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.