Jeep is returning to its roots with the J8 multi-purpose military-style vehicle it has started building in Egypt
The J8 is a like a bigger, more sophisticated version of the Jeep general purpose military truck that became a legend in World War 2 and spurred the post-war four-wheel drive and subsequently SUV industries.
A joint venture between Jeep’s owner, Chrysler, and Arab American Vehicles (AAV) is building the military-style J8 in Cairo.
AAV chairman, Hussein Mustafa Mohamed, says the anticipated export demand for the truck is an economically significant event for Egypt.
Chrysler says 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.”
It showed the vehicle as a concept at the 2007 Defence Systems and Equipment International military trade show in Britain.
AAV is building the J8 is available as a two-door with an extended pick-up tray for personnel or equipment transport, or a four-door multipurpose vehicle.
It will build it with numerous vehicle/body and seating configurations in either right- or left-hand drive. Configured as a personnel carrier the two-door can carry up to eight soldiers.
Chrysler’s Europe, Middle East and Africa vice-president, Thomas Hausch, says the J8 is priced below other vehicles designed for military and humanitarian work.
"Jeep vehicles debuted in 1941 as the workhorse of the military. The J8 brings us back full circle.
“With a 67-year reputation for off-road capability and utility in both civilian and military applications, Jeep is the benchmark."
Jeep engineers took the 2008 Wrangler Unlimited as the starting point for the J8 and increased its capability and versatility.
They reinforced the Wrangler’s frame for increased ruggedness and to carry payloads up to 1339kg.
The axles, brakes and suspension components were re-engineered for more demanding military and civilian government use. The J8 reverts to leaf spring rear suspension.
The four-wheel drive system is Command-Trac, and a 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel engine provides the go, developing 118 kW and 400Nm and providing towing capability of up to 3500kg.
Unlike the manual gearbox original military Jeep, the J8 has a five-speed automatic transmission.
It also has a unique air-intake system with special filtration and a bonnet-mounted snorkel that allows it to ford water up to 762mm deep and operate in sandstorms for up to five hours.
Chrysler says that though the J8 isn’t designed for front-line combat operations, it is fully armour-capable and can perform duties ranging from command vehicle to troop/cargo carrier, ambulance and communications vehicle.
It is fitted with tow eyes making it easily transported by helicopter.
Chrysler says the J8’s adaptability also makes it suitable for civilian government use, with humanitarian organisations, aid and relief efforts, geologic exploration, surveying, ranching, forestry, oil industry support and fisheries.
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