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An alternate reality, what if Jeep did...?


V

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What if when the XJ production ceased it was not replaced with the KJ Liberty/Cherokee but with a 4-door TJ instead like the Israeli military version?

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The KJ could have become the first Dodge Nitro in 2001.

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The Grand Cherokee WJ/WG could either have been the last solid front axle Jeep SUV or Chrysler's first SUV before the 2007 Aspen

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I don't think the Aspen (a restyled Dodge Durango) was a popular as Chrysler would have liked. I wonder if it would have been more successful if instead of being a Durango, it was a rebadged WJ or WK.

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If after the XJ, Jeep had only the Wrangler models in it's line up, the short wheelbase TJ, the long wheelbase 2-door LJ and a civilian 4-door LJ, the marque would have remained synonymous as the definitive four wheel drive off road vehicle. By moving all SUV models into either Mercedes or Chrysler brands like the SL and Crossfire sports cars of the time, Jeep could have gained economy of scale by standardizing on the D44 axle front and rear. Perhaps the only difference between a base model and a Rubicon would have been the transfer case, lockers and sway bar.

 

The LJ platform lent itself to becoming a pickup truck like the AEV Brute and later Mopar conversions.

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A leaf sprung rear may have also made it's way into higher payload Jeep pickups like it did into military variants of the JKU the J8.

 

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My guess is that if Jeep became a Wrangler only line-up during DC ownership. the Wrangler may still be an affordable 4x4 now 22 years later as it was for many years for the YJ and TJ. The pursuit of up-market customers has 'gentrified' the brand to the point that volume sales are a lot lower than they were and used vehicles are no longer plentiful or affordable. Although the JK/JKU was a massive boost for Jeep in the USA, I would not be surprised if globally it was less numerous than the TJ.

 

As someone that has owned CJ, TJ, XJ, WG and JKU and rented LJ, KJ and JK, I couldn't say what Jeep would have been my favourite from an alternative reality Wrangler only line-up. But I do often wonder if the Wrangler was still priced like a Renegade would it be as popular as the Renegade is now in the UK.

 

Fuel consumption has played a big part in the evolution of the product line-up over the last two decades. Legislation too has influenced the design of many vehicles often to the point where it is difficult to spot one brand from another. Times change and sometimes a small change can make a big difference. If the Rubicon model was never released would Jeep still be around now? The same goes for the fuel efficient Jeeps, the Compass, Patriot and Renegade. They have introduced more generations to the brand, but does the brand mean something completely different to them?

 

So if you are a 21st century Jeep enthusiast, please don't view this post as a rant against anything that came after the 20th century. It's not, it's just a what if DC made a drastic business decision concerning the Jeep brand when they acquired it and what would Jeep look like now.

 

 

 

Edited by V
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