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Willys2 shows way for entry-level Jeep

The Chrysler group feels there's room in the Jeep lineup for a vehicle that costs less than the entry-level Wrangler, which starts at about $14,000.

The Willys2 concept vehicle that debuted at the Tokyo Motor Show is one possible direction a new, inexpensive Jeep mini sport-utility could take, said Jordan Meadows, the Chrysler group designer who styled the boxy four-wheel-drive concept vehicle.

It's not scheduled for production.

Jeep Willys 2

click for larger photo

The Willys2 is an evolution of the Jeep Willys that Chrysler showed in January at the Detroit auto show. The only major change is the addition of a removable hard top made of lightweight carbon fiber and a built-in roof rack. The engine is a supercharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder built in the joint Chrysler/BMW plant in South America, the same engine BMW uses in the Mini Cooper S. It is rated at 160 hp and mated to a four-wheel-drive system.

The styling retains the traditional seven-slat Jeep grille and round headlights.

You can reach Richard Truett at rtruett@crain.com

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