Remember those Jeep Wrangler pickup spy shots? Now we know the details. That vehicle was one of the variants of the new Jeep J8. The J8 is based on the Wrangler Unlimited and has been designed for military and civilian government use. It sports a reinforced frame and upgraded suspension that includes the much-discussed rear leaf springs that were pointed out in the earlier spy photos. Maximum payload is 2,952 lbs. as a result.
It'll be offered as both a four-door that looks mostly like the civilian Wrangler Unlimited and a 2-door pickup. Jeep sneakily showed off the pickup body on the very awesome SEMA-bound JT Concept earlier this year. The J8 is designed to be very flexible, and will be available in a variety of seating/cargo configurations in both left- and right-hand drive (again, this explains the RHD version captured in spy photos).
Power comes from a 158-horsepower / 295 lb-ft 2.8L 4-cylinder turbodiesel mated to a 5-speed automatic and Jeep's Command-Trac 4WD system. The powertrain affords the J8 a maximum towing capacity of 7,716 lbs. Another feature unique to the J8 is its air-intake system, which uses a hood-mounted snorkel that lets it ford bodies of water up to 30 inches deep and operate in sandstorm conditions up to five hours.
For full information on the J8, follow the jump for the official press release from Jeep. The truck made its debut today at the DSEi trade show in London, and it will be produced in Cairo, Egypt at a Chrysler LLC joint-venture facility. It will officially become available next Spring, though only for military and civilian government use. Sorry, no civilian sales will be offered.
Jeep® is Back in Uniform: New Military Versionof Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Reports for Duty
Iconic off-roader returns to its storied roots with J8 multipurpose model primarily developed for military use – but also suitable for civilian government applications
London, England – Chrysler LLC today unveiled the Jeep® J8 multipurpose vehicle at the 2007 Defense Systems & Equipment International (DSEi) military trade show, making the legendary vehicle available for reenlistment in active military service.
"Jeep vehicles made their original debut in 1941 for military duty, and have built their reputation with more than 65 years as the world's benchmark for off-road capability and versatility for civilian and military vehicles," said Thomas Hausch, Vice President – International Sales, Chrysler LLC. "The new Jeep J8 marks the brand's return to vehicle production for military and civilian government use – the same capability that makes the Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited famous also makes the Jeep J8 a truly multipurpose vehicle."
With the all-new 2007 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited as the starting point, Jeep engineers increased its capability and versatility. The frame of the Wrangler Unlimited is reinforced for increased ruggedness and to allow greater payloads – up to a maximum of 1,339 kg (2,952 lbs.). Axles, brakes and suspension components are engineered specifically for more demanding military and civilian government use, including utilizing a leaf-spring suspension system in the rear. The J8's Command-Trac® four-wheel-drive system allows maximum versatility and performance in both on- and off-road conditions.
The Jeep J8 is powered by a 2.8-liter four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine that produces 118 kW (158 hp) and 400 N·m (295 lb.-ft.) of torque, providing towing capability of up to 3,500 kg (7,716 lbs.). The engine is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. The J8 also features a unique air-intake system with special filtration and a hood-mounted snorkel that enables the J8 to ford water up to 762 mm (30 in.) deep and operate in sandstorm conditions for up to five hours.
The Jeep J8 is available as a two-door with an extended pickup bed for personnel or equipment transport, or a four-door multipurpose vehicle. It may be produced with numerous vehicle-body and seating configurations in either right-hand- or left-hand-drive.
While not designed for front-line combat operations, the Jeep J8 is fully armor capable and excels in a variety of duties ranging from command vehicle to troop/cargo carrier, ambulance, communications vehicle and other duties – also making it suitable for civilian government applications. Tow eyes and heavy-duty bumpers allow the Jeep J8 to be easily transported by airplane or helicopter.
The Jeep J8 will be produced in a Chrysler LLC joint-venture facility in Cairo, Egypt, and will be available beginning in spring 2008.
Jeep in the military
In June 1941, the U.S. Army received its first shipments of the Willys MA, the rugged 4x4 vehicle that came to be called the Jeep. This predecessor to today's Jeep Wrangler would prove so vital to the Allies' World War II effort that Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower declared that the war could not have been won without the Jeep vehicle.
Jeep vehicles have been produced for various militaries around the world. The Jeep J8 marks the start of Jeep's renewed commitment to supply the defense community with the highest-quality 4x4 vehicles available anywhere in the world.