posted 5 months ago

The Evolution Of The Jeep

Limited Edition, 75th Anniversary, trims the latest in a long line of innovative 4x4s that started life in World War 2.

Willys-Overland answered call from military

Jeep has named the most pioneering, significant, and interesting vehicles in its history as it marks its 75th birthday. Highlights include the Willys-Overland MA/MB (1941 to 1945). As war raged in Europe, the U.S. Government required a light reconnaissance vehicle for its army so 135 companies submitted concepts for consideration. 

Willys-Overland won the contract with its MA design. “M” stood for military and “A” indicated a series number. This prototype led to the production of the Overland MB which was “the authentic forerunner of the Jeep legend”, the manufacturer revealed. It later evolved into an off-road, civilian, utilitarian model for the farm.

Willys Wagon

The Evolution Of The Jeep

The (Jeep) Willys Wagon (1946 to 1965) made an “important contribution to the evolution of the sports-utility vehicle, Jeep claimed. It was the first all-steel bodied station wagon sold as a non-commercial vehicle, had 7 seats and – from 1949 – the first vehicle to combine 4-wheel-drive with the station wagon body style.

Jeep Wagoneer

The Evolution Of The Jeep

The Jeep Wagoneer (1963 to 1983) enabled the brand to “proudly claim the creation of the premium, large, sports-utility, vehicle”, the manufacturer argued. It was the first to have a permanent 4-wheel-drive system teamed with automatic transmission – known as Quadra-Trac® - and the first 4x4 with independent front suspension.  

Jeep Cherokee

The Evolution Of The Jeep

The Jeep Cherokee (1974 to 1983) was based on the Wagoneer, but lacked some premium features and had 2 doors. Its purpose was to encourage younger buyers to favour the brand. The 1984 to 2001 Cherokee was the first vehicle of its type with a unibody, and Jeep suggested that it was the first “compact” sports-utility model too. 

Jeep Grand Cherokee

The Evolution Of The Jeep

The Grand Cherokee (1992 to 1999) “set a new standard in terms of craftsmanship and refinement to the premium, large sports-utility, market”, Jeep revealed. It was the first with a standard, driver, airbag and came with a choice of multiple 4-wheel-drive systems. Quadra-Trac “reacted automatically” to the conditions, for example.

Jeep 2016 range

The Renegade is the brand's “most accomplished” small sports-utility vehicle so far, Jeep said. The Cherokee is “for every season” whatever the weather and the Grand Cherokee is the “most awarded SUV”. The Wrangler, in contrast, is a “symbol of freedom” and the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is the “ultimate performance” SUV.

The Evolution Of The Jeep

Jeep, Limited Edition, 75th Anniversary Edition models further enhance the range. Extras include: special paint – including a “unique” green – high level of standard equipment, low gloss bronze wheels, anniversary badges plus bronze and orange exterior inserts. 

Read our review of the Renegade here

Damien Dally, Jeep UK Head of Brand, explained: “It’s a Jeep tradition to celebrate key anniversaries, and 2016 is no exception.” He added: “Born in 1941, the Jeep brand has a rich heritage that this new line-up of special cars brilliantly acknowledges.”