the front and rear wheels. This system allows for true Trail Rated performance and features Hill Descent Control when descending serious grades during trail navigation.


Jeep Select-TerrainTM system 

Jeep Active Drive and Active Drive Low feature the brand's Selec-Terrain traction-control system that enables drivers, via a rotary/push-button switch mounted on the centre console, to select - in real time and on the fly - the preferred traction mode for optimum performance. Up to five customised settings are offered: Auto, Snow, Sand and Mud modes, and exclusively on the Trailhawk model, Rock mode.


For even greater Trail Rated off-road capability, Selec-Terrain includes Selec-Speed Control with push-button Hill Decent Control: an off-road, downhill low-speed limiter that activates the front/rear brakes while descending a hill to limit vehicle speed.


Selec-Terrain is designed to enhance the four-wheel-drive systems for unsurpassed control and capability and electronically coordinates and optimises up to 12 systems on any terrain providing superior vehicle control. These include the drivetrain control module, the electronic brake controller, the electronic stability control (ESC), the transmission controller and the powertrain controller and Selec-Speed Control with Hill-descent Control.


Customers can benefit from the following dial/push-button actuated traction and/or relating features with the Selec-Terrain system:

Auto (in combination with 4X4 Jeep Active Drive/Selec-Terrain systems): The standard, default mode that's calibrated for everyday driving. In most on-road conditions (dry and above freezing temperatures), the Auto mode disconnects the rear driveline to ensure optimal fuel efficiency. In the driveline disconnect function, virtually all elements behind the front transaxle (everything from the power transfer unit rearward including rings, pinions and the prop shaft) stop spinning to eliminate relating parasitic elements effecting fuel economy. However, when low co-efficient surfaces are detected, the system will automatically switch to the 4WD configuration to deliver the required optimal traction. The Auto mode also features standard electronic brake controls.


Snow (in combination with 4X4 Jeep Active Drive/Selec-Terrain systems): The ideal mode in case of inclement weather and any kind of slippery conditions. When selecting Snow, the Selec-Terrain system converts to a specifically calibrated 4WD mode and is tuned (via chassis controls and transmission calibrations) to minimise oversteer and maximise traction. With the Snow mode setting, power will be distributed evenly between the front and rear wheels. The vehicle will also immediately start in second gear to help maximise traction. The Anti-lock Brake and Throttle systems will also be optimized for off-road travel. It also allows for a target front-to-rear torque split of up to 60/4%.


Mud (in combination with 4X4 Jeep Active Drive/Selec-Terrain systems): This is the setting for enhanced driver control in off-road conditions. The system converts to a specifically calibrated 4WD mode to maximise low-speed traction on slick muddy surfaces by providing additional wheel slip (via specifically tuned chassis controls, differentials, and transmission ratios geared to a mud-slick surface). With the Mud mode, the system can send up to 100% of front/rear torque split to the rear.


Sand (in combination with 4X4 Jeep Active Drive/Selec-Terrain systems): The system converts to a specifically calibrated 4WD mode to maximise low-speed traction on looser, sand covered surfaces by providing additional wheel slip (via specifically tuned chassis controls, differentials, and transmission ratios geared to a sand/loose particle surface). This setting is ideal for low-speed, off-road driving and allows for a front/rear torque split of up to 100% rear.


Rock (in combination with Jeep Active Drive Low/Selec-Terrain 4X4 systems available on the Trailhawk model): The system includes 4WD low capability. This enables 20:1 "crawl" speeds/ratios for serious off road maneuvers and true, unmatched "Trail Rated" capability. It is the ideal mode for overcoming extreme off-road obstacles. It uses Off-road electronic brake controls with increased brake lock differential capacity. Allows for a front/rear torque split of up to 100% rear. The Rock mode is available only on Trailhawk models.


In addition, the vehicle's Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system will change mode in coordination with the Selec-Terrain mode chosen:

  • Electronic Stability Control remains full on with Auto and Snow modes
  • Electronic Stability Control is off when in 4-Low
  • Electronic Stability Control is in Partial mode for Sand and Mud modes


Partial mode means aid from traction control and stability control are reduced, but Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Roll Mitigation remain fully enabled.


For customers demanding the most in terms of 4x4 prowess from their Jeep vehicles, the Trailhawk configuration delivers best-in-class Trail Rated 4x4 capability thanks to its unique, off-road specific equipment that combines standard Jeep Active Drive Low and Selec-Terrain system with exclusive Rock mode to tackle the most extreme off-road trails with confidence and safety.



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