Mud and asphalt. Trees and buildings. Pollution and clean air. Climates and slopes. This is how the natural habitats of the JEEP brand, inventor of the Off Road category (known as Off Road), are synonymous with durability, strength and power. Both in natural and urban terrain, its automobiles give a true show of malleability, stamina and performance, meeting the needs of the most demanding drivers and adventurers. Its saga began in the late 1930s, when hostilities began to heat up in Western Europe. In the summer of 1940, the US Army had a need for a general purpose vehicle to replace the traditional car covers, which should be lightweight, manoeuvrable, robust, reliable and extremely agile, capable of overtaking terrain difficulties and obstacles, and space to transport men and armaments. The order made for 135 manufacturers stipulated a delivery time of a prototype of this vehicle in only 49 days and a total of 75 days for the delivery of 70 vehicles. The original specifications of the government were the following: vehicle with traction 4×4 in stamped steel of easy manufacture; capacity for three passengers and a machine gun (model .30); maximum weight of 600 kilos (then changed to 625 kilos); payload of at least 300 kg; engine power of at least 40 hp; maximum speed of at least 80 km / h; among other characteristics. Only three companies accepted the challenge. Ford, Bantam and Willys-Overland worked hard until each one had produced 1,500 models for field testing. Ultimately, it was the Willys-Overland model, called QUAD (named after the 4×4 system it used), which gained first-place approval (especially at a low price of just $ 738.74), with few of the model improvements presented by Ford and Bantam. Thus, after much controversy, the JEEP began its journey officially on July 23, 1941, when Willys-Overland, located in the city of Toledo, Ohio, was founded in the early 1900s. American army through an initial request of 16,000 vehicles to produce the Willys MB during World War II. The first model had a front grille made of welded steel bars, which looked more like a grille. Therefore, these models became known as “Slatt Grill” and were manufactured 25,808 vehicles, leaving approximately 200 units today. It did not take long for the vehicle to conquer the troops on the battlefield. Famous correspondent Ernie Pyle said: “I do not think we could continue in the war without JEEP. He does it all. It is like a faithful dog, as strong as a mule, and as agile as a kid. It charges twice as much load as it was designed and goes away . “
The vehicle was used by all American military personnel and large numbers were also sent to the Allied Forces of Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. The JEEP was so versatile that new uses for the vehicle and its various parts were always being found. The vehicle served in all World War II theaters, operating as machine gun support, reconnaissance vehicle, rescue car, front-end vehicle, ammunition carrier, barbed wire distributor and even taxi. The vehicles carried the wounded safely and carried 37 mm anti-tank guns to the shooting areas. The testimony of this success can be attested by the fact that during the war period, more than 600,000 vehicles were produced. Or by the statement of General George C. Marshall, US Army Chief of Staff during the conflict, who called JEEP “America’s greatest contribution to modern warfare . ” The sturdy and simple JEEP 4×4 became the soldier’s best friend – second only to his rifle. One MB was even awarded a medal and sent home. With the end of the conflict, the company began to develop a version for civil application, that could be used by families and mainly in the area of agriculture, in the arduous works on farms. It was then that in August of 1945 the first civilian version, baptized of CJ2A (abbreviation of Civilian Jeep) was launched in the American market at the price of US $ 1,090. The launch announcements proclaimed: ‘A power plant on wheels’ . The civilian version had a rear door, side-mounted spare tire, larger headlights, automatic windshield wiper, external fuel tank cap, more comfortable seats, better dampers and other details not available in its military predecessors. The CJ-2A was marketed by Willys-Overland as ‘The versatile working horse of the farm’ . He could do the work of two heavy draft horses, operating at a speed of four miles an hour, ten hours a day, without engine overheating.
In 1949, the CJ3A model, similar to the CJ2A, was officially launched, but with a more robust transmission and transfer box, as well as an integral lower-case windshield and double-bottom mounted wiper blades. The owners of Willys-Overland already said at that time “that the JEEP of the future will be constantly evolving and will continue to evolve as new uses are found for it”. This has been proven over the years to this day. In April 1953, Willys-Overland was sold to Kaiser Motors for $ 60 million. Two years later, the new owner introduced the CJ5 model, which has the JEEP design best known to all and would be produced until the 1980s. Constant improvements in engine, axles, transmissions and seat comfort have made the CJ5 an ideal vehicle for the general public. In 1970, after two decades of growth and international expansion, JEEP was purchased by American Motors Corporation (AMC). The first decision was to divide and separate civilian and military production, which proved to be a wise decision, as 4×4 vehicles became more popular in the civilian market. It was in 1974 that the brand first used the name “Cherokee” for the launch of a sports version, two-door JEEP Wagoneer, which came with sports seats, sports steering wheel and bold details intended for younger users and more adventurous. By 1978, total production was at 600 vehicles per day, more than three times what had been achieved at the beginning of the decade.
