Archive for the ‘2018 jeep wrangler’ Tag

The 2018 Jeep Wrangler will look a lot like the 2017 Jeep Wrangler

 

JL Wrangler Forums suggests the next-generation Wrangler will be restyled in an evolutionary way that maintains the off-roader’s classic looks yet adds new features. The forum used intelligence from spy photos and leaked images to assemble renderings of the new Wrangler.

They show that the front end is still classically Jeep, but with modern updates. The LED headlights and turn signals revealed in FCA drawings are noticeable changes. An interesting touch is just behind the rear bumper, where there appears to be an air dam for aerodynamics. There’s still a gap between it and the front fenders to keep the old-school look intact. The grille, windshield, and hood are also more raked for the sake of aerodynamics.

At the back, the lights follow the FCA drawings as well, though the reverse lights from those illustrations appear to be absent. The square taillights are also shown on the truck variant, along with the plastic fender flares of the SUV version. Spy photos of the Wrangler pickup have shown a streamlined box with integrated taillights akin to the Ram, but it’s likely to be a placeholder until the final design is selected. The sides of both models also feature more squared-off details in the top and door handles, generally with beveled corners for a more modern look.

The top is where things get fuzzy. The new model might lose its removable top altogether, in favor of removable panels similar to the Jeep Renegade. JL Wrangler Forums illustrated how this could work in the above image. The roof can be removed in sections, and the rear-most windows can also be taken out. The overall effect is similar to that of a current Wrangler Unlimited. There is a potential drawback to this system, though. All of these hard panels will have to be left somewhere. And unlike the current model, this one wouldn’t have a soft-top back-up when the weather turns. It’s hard to say for sure if this design will make it to production. FCA has consistently and effectively hidden this part of its Wrangler prototypes since they were first spotted. At this point, we can only speculate on how the top will function.

Otherwise, these renderings seem plausible, and we should know how accurate they are when the Wrangler makes its expected debut next year. The new Wrangler will likely have some aluminum body panels, an 8-speed automatic and an available diesel powertrain. For more details and spy photos, check out our post that has assembled everything we know so far about the 2018 Wrangler.

Read more at: http://www.autoblog.com/2016/11/07/2018-jeep-wrangler-design-renderings/

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Wrangler to get “special” treatment

The Jeep Wrangler will be getting the “special” treatment over its final year in JK form, with several named editions to be issued, according to Automotive News’ Larry Vellequette.

The Wrangler JL is due in late 2017, as a 2018 model. Automotive News believes the current JK series will end in September 2017, but one Allpar source believes the JK and JL will overlap for the 2018 model year.

According to the industry weekly, dealers have already been told about the 2017 Wrangler Sport Freedom and Sahara Winter editions, with sales starting in December. Oddly, the Freedom will only last until February, while Winter will continue through May.

The Sport Freedom comes with a star motif on the hood and fenders, an American flag decal on one fender, and other badging; 18-inch Sahara wheels, a new rear differential cover, black fuel door cover, and taillamp guards, for $30,690 (add $3,900 for the four door) including destination.

The Sahara Winter has the LED headlamps and fog lamps introduced this year, along with remote start (automatic only), rock rails, hard top, and numerous decals, badges, and accents. The two door starts at $37,440 with the four door adding $3,800.

Automotive News claimed that other special editions would include the Sport Big Bear, Sahara Chief, Sahara Smoky Mountain, and Rubicon Recon (replacing the Hard Rock in February).

The replacement for the current Wrangler, in production for around a decade, will have an optional eight-speed automatic, which should help both acceleration and economy. It’s set to be built in Toledo, in the plant that currently makes the Cherokee; the current Toledo Wrangler plant may also be used after a refit. The Cherokee will move to Belvidere, Illinois, next month, with the Dart already gone and the current Compass/Patriot slated to be stopped.

