It was almost seventy years ago when the first man climbed the world’s highest volcano, Ojos del Salado in Chile. And such record is going to be contested not by someone but by two Jeep Wrangler Unlimited vehicles that has set to create a new world record by climbing 6,646 meters (21,804 feet) to the volcano’s rim. The said achievement was certified by Guinness World Records™ and was said not to be easily beaten.
Aside from Jeep Wrangler there were other vehicles that tried to reach the top of the volcano unfortunately all of them failed. It is only Wrangler that has succeeded in reaching the top of the volcano. The Ojos del Salado is the second highest mountain in the Western Hemisphere (6,892 meters/22,597 feet), and now after Jeep Wrangler has succeeded in reaching its top its been dubbed as the “highest parking lot in the world”---exclusive for Jeep only until the time comes that another vehicle will be able to accomplished what the iconic brand and maker of quality Jeep roof rack has achieved, until then the volcano will solely be the parking area of Jeep.
The remarkable journey to the top of Ojos del Salado happens last March, which took the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited vehicles together with a team from Extreme Events in Germany led by Mattias Jeschke five exhausting days in conquering the inhospitable volcano in the Chile.
According to George Murphy, Chrysler Group Senior Vice President of Global Marketing, "This was exactly the challenge to separate the new Jeep Wrangler Unlimited from all other 4x4 vehicles. A climb like this in not just off-road, but extreme conditions, is a testament to the performance of the vehicle’s powertrain, suspension and overall quality. We are very proud that Wrangler Unlimited was the first vehicle to be able to complete such a rigorous challenge, and believe that it really does set the vehicle apart from its competition."
During the climb the team endured hurricane-strength winds, temperatures that reached minus 30 degrees Centigrade or minus 22 degrees Fahrenheit not to mention the limited air that goes with such altitudes and the difficulty of maneuvering over glaciers, fissured rock cliffs and volcanic sand. The last part of the climb was considered to be the most grueling since both Wrangler Unlimited vehicles had to cross a glacier with smooth parts that would require if traveled by foot for spiked shoes.
That’s not the end of the difficult part, the Wrangler vehicles need also to pass a glacier field with fissured ice area strewn with razor sharp snow penitents. It is by surpassing such difficult terrain that the Wrangler’s 3.8L V6 engine and Goodyear’s MT/R tires have proven their true capabilities. The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is the very first vehicle to cross the glaciers of Ojos del Salado.
After the team has successfully surpass its initial goal of 6,500 meters which is just beyond the glacier, the team continuous onward until they were left with no room to drive. Jeschke team leader has described the experience after reaching the plateau at the end of the summit as “Unbelievable, tremendous, phenomenal. The Wranglers are unbeatable.”
The two Wrangler Unlimited vehicles that have completed the challenge were standard equipment Rubicon models. Aside from the standard equipment both Wrangler Unlimited were fitted with Goodyear MT/R tires, electronic altitude measuring technology and winches. Both of the Wranglers Unlimited were equipped with one-of-a-kind, four-door open air design, and offer more comfort, space versatility, as well as open-air options.
The Wrangler Limited can also accommodate five adult passengers and possess the most cargo space--- which is a first for the Wrangler model. The Wrangler Unlimited is a combination of style, practicality, and off-road capability. It also expands Jeep experience and core values to a broader range of customers who may want to have a Wrangler.
Outside North America the Wrangler Unlimited is offered in two engine options: the all-new 2.8 liter common rail turbo diesel engine as a new 3.8 liter V6 petrol engine. The Wrangler is available in left and right hand drive with solid axles, exposed hinges, removable doors, a fold-down windscreen and innovative removable and convertible tops. Wrangler also retained the brand’s core values of adventure, freedom, authenticity, and mastery.
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Lisa Ziegler is a 29-year old native of Waldport, Oregon and is currently working as a senior research analyst in a top Automotive Research Consultancy firm.
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