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WranglerOfficial Word Regarding Stretch Wrangler
Posted by mike on 2003/10/2 0:00:00 (689) reads

DaimlerChrysler makes an official announcement regarding a stretched version of Jeep Wrangler.

While we've been reporting snipping on this topic for months, there's finally some "official" news regarding the stretched version of the Wrangler. Here's a snippet from The Toledo Blade:

DaimlerChrysler AG, in its first official word of its plans, has revealed that it expects to invest $70 million to build "stretch" versions of the Jeep Wrangler at Toledo Jeep Assembly.

A recent application for job-training assistance from the Ohio Department of Development, said the proposed project is to include $26.3 million for building improvements and equipment at the plant and $2 million for training and the vehicle’s launch.

The project is not expected to add jobs at the 4,200-employee Toledo Jeep.

The Blade first reported more than a year ago that Chrysler was studying making Wranglers with a wheelbase longer than the current 93.4 inches and reminiscent of the Jeep Scrambler made from the mid-1970s to mid-1980s.

The vehicle would be made in two versions - one with a back seat and another with a pickup bed - that could be sold to consumers and the military starting next summer, officials from United Auto Workers Local 12 at Toledo Jeep and Jeep car dealers have been told.

A Chrysler spokesman yesterday maintained the automaker’s silence about the project, offering neither a denial nor a confirmation about plans for a stretch Wrangler.

Spokesman Mary Beth Halprin said Chrysler doesn’t comment about future manufacturing strategies or products for competitive reasons.

Be sure to check out the entire article.

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Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: wj2k3
Here is an actual picture!!! I can confirm that this is a real vehicle.

http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/2003-11-16-jeep_x.htm

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: kevin
Our family of Jeeps includes an '84CJ8 Scrambler, locked, lifted and loaded. I can't wait to see a new one. Can you say "hemi"? Drop that 5.9 bad boy in it, lift it a couple inches, put it on 35s, lock it up, and let's go. That's "trail ready".

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: James Hash
here is my comment Finally! How long could it possibly take to figure out how to add a foot or so to what is probably the simplest body and frame on the market today??? I'm encouraged, but I'll still only REALLY believe it when it's sitting in my driveway. A metal/fiberglass half roof would be sweet, too. Please don't screw this one up D/C!!!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: MalcomXJ
P.S.: Regarding JP reporting that the Scrambler won't happen, it's not surprising. They had a picture of a Brute showcar next to the blurb proving once again that they're not really on top of things. They've really gone downhill.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Wyatt
here is my comment

It looks like Jeep will produce a vehicle that would be a good replacement for my XJ.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Doug
What are the new airbag requirements???

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Maggie Crnic
here is my comment

I LOVE the idea of a stretch Wrangler. Would be very anxious to see pictures of the proposed vehicle.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Wyatt
here is my comment

I wonder if the Scrambler with the rear seat will have a full metal roof that goes from the windshield and encompasses the rest of the vehicle or will it be a "bolt on" fiber glass roof like the Blazer, Bronco and early 4-Runners.

I like the idea of a vehicle that can be used for multiple tasks. Remove the rear seat and you have a pickup. Put in the rear seat and you have a take off the top, convertable. Put the roof on and go on a road trip.

I'd like to see a more Dakar rather than the Liberty. I'd like to see a Dakar that you would allow you to remove the roof partially so that you could have a pick-up like on the new H2. With Diesel options, you'd have a number of possibilities.

I kind of like what the Defender 90 had with the 4 jump seats in the rear althought I doubt you could do that now with the new airbag requirements.

The good thing is that Jeep is improving the Wrangler (new AT, new I4, Rubicon, etc.) and not letting it wither and die like the XJ.

At the very least, redesign the Liberty body and have at least one version with front and rear live axles and Jeep would have something.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: MalcomXJ
This is really heartening news. It's nice to see them rejuvenate a platform that would be of use in military and utility implementations.

The second row of seats is an interesting point. Might be wishful thinking but with new airbag regulations coming into play, this might be an indication that DC is looking at alternatives for the Wrangler that will accomodate these new regulations. A variation like a Dakar might actually be in the cards.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: ScramblerKen
Reading between the lines with the article, there are several other interesting tid-bits:

1) Looks like JP magazine was wrong in their comment that the ‘stretched wrangler’ was not going to be produced. JP is good for technical mods, but not great for rumors.
2) Timing of this announcement might be to help with the contract negotiations. The Toledo Jeep workers are not part of the big Union contract, and their contract is in review now. The Toledo workers already voted to strike in case negotiations do not go well. Even though this does not add new jobs, it helps in keeping the existing ones.
3) Pumping money into the old plant might indicate DC is not going to move Wrangler production. It has been rumored for some time that the next generation Wrangler might be built in Mexico.
4) In Julie’s article she mentions 2 versions (probably similar to the 2 models shown at Camp Jeep 2002). I still doubt we will see a 4-door Dakar variant, but we can keep hoping.
5) Another interesting reference to making these vehicles available to the military. Looks like the Hummer is not always practical for every situation.
6) Possibly another future variant is a fleet vehicle. Ever since Jeep dropped the classic Cherokee, Jeep lost some of their sales volume that they gained from fleet sales. Jeep could use the stretched platform to build a small van-like truck similar to the old CJ-8 Postal trucks.

Hopefully during the auto shows, Jeep will bring out early production proto-types to give us a better understanding of what the ‘stretched Wrangler’ will look like. I’m still betting the pickup variant will be similar to the Egyptian TJL, but I could be wrong. My Jeep dealers have not seen any info on the stretched Wrangler, so I’m curious if any Jeep dealers reading this have seen anything? I know most dealers did not get any advanced info on the Liberty until one week before the vehicles arrived in the showroom.

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