Read more at: http://www.allpar.com/news/2016/11/wrangler-to-get-special-treatment-35362

2018 Jeep Wrangler spy shots

A couple weeks ago, we got a fairly comprehensive set of 2018 Jeep Wrangler spy shots. For fans of the JK-series Jeeps, it was all good news: the basic Wrangler Unlimited formula and shape is present and accounted for, meaning this new Wrangler will be an evolution of the current SUV, rather than a ground-up reimagining.

wrangler-unltd-rd16-kgp-ed-2Picture Courtesy of http://www.autoblog.com

 

The new shots give us some more detail than we had previously, and let us point out some JL Wrangler features that reaffirm FCA’s conservative approach. First of all, the heavy camouflage doesn’t manage to fully cover the exposed door hinges, just like in the current model, so those are a safe bet for the production version. The raked-back windshield might lose its ability to fold down, we’ve heard. The JL remains a body-on-frame truck with a solid front axle, evidenced by the front diff peeking out and the radius arms connected to them.

The large exterior mirrors also appear to be carryover items, and the taillights look indistinguishable from the current JK. We expect the front fascia to remain clearly recognizable as a Wrangler, but don’t be surprised if the headlight and sidemarkers incorporate some LED elements as a nod to current trends.

Remember, the JL will spawn a pickup version, and will slim down for better fuel economy with some aluminum elements, likely incorporated in the body. We expect the Pentastar V6 to carry over, but be joined by a diesel and a mild hybrid at some point in the future. It’ll be built alongside its JK predecessor for a short time in Toledo, Ohio.

Read more at: http://www.autoblog.com/2016/05/18/2018-jeep-wrangler-unlimited-spy-photos-best-look-yet/?ncid=edlinkusauto00000016

Wrangler Sahara: old and new

Recently, Allpar road-tested the Jeep Wrangler Sahara, finding a mixture of old and new inside.

Older items included the hard-drive stereo, complete with a tilting screen to show a DVD reader; the basic design, one of the oldest in the FCA empire; and much of the underlying hardware.

Newer items included welcome revisions to the stereo, including better USB thumb drive handling, and top-removal and window-lowering tools in the glovebox (which was not quite large enough for the owner’s manual, oddly enough).

The 2015 model year ushered in a standard eight-speaker stereo with a new sound bar; the optional Alpine Audio Package had nine Alpine speakers with a new all-weather subwoofer under the cargo floor), while the 2016 Saharas will have an olive green interior option, body color bumper, and different wheels.

The 2014s had minor and mostly cosmetic changes, other than the launch of a Rubicon X and Freedom III. The five-speed automatic replaced an older four-speed in 2012, as the old 3.8 “minivan engine” was swapped out for a new Pentastar V6. There were also some aerodynamic improvements and off-road upgrades for the Rubicon. The interior had been redesigned in 2011.

A “completely new” Wrangler is due in 2018 or so, but it will most likely keep the basic body-on-frame, solid-axle setup of the current Jeep icon.

Read more at: http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2015/12/wrangler-sahara-old-and-new-30868

2018 Jeep Wrangler: Still steel, still capable after all these years

The next generation of the iconic off-roader will be the 2018 Jeep Wrangler “JL,” debuting in 2017, followed after about a year by a pickup. Buyers can expect eight-speed automatics and hopefully six-speed manuals; gasoline Jeeps will get the second-generation eight-speed made by Chrysler (850RE), while diesels will get the “pure” ZF 8HP75.

IRS

Jeep reportedly tried an independent suspension for Wrangler, based on the 1963 Jeep Wagoneer or the Ram 4×4, but Larry Vellequette of Automotive News wrote on February 15, 2015, that they would stick with floating solid axles (one insider said they would change the configuration somewhat). This will help Mopar and the aftermarket to keep selling modifications, and make it easier to keep the ground clearance high.

The Wrangler was allegedly to switch to an aluminum tub and use a tough hydroformed steel frame, but then, in May 2015, Sergio Marchionne said, I think we can do almost as well without doing it all-aluminum.” The Wrangler will likely follow Ram in using a strong hydroformed frame.

Changing the basic design of the top of the Wrangler could save even more weight. Cars without tops, such as convertibles and roadsters, need heavy bolstering, and the Wrangler is built to withstand abuse. This and possible new safety rules may have led engineers to replace the “safety bar” with stronger tubes over the top and reduce lower-body reinforcement. Weight remains the biggest factor in city mileage. Jeep could then also do a fixed-roof version with relatively little re-engineering and retooling.