JEEP began writing a new chapter in its history in 1984 with the launch of the CHEROKEE CHIEF SUV. Soon, a legend was created in the auto industry and a brand icon. It was only in 1987 that the automaker was acquired by the Chrysler Corporation, then headed by legendary executive Lee A. Iacocca. Since then, JEEP has become better known and respected in the sport utility vehicle segment, largely due to the introduction of models such as GRAND CHEROKEE and WRANGLER, which is nothing more than a kind of grandson of the venerable JEEP of 1941 “As more and more manufacturers add new SUVs to their product line, JEEP stands out as the only American brand to produce four-wheel drive sports vehicles for more than seven decades. The severe economic crisis that plagued the world in 2008 was devastating for the brand. Its owner Chrysler, on the verge of bankruptcy, was eventually acquired by the Italian group Fiat and sales of its main vehicle, JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE, in the US market, which in 1999 reached more than 300,000 units, plummeted to just over 50,000 vehicles in 2009 Under the command of the Italians a true plan of salvation and growth was set up for the JEEP brand. With this, the vehicle line has been completely remodeled with the models gaining updates and new versions. The brand started to invest in promising markets such as Brazil and China. JEEP also inaugurated new factories, such as in Brazil. In addition, the brand bet on a new launch, the JEEP RENEGADE, a compact sport utility vehicle.
2019 – JEEP CHEROKEE US VERSION
The Jeep Cherokee is one of the most authentic and at the same time most misunderstood crossovers in its segment. Perhaps this image comes from the third generation that went on sale between the years of 2007 and 2013, because its quality of manufacture and mechanics left much to be desired. So when the FCA Group was born and was introduced in 2014 the fourth generation of the Cherokee, things have changed substantially. At the end of last year we had the opportunity to know the restyling that the Jeep had applied to its average all-terrain. The official presentation for the European market took place in the last edition of the Geneva Motor Show, but it was only now that it reached the market of the old continent. The main exterior shift that the Jeep Cherokee received focused on its optical groups. When the fourth generation was presented in 2014, the controversy generated by their headlights divided into two groups was relevant. Now they are unified in a single set with Full LED technology that positions the daytime running light at the top. The bumper, which shows a new design, joins the typical grid with seven bars and antinebline headlights surrounded by chrome frames. The side view remains largely unchanged. In it draws attention to the new design alloy wheels, which can be up to 19 inches for the Overland finish. The wheel arches and tension lines that form the body make a muscular set that can be dressed with up to 10 shades, among which are the new Olive Green and White Pearl colors. The rear of the European Cherokee has also undergone changes that modernize the whole. In it, the lanterns include daytime driving light thanks to LED technology. The trunk lid is also upgraded by relocating the opening knob on a user-friendly top and handhold. In addition, the lid opening can be optionally hands-free, activated by foot passage underneath the renewed bumper.
Regarding the exterior, the changes received inside the Cherokee Jeep are more subtle, since the basic lines that define its physiognomy have not changed at all. The main change that can be appreciated concentrates on the materials that cover the main surfaces of the panel. The inserts in Piano Black and Satin Chrome in several elements stand out. The configurable dashboard can feature a 3.5-inch gray-scale LED (TFT) screen or a screen with the same features, but 7.0-inch color. In it, the driver can view information on driving, such as navigation, on-board computer, adaptive cruise control, the full-traction system and active aids to driving. The space available in the passenger compartment has not changed either, keeping the average of its segment. Thanks to the incorporation of a panoramic glass ceiling, the feeling of relief is superior, a situation evidenced by the new upholstery in Ivory. Where there is change is in the capacity of your trunk, which has been increased by 70 liters to reach a total volume (up to the luggage coverage) of 570 liters. The equipment possibilities of the refurbished Jeep Cherokee are much more complete than in the previous version. Depending on the equipment selected, the Cherokee may include the Uconnect or Uconnect NAV infotainment system with a touch screen of 7.0 or 8.4 inches in size. Thanks to the latest update of this system, we included Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as a new generation of Jeep Uconnect LIVE Services, available in the NAV version.
From the access finish, called Longitude, the Cherokee includes elements such as front collision warning Plus with emergency braking and pedestrian sensing, blind spot detector with rear crossover control, LaneSense Lane Departure warning system, advanced braking control and active speed limiter, eight airbags, ParkView rear view camera and electronic stability control (ESC) with electronic balance relief. In both the Limited and Overland finishes, the Cherokee includes a series of aids such as the ParkSense system for parking assistance in parallel and Plus Plus with Stop & Go. These include comfort, personalization and total traction systems . The mechanical line of the renewed Cherokee family is composed of a diesel engine (MultiJet II) with four cylinders and turbo of 2.2 liters. The power varies depending on the transmission you choose. If the option is the manual version with six speeds produces 150 hp and 350 Nm of torque, number that rises to 195 hp and 450 Nm of torque in the case of the version with automatic transmission of nine ratios. The engine lineup will be further complemented next year with the addition of a new 2.0-liter four-cylinder direct-injection turbocharged gasoline engine that delivers an estimated 270 hp and ensures exceptional performance and fuel efficiency. Outside Europe, it has a 3.2-liter Pentastar V6 petrol engine with 272 horsepower combined with the TigersharkMultiAir II 2.4-liter 177 hp. Off-road skills are indisputable as the customer can select from three full-drive systems and rear axle disconnect technology. The simplest system is called the Jeep Active Drive I, to be more complete in the Active Drive II version. Finally, the Jeep Active Drive Lock system allows full rear axle locking, improving the Cherokee’s capabilities in the field. The Selec-Terrain system and rear axle disconnection will be available for better control of fuel consumption.