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Jeep at 80: we drive the icons | Autocar

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However whereas constructed for the wild, Jeeps have been more and more used on the roads. In 1986, AMC responded and took the daring step of retiring the CJ line, changing it with the Wrangler. The title change marked a major shift in philosophy: the brand new machine was nonetheless a compact, succesful offroader, however there was a decided shift so as to add extra of the comforts and options of passenger automobiles. The primary Wrangler took its fundamental design from the CJ-7, however the mechanicals have been just about all new.

Not lengthy after the Wrangler was launched, Jeep had new house owners. AMC had lengthy struggled, regardless of the success of its off-road model, and in 1987 it was snapped up by Chrysler.

Positive sufficient, Jeep’s recognition continued to construct, with the Wrangler supplemented by a rising vary of much more road-focused merchandise, serving to Chrysler to develop considerably in flip. In 1998, the agency merged with Daimler, but it surely was a disastrous enterprise that lasted lower than a decade. Two years after that, Chrysler went bankrupt within the 2009 monetary disaster.

It was saved by Fiat, whose boss, Sergio Marchionne, recognised the potential of the Jeep model. He rejuvenated the line-up and stored it centred on the Wrangler, nonetheless the go-anywhere, do-anything coronary heart of the model. Jeep turned the money cow of the Fiat Chrysler empire, and at instances it just about underpinned each different model. 

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