Chrysler's unveiling of the government/military-issue Jeep J8 struck a chord in Jeep aficionados. Whether it was the Wrangler Unlimited-based vehicle's added payload, beefed-up suspension, or available 2-door pickup bodystyle, many of you responded by screaming for a civilian version. The Chrysler Blog has posted a conversation with Dave Cushing, manager of complete knockdown projects, and Jack Robinson, international market manager for the Middle East and Africa, in which the pair talk specifically about the J8.
Though it was developed for non-US military and government agencies (hence the diesel), it became clear along the way that the American military operating overseas would be able to use the J8 as well. Suited for a variety of light-duty applications, the J8's 3,000-lb payload also gives it flexibility that's simply unavailable in the consumer-grade Wrangler (whose payload, by comparison, is 1,000 lbs). The J8 is able to haul more people and/or equipment, and can be armored without a problem. Cushing and Robinson state that there are "no definite plans" to sell the J8 in the US, as the diesel it uses doesn't meet US emissions standards and there is no gasoline version available. Let's hope that changes. Even if the J8 itself can't be sold, we're sure Jeep could score another hit by dropping the new 2-door pickup body on the existing Wrangler's mechanicals and putting it in showrooms at some point in the future. For now, however, the J8 might as well be called the Jeep Unicorn, as far as the North American consumer is concerned. You can read the Chrysler Blog post in its entirety by clicking the "Read" link below.
[Source: Chrysler Blog]