The production version of the Jeep® J8 was revealed at Euro Jeep Camp 2008, a customer event in Northern Germany this week. The J8 marks the Jeep brand’s return to commercial and military vehicle production with a thoroughly modern vehicle designed to meet the needs of both non-government organisations and government agencies.
“The new Jeep J8 combines the legendary capability and dependability that makes the Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited famous with unmatched cargo capacity and an exceptional towing rating,” said Thomas Hausch, Vice President – International Sales, Chrysler LLC. “The Jeep J8 is also exceptional value, priced far below other vehicles designed for humanitarian and military duty.”
With the all-new 2007 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited as the starting point, Jeep engineers increased the capability and versatility to create the Jeep J8. The frame of the Wrangler Unlimited has been reinforced for increased ruggedness and to allow greater payloads – up to a maximum of 1,250 kg (2,756 lbs.). The rear axle is a Dana 60 model with brake discs engineered specifically for more demanding use. The rear suspension utilises a leaf-spring suspension system while 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-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine that produces 118 kW (158 hp) and 400 Nm (295 lb.-ft.) of torque, providing towing capability of up to 3,500 kg. 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 air inlet 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 features best-in-class water-fording capability and ground clearance.
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. The two-door version, for example, can be configured as a personnel carrier with seating for up to eight.
While not designed for front-line combat operations, the Jeep J8 is armour 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 aeroplane or helicopter.
The Jeep J8 will be produced in the Chrysler LLC joint-venture facility in Cairo, Egypt, and will be available from July 2008. There are no plans to offer the J8 through Chrysler dealers to civilian customers.