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Jeep Wrangler J8 in the driving report: Wrangler for the end of the world

Torsten Seibt
Jeep Wrangler J8 in the driving report
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N an, ice cream parlor or disco are guaranteed to be the last corners on which you will find this jeep. Unlike some of its kind, everything about it is function and absolutely nothing is show. Must be due to the genes: Because his place of birth is not in Toledo /Ohio, like his civilian brothers, but in Cairo /Egypt. It is being built at “Arab American Vehicles”, a joint venture between the Egyptian state arms company AOI and Chrysler.

The Jeep Wrangler J8, its official name, is the legitimate successor to the original Willy, because it is also designed as a pure army vehicle. It is one of the curiosities of our time that he finally ended up in Kulmbach in Lower Franconia via various detours. An importer had hoped in vain for good military deals and had offered the demonstration jeep for sale after the lack of a major order - an offer that Taubenreuther didn't have to think twice about.

Jeep Wrangler J8 in the super test area

So the long Jeep Wrangler J8, a kind of two-door Wrangler Unlimited, made its way to Germany and literally found its peace here. Instead of going on a military patrol in the Egyptian desert, we kidnapped him on the Brandenburg sand to Horstwalde in our super test area. Except competition, because anything else would be unfair to standard off-road vehicles from civilian life.

The way there, well, it was a little different. Not so much because the Jeep Wrangler J8 would lack power, speed or braking capacity (the braking system comes from the Dodge Ram), the working noise alone is a bit rough on the highway. 98 dB at a speed of 120 make it clear: the airy pickup hat and the fabric window should actually be in the garage and this hammer device moved open in the eternal summer.

17-inch tires from the Hummer

It gets nicer, however, when no more asphalt squeaks under the 315/70 R17 rubbers (which, by the way, come from the Hummer H2). Because Taubenreuther has already practiced demilitarization in a very sustainable way. In addition to solid steel at the front and rear, the axles and chassis were taken care of in the house style. The two Danas with a 4.1: 1 ratio (front D44, rear D60) were fitted with ARB axle locks; In the front there were OME coil springs from the civilian Wrangler, for the rear there were OME packages from the ToyotaHilux adapted - there are no leaf spring JKs on the civilian market, you have to be inventive.

A look at the curb weight shows how heavy duty the Taubenreuther J8 actually is - over 2, 4 tons, the bare car, without modern frills like a massage seat or radar cruise control. Frame, axles, body, everything really massive. With a maximum weight of 3.4 tons you can still load properly, the J8 is built for a payload of up to 1.5 tons (!). And can also attach 3.5 tons. The technology doesn't care, the VM four-cylinder, which is designed for particularly long-lasting work, with a reassuringly low liter output releases its power into the most stable automatic transmission that the Daimler-Connection had to offer at the time: the 5G-Tronic is still used in the V12-AMG- Models first choice because it simply holds.

The Jeep Wrangler J8 has power in every situation

However, there is hardly any holding in the field. With its two rigid axles, the J8 not only crosses excellently, it just doesn't stop marching. With locked axles, there are exactly two alternatives for this car: conquer everything or a technical excavation journey to the center of the earth, with the wheels turning until the fuel runs out. Giving up is not in the specifications. Even the Wrangler Rubicon turns pale.

There is power in every situation, and the complete absence (except for the ABS) of newfangled assistance systems ensures that the driver still decides where to go. Not just any bits and bytes gizmo. Steep slopes, bottomless ground, it doesn't matter, the J8 takes it easy. The air intake, however, is built more for desert than for river crossings: a voluminous cyclone filter is hidden under the characteristic air scoop in the front part of the bonnet, which is supposed to defy every sandstorm. When the water sloshes over the bonnet, however, the fun is over - a snorkel should be useful additional equipment for Central European challenges.

On the other hand, no other extras were spared. In addition to the cable winch, which also uses an integrated compressor to bring the thick rubbers back into shape after off-road driving, this primarily affects the sub-floor. The engine, gearbox, tank and sills are protected by solid aluminum sheets from Asfir. And they are designed without steps so that you can actually use them tactically - just go over the rock steps, nothing hooks and nothing breaks. It goes without saying that the loose scree slope, not part of our super test because of proven meanness, only cost the Jeep Wrangler J8 a blink of an eye.

What is the fun?

How expensive the over-Jeep is? There is no information about this because it has since been sold to a collector. A repetition should also be excluded: after the Euro 5 emissions standard has been in force since 2012, another Jeep would haveWrangler J8 no longer has a chance of being re-registered. And that AEV will manufacture the new Wrangler J8 with Euro 5 in the foreseeable future is also unlikely. So it remains with a wonderful day in Horstwalde and the certainty of having moved an absolutely unique piece.


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