Rescue and Sling Shot
This is a little off topic because these are Chrysler concept vehicles but they both seemed interesting enough to post.
Below is the article if you do not care to see the pictures. You should see the pictures:
Jeep will show its answer to the Hummer H2 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The Jeep Rescue is one of three new concept vehicles, cars that may or may not make production, which DaimlerChrysler's (nyse: DCX - news - people ) American brands will display at the Detroit show in January.
Although similarities between the Rescue and the H2 scream out in profile, Jeep is disguising its concept as an emergency services vehicle designed to drive through the most demanding conditions.
Chrysler officials are not commenting on the Rescue's production plans, but there's no reason not to build the vehicle as an SUV for civilians, considering how the H2's profitability is equaled or rivaled only by the Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV among General Motors' (nyse: GM - news - people ) vehicles. Perhaps Chrysler is trying to keep a low profile after last year, when it dropped a lawsuit that claimed the H2's grille infringed on the classic seven-slotted Jeep grille. The company also knows GM is in an advantageous position to make profits on the H2; GM farms out its production to AM General, the original Hummer manufacturer, thus dodging its own enormous factory and labor costs.
Why shouldn't Jeep want a cash cow like the Hummer H2 (shown here)?
The Rescue's dimensions are very similar to those of the H2: It is 80 inches wide, only 1.2 inches narrower than the H2, and its 123-inch wheelbase (the distance from the center of the front wheel to the center of the rear) is only two-tenths of an inch longer than the H2's.
Like the H2, which shares mechanical architecture with the Chevrolet Suburban SUV and, fundamentally, the Chevrolet Silverado pickup, the Rescue concept rides on a truck platform--that of the Dodge Ram. This truck basis gives the Rescue off-roading credentials, and the vehicle comes with a folding windshield and removable doors and roof.
The heart of this "ultimate search and rescue vehicle" is a 305-horsepower Cummins diesel--not as impressive as the 316-horsepower V-8 that the H2 shares with the Suburban and Escalade. However, the Rescue's engine shames the H2's on torque, the turning force that determines a vehicle's towing capabilities: 555 foot-pounds versus 360 foot-pounds in the H2. The Rescue also has remote-control winches for towing, along with 3D topographical mapping software and a navigation system.
Other goodies include a VHF radio, digital video recorder, satellite transmission capability and a satellite phone. And get this: The Rescue has cameras under the chassis that display what the axles are about to run into--useful for off-roading in a tall vehicle like this. Ground clearance is variable in the Rescue, as the vehicle comes with a custom-built suspension whose ride height is adjustable. Are the H2's 17-inch wheels impressive? No. Rescue comes with titanic, 37-inch wheels with run-flat tires. From the cockpit, you can change the tire pressure to adjust traction on different surfaces.
Should Jeep build this vehicle? Only if it wants to make a lot of money.
Forbes Fact At the Detroit show, the Rescue will team with the Dodge Sling Shot and another concept from the Chrysler division to preview DaimlerChrysler's future designs. The Sling Shot, a sporty-looking compact car, features the sort of right angles on its rear end that are characteristic of Renault's edgy designs. The Sling Shot's triple exhaust is a nice touch, as is its instrument panel, where the bigger gauges are paired and encased with the smaller gauges in a way that resembles a belt with two differently sized pulleys.
If the Rescue is Jeep's Hummer, the Sling Shot (shown here) is Dodge's Renault.
As with the Rescue, DaimlerChrysler has not made an announcement about production plans for the Sling Shot. They describe it as a "sports car," but its performance characteristics are more like European small cars (such as Renaults) than American ones. The Sling Shot will use a three-cylinder gas engine borrowed from DaimlerChrysler's Smart brand. Based on that engine's characteristics and the vehicle's power-to-weight ratio, Dodge estimates the Sling Shot will be able to go from 0-60 mph in about ten seconds. While that's nothing special, like a European car, it can do that and still get about 45 miles to the gallon.

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