Jeep Rescue

Could this be the car to 'Rescue' one of the most famous names in off-roading? With dwindling sales in its home market and the majority of military orders now going to rival Hummer, Jeep is in a pickle.

Innovative, brimming with technology and imposing, the Rescue is a worthy flagship for one of the world's oldest 4x4 firms. With immense off-road ability and practicality to suit even the biggest family, this could be the car that turns round Jeep's ailing fortunes.

Could this be the car to 'Rescue' one of the most famous names in off-roading? With dwindling sales in its home market and the majority of military orders now going to rival Hummer, Jeep is in a pickle.

But America's oldest 4x4 manufacturer has an ace up its sleeve with this - the Rescue. The stunning newcomer was unveiled at January's Detroit Motor Show, and now it's ready to drive, we have been for an exclusive spin in the biggest Jeep ever produced.

Following in the tracks of the Sixties Wagoneer, the firm's first seven-seater, the Rescue aims to make its own mark on the competitive luxury SUV market by cashing in on the off-road heritage of the Jeep name.

The Rescue is already earmarked for production, and while the eventual showroom model will look slightly different to this early version, it will be instantly recognisable as a direct derivative.

Tipped to be called the Commander, it will go on sale here in RHD in 2006 as a Hummer H2 and Range Rover rival. The looks are certainly right. It has the Hummer's no-nonsense approach, but with styling cues from military Jeeps of old. The circular headlamps, seven-bar grille and exposed door hinges are all nods to the company's former glory.

Inside, the seven-seat layout is spacious and practical. It feels basic, yet isn't without its gadgets. The back seats fold away electronically, while the cabin can be wiped down easily if it gets muddy.

And mud is where the Rescue feels most at home. As with the Range Rover, it has as much off-road ability as more utilitarian models, with variable-lift suspension, automatic diff locks and permanent four-wheel drive with traction control. The prototype even gets electric winches front and rear, and as these are integrated into the bodywork, there's a good chance they'll appear on production models as a standard feature.

Power comes from a huge 5.9-litre straight-six, and while we weren't allowed to drive the multi-million-dollar machine at any great speed, the engine's vast potential was instantly apparent. With 814Nm of torque and a sequential automatic box, it promises to outpace the Rangie off-road and on.

All of which could make this the ultimate Rescue package for the firm. With 4WD buyers demanding more and more, the biggest-ever Jeep is set to deliver.

Most Popular

Cupra Born vs Mercedes EQA vs Volvo C40 Recharge: 2021 group test review
Cupra Born vs Mercedes EQA vs Volvo C40 Recharge
Car group tests

Cupra Born vs Mercedes EQA vs Volvo C40 Recharge: 2021 group test review

The all-electric Volvo C40 Recharge meets another premium wannabe in the Cupra Born. But can they beat the super-posh new Mercedes EQA?
19 Oct 2021
Friends reunited: buying back a Porsche 911
Porsche 911
Porsche 911 Coupe

Friends reunited: buying back a Porsche 911

How perfect timing led a Porsche 911 fanatic to buy back his old car
14 Oct 2021
New 2022 Honda e:NP1 and e:NS1 electric SUVs revealed with 311-mile ranges
Honda e:NP1 - front
Honda

New 2022 Honda e:NP1 and e:NS1 electric SUVs revealed with 311-mile ranges

Duo of new Honda electric SUVs revealed for China, but European spec car could follow
15 Oct 2021