Military versions of the Jeep Wrangler and Dodge Ram have had their UK debut at the Defence Vehicle Dynamic show.
The Jeep Wrangler TJL has been modified to handle additional payloads with a heavy-duty axle, cargo bay and upgraded suspension. It features seating for eight people and a wheelbase 22 inches longer than the standard civilian vehicle. Power comes from the same 4.0-litre six-cylinder petrol engine mated to a five-speed manual transmission or, for the first time in a Wrangler, the TJL will be available with a four-cylinder 2.8-litre diesel engine from 2005.
The Dodge Ram COMBATT (COMmercially BAsed Tactical Truck) 2 Hybrid demonstrator vehicle is a military version of a Dodge Ram 2500 (3/4-Ton) full-sized pickup truck. The prototype is powered by a 5.9-litre Cummins TurboDiesel engine together with a PowerGen hybrid system, capable of providing up to 10 kW of 120/240-volt AC 60 Hz power.
One of the key features of the PowerGen system is portable AC power which is available either when the vehicle is stationary with the engine idling, while the vehicle is being driven, or with a Silent Mode where approximately 1.5 kW-hrs of power is supplied by the HEV batteries when the diesel engine is switched off.
The prototype is also equipped with a purpose-built state-of-the-art hydro-pneumatic suspension system that provides a unique combination of on-road ride and handling comfort with extreme off-road mobility. The suspension enables any single wheel to scale an obstacle up to three feet in height and means that the Dodge Ram COMBATT is capable of negotiating the severest off-road terrain.
Simon Elliott, Managing Director for Chrysler Group in the UK, said: “These two new prototypes demonstrate some of the technology which we may be seeing in our civilian vehicles in the future. Although they have been developed to address the specific needs of the military, they could also have a future role with aid agencies, utility companies and the emergency services in the UK.”