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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.”