General Dwight D. Eisenhower declared World War II could not have been won without the Jeep. Now the Jeep is re-enlisting. Chrysler has unveiled the Jeep J8 multipurpose vehicle at the 2007 Defence Systems & Equipment International (DSEi) military trade show in London.
The new Jeep J8 marks the brand's return to vehicle production for military and civilian government use. Based on the new Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, the marque's engineers increased its capability and versatility.
The original vehicles made their military debut in 1941 with the Willys MA, which was eventually dubbed the Jeep.
The frame of the new Wrangler Unlimited is reinforced for payloads up to 1339kg. Axles, brakes and suspension components are engineered specifically for more demanding military and civilian government use, including using a leaf-spring suspension system in the rear. The J8s 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-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine which produces 118kW and 400Nm of torque, providing towing capability of up to 3500kg.
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 wade in water up to 762mm deep and tackle sandstorm conditions for up to five hours.
Available as a two-door with an extended pick-up bed for personnel or equipment transport, or a four-door multipurpose vehicle, it can be produced with numerous vehicle-body and seating configurations in either right-hand or left-hand-drive.
While not designed for combat, the Jeep J8 is fully armour capable and available for duties ranging from command vehicle to troop/cargo carrier or ambulance. Heavy-duty bumpers with tow eyes allow the J8 to be transported by air.
The Jeep J8 will be produced in a Chrysler joint-venture facility in Cairo, Egypt, and will be available mid-2008.