Jeep J8: Taking The Wrangler Unlimited To Boot Camp, Bringing Back A Brute Of A Pickup

We saw it in spy shots for the first time a couple of months ago, and of course we're excited about the Brute-like JT Concept we'll be seeing at SEMA, but now it's official — Jeep's making another run at military vehicle sales with their newest offering for the defense systems crowd — the Jeep J8. Built off the new 2007 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, the Jeep J8 gets some frame reinforcements to allow for greater payloads (up to a max of 2,952 lb.) and newly engineered axles, brakes and a leaf-spring rear suspension system for "more demanding military and civilian government use." Because although the J8's stronger than the Wrangler Unlimited it's built on, it's not designed for front-line combat operations. Instead, the fully-armor capable Jeep J8's designed for duties ranging from...



...command vehicle to troop/cargo carrier, ambulance, communications vehicle and other duties not requiring being shot at. The J8's powered by a 2.8-liter four-cylinder turbo-diesel producing 158 HP and 295 lb-ft of torque mated to a five-speed auto tranny — giving it a towing capability of up to 7,716 lb. In addition to being an Army man, this new offering from Jeep's a Marine, complete with a hood-mounted snorkel enabling the J8 to wade in water of up to 30 inches deep. The J8 comes in two flavors — a four-door multipurpose vehicle with all the same seating configurations of the original Wrangler Unlimited, or, for the military man who's a fan of the Brute pickup package for the Jeep, it also comes in a — wait for it — a two-door version with an extended pickup bed. That's right — a pickup bed underneath that dark plastic top — just like the JT concept car and the Brute conversion. We'll take two please, one in camo and the other in matte black. Full press below.

Chrysler LLC has unveiled the Jeep J8 multipurpose vehicle at the 2007 Defence 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 utilising 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-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 (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 wade in water up to 762 mm (30 in.) deep and tackle sandstorm conditions for up to five hours.

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 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. Heavy-duty bumpers with tow eyes allow the Jeep J8 to be easily transported by aeroplane or helicopter.

The Jeep J8 will be produced in a Chrysler LLC joint-venture facility in Cairo, Egypt, and will be available 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 General 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 defence community with the highest-quality 4x4 vehicles available anywhere in the world.