Jeep is celebrating 80 years of existence

On July 15, 1941, the former Willys-Overland Co. signed a contract with the US War Department to begin production of Jeep’s first military vehicle. Eighty years later, the Jeep brand is successful worldwide with a product line that continues to expand to other segments, dedicated to a worldwide customer community and the use of 4xe electric vehicle technology that represents a natural development of 80 years of leadership when it comes to capability.

To celebrate its anniversary and in honor of its vision of zero emissions, the Jeep brand today released on its YouTube channel a version for the 80th anniversary of the video “Jeep Life Electrified”, which debuted during the Stellantis EV Days 2021. Stellantis EV Days 2021. Video shows the unique nature of Jeep’s electrification through the story of a loving couple. The piece intertwines Jeep vehicles, future technology and the Jeep global community, to promise a brighter future ahead. The video contains a new song “Give me the Future” performed by the group Bastille.

12 key moments in 80 years

Gather 100 Jeep SUV fans from all over the world in one place and ask them to list the most memorable moments in the glorious history of the Jeep brand and they are unlikely to give the same answers. Below is a list of some of the highlights for the Jeep brand over eight impressive decades.

1. 4xe is the new 4 × 4

The evolution of the Jeep brand has accelerated in the 80th anniversary with the advent of 4xe, electrification by the Jeep brand, to develop and manufacture environmentally friendly 4 × 4 vehicles, including the new Jeep Grand Cherokee, to be unveiled at the 2021 New York International Motor Show. .

As a brand icon, the Jeep Wrangler 4xe is leading the brand’s electrification offensive. “Trail Rated” 4 × 4 capability of the Jeep Wrangler model is possible with the help of a sealed waterproof battery and electronics that can work even in the most difficult conditions. Powered by a two-liter I4 DOHC PHEV turbo engine with direct injection, it has an impressive 380 hp and 637 Nm of torque. With a fuel consumption of about 3.5 liters per 100 km in hybrid mode, more than 50 km of “purely electric” zero-emission driving (in the city WLTP cycle), acceleration from 0 to 100 km / h in 6.4 seconds and E- Selec driving modes, this is technically the most advanced Wrangler ever introduced in Europe.


2. New American premium

The new Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer for 2022 introduce premium SUVs into unexplored territories of style, comfort and adventure. The eight-passenger Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer represent an extension of the Jeep brand, packaged in an authentic new design.


3. Global expansion

Over the past decade, the Jeep brand has expanded its global product offering with new representatives, such as the compact Jeep Renegade and the all-new Jeep Gladiator, the most versatile Jeep pickup ever. The brand has also expanded production, thus enabling customers in markets such as Europe, Brazil, India and China to enjoy locally produced Jeep vehicles. This diverse product offering and widespread production, with 10 plants in 6 countries, has enabled Jeep to significantly increase sales over a period of 10 years.

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4. Superior traction and handling

Two new propulsion systems were introduced in 1999. The Quadra-Trac II system offers an innovative system that transmits torque from rear to front and side, which means driving torque is instantly available on all four wheels – ensuring rear traction and handling at all times and in all circumstances without the need for driver control . When the Quadra-Trac was combined with the new Vari-Lok front and rear advanced axles, which deliver much more torque to the wheel with better grip, the result was a new Quadra-Drive system.


5. The Jeep Grand Cherokee literally broke into Detroit

On January 7, 1992, at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Chrysler President Bob Lac drove the first new Jeep Grand Cherokee ZJ off the Jefferson production line, through the city streets and through the glass front door of Cobo Hall, marking a breakthrough in premium off-road vehicle market. The Grand Cherokee offered classy interior meetings, driving on the road, handling and comfort, without losing any off-road capability that made the Jeep a legend.


6. Birth of a legend

The arrival of the Jeep Wrangler model in 1986 arrived in response to the public’s desire for a compact SUV with greater comfort and familiar details. It was characterized by a lower center of gravity, improved handling and a more comfortable interior. He set a precedent for one of the most beloved – and most capable – Jeep vehicles of all time. Although the Wrangler shared the familiar CJ-7 open-body profile, it contained several parts in common with its famous predecessor. Mechanically, the Wrangler had more in common with the Cherokee model. On August 5, 1987, just over a year after the introduction of the Wrangler, American Motors Corporation was sold to Chris Chrysler Corporation, and the popular Jeep brand became part of Chrysler’s Jeep / Eagle division.


7. The first compact SUV in the world – Cherokee

The energy crisis of 1979 encouraged the development of a smaller 4 × 4 model. The 1984 Jero Cherokee XJ was designed from scratch and was the world’s first compact SUV. Using a self-supporting chassis, the vehicle was much smaller than its predecessor, but 90 percent of the interior was retained. The vehicle had a Command-Trac all-wheel drive control system.


8. Wagoneer creates an original premium SUV

In 1963, the Jeep Wagoneer was the original premium SUV that combined all-wheel drive with an automatic transmission. With options previously available only in high-end passenger cars, Wagoneer has changed people’s opinions about all-wheel drive vehicles. This expanded the market and the appeal of 4 × 4 vehicles and created a modern SUV, which was advertised as a “Brand New, Brand Jeep”. Two decades later, the Jeep brand introduced the Grand Wagoneer, which took the premium 4 × 4 experience to the next level with standard features such as leather upholstery, air conditioning, AM / FM / CB radio, sound insulation and wood textures.


9. Jeep Jamboree – the “blanket” of all four-point events

In 1953, the first Jeep Jamboree was held in Georgetown Divide, California, which gathered 55 vehicles and 155 participants. This event, organized by Mark Smith, showed how much Jeep car owners love gatherings for fun, socializing and 4 × 4 adventure. And while the Jeep Jamboree proudly holds events on trails across the U.S., one of the most popular is the Rubicon Trail, which runs through the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California – arguably the most exhausting 27.3 km off-road adventure in the world.


10. First SUV

In 1946, Willys-Overland introduced the industry’s first all-steel wagon – the Willys Wagon – but the real revolutionary news came in 1949 when a four-wheel drive was added to create the first SUV. With the ability to comfortably carry seven passengers while simultaneously hauling cargo and coping with the toughest track, Willys Wagon has changed the game. The caravan designed by Brooks Stevens was produced for almost 20 years – longer than any other modern American car at the time.


11. Jeep 4 × 4 for a wide crowd

The 1945 CJ-2A became the world’s first small all-wheel drive vehicle available to the general public in mass quantities. While the CJ-2A shared the basic architecture of the MB, there were several significant improvements, which included a folding tailgate, a side-mounted spare tire, larger headlights and an auxiliary drive.


12. The birth of a legend during the war

In 1941, the U.S. government offered Willys-Overland a contract to be the main supplier of a new military vehicle of 1/4 ton. Over 350,000 of these Jeep MB models were produced by 1945, and formed the basis for the civilian Jeep CJ, whose production began even before the war ended.


Source: Auto magazin by

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