Tomorrow is Jeep® 4×4 Day, the annual celebration of the iconic brand and the mental and physical freedom of off-road driving. This year, Jeep 4×4 Day focuses on the ‘Go anywhere, Do anything’ attitude behind the brand’s ‘Trail Rated’ badge – a mark reserved for only the most off-road capable models in the Jeep line-up.
Even as our desire for adventure is limited by the difficult situation in which we are living, the brand will still celebrate 4×4 Day to unite its community. On its social media channels, the brand will give Jeepers the opportunity to take on a series of indoor challenges, in pure Jeep style. Discover the challenges on the Jeep UK Facebook and Instagram pages: www.facebook.com/JeepUK and www.instagram.com/jeep_uk or with the hashtags #4x4Day and #stayofftheroad.
Now in its fifth year, Jeep 4×4 Day is held on the fourth day of the fourth month and is now enjoyed by Jeep owners and enthusiasts worldwide. It recognises the invention of the SUV and the 80 years of Jeep evolution and innovation that have followed. During this time Jeep has become synonymous with off-roading adventures and has come to embody the very essence of freedom, the spirit of adventure and the ability to overcome any obstacle.
What is “Trail Rated”?
From Argentina to Zambia and everywhere in between, the Jeep brand’s “Trail Rated” certification is so much more than just a badge. It is a methodology, a guarantee and a recognised standard for proven off-road capability. Trail Rated Jeep vehicles are put through a series of gruelling tests designed to prove off-road performance on the world’s most demanding terrain.
The testing process begins in Jeep’s research and development departments, continues in the icy temperatures of North Michigan and finishes in the boulders of the Rubicon Trail – the toughest off-road testing ground in the world. The Trail Rated badge certifies that the vehicle has been designed to successfully pass five performance test categories to meet the most extensive level of off-road requirements in a production vehicle – traction, water fording, manoeuvrability, articulation and ground clearance. Only when a Jeep model has passed all tests with flying colours can it claim to be among the most capable production off-road models on the market.
Trail Rated is an industry-leading methodology initially established by the Nevada Automotive Test Centre (NATC) and the Jeep R&D Team to objectively measure the off-road performance of all Jeep vehicles. Through a combination of natural and controlled field tests, as well as computer-simulated evaluation tests, this methodology provides a repeatable, consistent and reliable measurement of off-road performance.
Today, the Jeep R&D Team continues to improve the features and performance of its four-wheel drive vehicles. The brand’s experience, combined with technological innovation, is what makes Jeep Trail Rated vehicles a benchmark in terms of off-road performance. Even new Jeep models with plug-in hybrid electric technology – the soon-to-be-launched Renegade and Compass 4xe – have been developed in line with this methodology. As a result, from launch, the Trailhawk variants of both 4xe models will wear the prized Trail Rated badge.
New plug-in hybrid technology further enhances the off-road capability of Jeep SUVs, courtesy of the greater torque offered by the combination of electric and combustion engine. Thanks to the new Jeep 4xe technology, traction to the rear axle is not provided by a prop shaft but through the dedicated electric motor. This allows the two axles to be separated and control the torque independently in a more effective way than a mechanical system.
Currently, Trailhawk versions of the Jeep Renegade, Compass, Cherokee and Grand Cherokee, as well as all Jeep Wrangler models, proudly sport the Trail Rated badge.
The Five Trail Rated Categories
Trail Rated Jeep 4x4s feature a variety of four-wheel-drive systems to suit all kinds of off-road challenges and driving conditions. Trail Rated traction helps maintain a controlled forward motion in snow, ice, sand and mud. Traction testing includes traction on untamed, slippery roads (wet, mud, snow) and on steep gradients. Crawl ratio is a key metric used to distinguish the traction and capability of Trail Rated Jeep 4x4s.
Trail Rated Jeep 4x4s feature additional electrical and body sealing along with a high air intake to help navigate streams and flooded underpasses that stop others cold.
Trail Rated Jeep 4x4s have the capability to navigate narrow gaps, dodge emergency situations and avoid cosmetic damage thanks to precision steering and optimised wheelbases. The smaller the turn radius, the more capable the vehicle is at negotiating narrow gaps.
Keeping the rubber on the trail helps the car to keep moving. When one or more wheels are elevated, good articulation allows the other wheel(s) to maintain ground contact longer – allowing for maximum available traction at all times. Trail Rated suspensions enhance off-road performance by maximising flexibility, axle articulation and wheel travel, to ensure the tyres grip the ground, even on steep surfaces.
Jeep 4x4s are tested for their ability to drive over obstacles, and the criteria include ground clearance and approach, breakover and departure angles to ensure the car can clear logs, rocks and uneven ground.
Notes to Editors
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