July 15, 1941, the former Willys-Overland Co. signed a contract with the U.S.
War Department to begin production of the first military Jeep vehicle. Eighty
years later, the Jeep brand thrives around the world with a product line-up
that continues to expand into new segments, a devoted community of global
customers and the utilisation of 4xe electric vehicle technology as the natural
evolution of 80 years of capability leadership.
celebrating our 80th anniversary by continuing to move upward and forward” said
Christian Meunier, Jeep Brand Chief Executive Officer.
our portfolio into new segments, with the 3-row Jeep Grand Cherokee L, while
setting a strong foothold in the premium SUV market, with our all-new Wagoneer
and Grand Wagoneer. Next in our exciting global product pipeline is the
introduction of the all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee, which will be equipped, for
the first time, with plug-in-hybrid 4xe technology. We are fully committed
towards a vision of zero emission future, and by 2025 we will be offering a
zero-emission fully electric Jeep 4xe in every SUV segment,” he added.
To celebrate its anniversary and to honor this
zero emission vision, the Jeep brand posted on the Jeep brand YouTube channel
the 80th Anniversary version of the Jeep Life Electrified video, which debuted
during the 2021 Stellantis’ EV day.
is a list of some of the most important moments for the Jeep brand from those
eight memorable decades.
1. 4xe is the New 4x4 -The evolution of the Jeep brand accelerated
in this 80th anniversary year with the arrival of 4xe, the Jeep brand’s
exclusive and proprietary utilization of electrification applications to
develop and produce the most capable, fun and advanced 4x4 vehicles in the
world, including the all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee, which will be introduced at
the 2021 New York International Auto Show. As the icon of the brand, the Jeep
Wrangler 4xe is leading the brand’s electrification offensive. Jeep Wrangler’s
Trail Rated 4x4 capability is made possible by a sealed waterproof battery pack
and electronics that can perform in the toughest conditions. Powered by a 2.0L
I4 DOHC direct-injection turbo PHEV, the 4xe sports impressive 375 horsepower
and 470 pound-feet (637 Nm) of instant torque. .
2. The New American Premium- The all-new 2022
Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer take the premium SUV into uncharted territories of
style, comfort and adventure. The eight-passenger Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer
represent a premium extension of the Jeep brand, wrapped in a sophisticated and
new design. They build on a rich heritage of premium American craftsmanship,
heritage and refinement, while delivering a best-in-class customer experience
with a suite of premium ownership perks that go beyond simple VIP service.
the last decade, the Jeep brand has expanded its global product offering with
new nameplates such as the compact Jeep Renegade and the all-new Jeep
Gladiator, the most capable Jeep truck ever. The brand also expanded its
production footprint, allowing customers in markets such as Europe, Brazil,
India and China to enjoy locally-assembled Jeep brand vehicles. This diverse
product portfolio and broad production footprint, with 10 plants in 6 countries
allowed the Jeep brand to significantly increase sales in the span of 10 years.
4. The ultimate in
traction and handling- In 1999, two new four-wheel-drive systems were introduced. The
Quadra-Trac II system offered an innovative system that transfers torque rear
to front and side to side, meaning drive torque is immediately available to all
four wheels – assuring ultimate traction and handling at all times and under
all circumstances without driver input. When Quadra-Trac was combined with the
new Vari-Lok front and rear progressive axles, which deliver far more torque to
the wheel with better grip, the result was the new Quadra-Drive® system.
5. Jeep Grand Cherokee literally breaks through in Detroit -On January 7, 1992,
at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Chrysler President
Bob Lutz drove the first new Jeep Grand Cherokee ZJ off the Jefferson
production line, along the streets of the city and through the glass front door
of the Cobo Hall, signifying the breakthrough premium SUV. Grand Cherokee
offered upscale interior appointments, on-road ride, handling and comfort
without losing any of the off-road capability that had made the Jeep brand a
6. The birth of a legend -The arrival of the Jeep
Wrangler in 1986 answered the public’s desire for a compact SUV with more
creature comforts. It featured a lower center of gravity, improved handling and
a more comfortable interior. It set the precedent for one of the most beloved –
and capable – Jeep vehicles of all time. Although the Wrangler shared the
familiar open-body profile of the CJ-7, it contained few common parts with its
famous predecessor. Mechanically, the Wrangler had more in common with the
Cherokee. On Aug. 5, 1987, just over a year after the introduction of the
Wrangler, American Motors Corporation was sold to the Chrysler Corporation and
the popular Jeep Brand became a part of Chrysler's Jeep / Eagle Division.
7. The world’s first
compact SUV –
Cherokee The energy crisis of 1979 spurred the development of a smaller
4x4. The 1984 Jeep Cherokee XJ was designed from the ground up and was the
world’s first compact SUV. Using a unibody structure, the vehicle was much
smaller than its predecessor yet retained 90 percent of its interior space. The
vehicle featured the shift-on-the-fly Command-Trac four-wheel-drive system.
8. Wagoneer creates the original premium SUV- In
1963, Jeep Wagoneer was the original premium SUV that combined four-wheel drive
with an automatic transmission. Featuring options that were, up until then,
only available in high-end passenger cars, the Wagoneer changed what people
expected of a four-wheel-drive vehicle. This broadened the market and appeal of
4x4 vehicles and created the modern SUV, one that was advertised as “All-New,
All-Jeep.” Two decades later, the Jeep brand launched the Grand Wagoneer, which
brought the 4X4 premium experience to the next level with standard features
such as leather upholstery, air conditioning, AM/FM/CB radio, sound insulation
and wood graining.
9. Jeep Jamboree - the "Granddaddy" of all 4-wheel
1953, the first Jeep Jamboree took place at the Georgetown Divide in
California, attracting 55 vehicles and 155 participants. While Jeep Jamboree
proudly holds events on trails all over the United States, one of the most
popular is the Rubicon Trail, which traverses the Sierra Nevada mountain range
in California -- arguably the most grueling 17 miles of off-roading adventure
10. The first SUV- In 1946, Willys-Overland
introduced the industry’s first all-steel-body station wagon – the Willys Wagon
– but the real groundbreaking news was in 1949 when four-wheel drive was added
to the wagon to create the first SUV. Capable of carrying seven passengers in
comfort, hauling cargo and tackling even the toughest trail, the Willys Wagon
was a game changer. The Brooks Stevens-designed Wagon was in production for
nearly 20 years—longer than any other contemporary American automobile of its
11. A Jeep 4x4 for the masses- The 1945 CJ-2A
became the world’s first light-duty four-wheel-drive vehicle available in mass
quantity to the general public. While the CJ-2A shared the basic architecture
of the MB, there were several notable improvements. These included a fold-down
tailgate, side-mounted spare tire, larger headlights and a power take-off unit.
12. An icon is born in wartime- In 1941, Willys-Overland was awarded the
contract to be the primary supplier of the new 1/4-ton military vehicle by the
U.S. Government. Over 350,000 of these Jeep MBs would be produced by 1945 and
would be the basis for the civilian Jeep CJ that would start production even
before the war was over.
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