says its upcoming all-new Jeep Cherokee will employ a unique soy-based foam that engineers promise will reduce outdoor acoustics but also contribute to better fuel economy.
The sealant, a Dow Automotive Systems-supplied product called Betafoam, is injected into 10 locations of the body structure, including the A- and B-pillars and rear wheel wells. In most vehicles, a petroleum-based sealant is used.
The soy-based filler was co-developed with Dow and already is used in the Dodge Avenger and200 sedans. The auto maker says it has a lower density and longer shelf life than other sealants, which translates to cost savings for the manufacturer.
Because it is a lighter product, engineers also say the soy-based foam doesn’t add weight to the vehicle, improving long-term fuel economy. Specific fuel numbers have yet to be released, but they promise a significant boost over the outgoing Liberty.
“At Chrysler Group, we are working on a number of initiatives that further our sustainability efforts while also addressing key product goals, such as on-road refinement combined with off-road ruggedness for the all-new ’14 Jeep Cherokee,” Bill Hall, director-sustainability and business continuity, says in a statement.