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If there was one ve­hi­cle that cap­tures the spirit of off-road­ing bet­ter than any other, it is the ven­er­a­ble Jeep Wran­gler. The Wran­gler is after all the great, great, great, great… great Grand­son of the Willys Jeep – the orig­i­nal util­ity 4WD that started it all back in ‘41.

The Wran­gler en­joys one of the most fa­nat­i­cal fol­low­ings of any ve­hi­cle, and for a sim­ple rea­son; it is an un­apolo­get­i­cally spe­cific en­thu­si­ast’s ve­hi­cle. It’s not the coolest ve­hi­cle on the road, not the most ad­vanced, not the best han­dling and not the best per­former; it’s none of these things be­cause it kicks ass off-road, and there are not many ve­hi­cles left that are so sin­gle-minded.

How­ever, the cur­rent JK chas­sis is start­ing to get a lit­tle long in the tooth. It’s been around for nine years now, and in terms of modern ve­hi­cle man­u­fac­tur­ing, that’s an­cient. Need­less to say, there is a rather large group of en­thu­si­asts froth­ing at the mouth to get any lit­tle tid­bit of in­for­ma­tion on the up­com­ing re­design, and so we will be pro­vid­ing you with our “Wran­gler Watch.”

With the un­veil­ing of the new Wran­gler due early next year, likely at the North Amer­i­can In­ter­na­tional Auto Show, or pos­si­bly the Chicago Auto Show, ru­mour and in­nu­endo is flood­ing In­ter­net fo­rums and shop floors. We un­der­stand your thirst for knowl­edge on this sub­ject and so let’s break­down what we do, and don’t know at this point in time.

What We Know

Fiat Chrysler Auto (FCA) have kept pretty quiet on the up­com­ing new gen­er­a­tion of the Wran­gler, and that’s just not go­ing to change as they love to sur­prise fans with a big un­veil­ing. The of­fi­cial word from FCA is, “we don’t talk about fu­ture mod­els.” How­ever, some de­tails have come out about the up­com­ing Wran­gler. We know there will be a ZF 8-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion, which makes sense as they use that trans­mis­sion in just about every other FCA 4WD prod­uct as it pro­vides ex­cel­lent fuel ef­fi­ciency. We also know that this trans­mis­sion will be at­tached to an up­graded ver­sion of the 3.8L Pen­tas­tar V-6 and the 3.0L EcoDiesel V-6. We’re re­ally ex­cited about fi­nally get­ting a diesel Wran­gler… well, at least I am.

More im­por­tantly, we know that the Wran­gler will be keep­ing all the hard­core bits that make it such a great off-roader. That means solid axles front and rear, body-on-frame con­struc­tion and a proper trans­fer case di­rect­ing power to all four wheels.

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