An Allpar source claimed, “The traditional soft top is gone, [replaced by] removable soft panels over the substructure. The sport bar design is gone. It even appears to have built in grab handles.” This would be consistent with Bob Sheaves’ predictions. He also wrote, “The taillight design will change (my guess with an “x” design, such as the one used in the Renegade), and bumpers, tailgate construction, and the 5×5 wheel bolt pattern are mostly the same as the current ones.”

This does not necessarily mean there will be no soft top, no removable doors, or even no fold-down windshield, though the latter may be difficult to justify. Indeed, another Allpar source reported that there would now be four roof setups: hard + soft (over the front), non-removable hard, an update of the current Freedom Top™, and a complete soft top.

The Jeep Wrangler is a key vehicle for Chrysler, the “ring that controls all Jeeps,” and Sergio Marchionne has said many times they cannot reduce its off-road capability. Whether this means they will actually not reduce its capability remains to be seen.

The appearance of the Wrangler is not likely to change much, other the “roof replacement” structure, and aerodynamic improvements may be brought about mostly by changes in the windshield angle, side mirrors, and underbody covers.

Diesel engines, pickup trucks, and other changes

Many expect Jeep to finally issue a U.S. diesel version of the Wrangler, and a limited production pickup version (Gladiator? Comanche?).

A diesel could still provide a serious boost in both city and highway fuel efficiency while pleasing hard-core off-roaders (thanks to its low-end torque), and it’s likely that the company will attempt to do a light-hybrid version a year or two after the main launch.

Standard American engines would likely be a V6 — by then, upgraded with more power and efficiency — and possibly the upcoming Hurricane Four. Europe will continue to get a diesel.

Most expect Jeep to make the Wrangler more aerodynamic, with a slightly larger slant to the windshield. The fold-down windshield may be dropped; it is unique for Jeep in North America, but few seem to care about it. Removable doors are likely to remain.

New axles

Allpar sources generally agree that there will be a new Dana axle, with a larger bolt pattern (going from 10 to 12); the Dana 44 bolt pattern did not change even when they increased the ring gear size and pinion for the current JK. The 44 has been used for many years, and advances in the state of the art may have led to a major upgrade for economy and off-road performance alike.

Flip-up rear window

A new patent application shows a unique full folding back glass design. The Jeep Wrangler is used for the illustrations.

The current Wrangler has a tailgate/spare tire that swing sideways, then the backglass can open upwards. The patent application is different in that the backglass folds all of the way up to the roof, with clips built into the roof so it can be pinned down and left all the way open. There are clips inside, to hold the struts after they are disconnected from the backglass (so it can reach the roof).

full-folding-backglass-3a

Driving with rear glass open could cause exhaust fumes in the cabin, and can also draw in mud when used off-road. Still, there are people who would like to be able to keep the backglass of their Jeep Wrangler open while driving with the top on, so the next generation Wrangler may include this as an optional package. It could also just be a patent to cover research and development on something that will never get used.

Read more at: http://www.allpar.com/SUVs/jeep/wrangler/2017.html

Wrangler looks to aluminum suspension, not body

The Jeep Grand Cherokee may have shown the future direction of the Jeep Wrangler: using aluminum and other lightweight materials for the suspension and peripherals, but not for the frame or key body parts.

Cheap body repairs are important for Wrangler, because it’s intended to be taken off-road. However, if the company can use relatively light, “high-strength” steel alloy for skid plates and more aluminum in the suspension and other major components, it could still cut weight, or at least maintain weight in the face of higher safety standards (both Federal and insurance-industry).

Key design changes, including using permanent A-pillars and having the windshield itself slide down over the hood rather than folding down both the windshield and pillars at once, could help the Wrangler to have greater “natural” torsional stiffness, so that chassis reinforcement would not be needed, also cutting weight while letting the Wrangler meet normal rollover standards.

The 2018 Jeep Wrangler is also likely to have a hydroformed frame, as Ram trucks do, increasing stiffness without weight gains. Some reports claim the windshield and grille will only be a little more slanted than the current Wrangler.

This gives the company more time to develop aluminum-bodied cars. Scuttlebutt now has the Grand Cherokee as the first to go with the expensive but lightweight metal.

Read more at: http://news.allpar.com/index.php/2015/09/wrangler-looks-to-aluminum-suspension-not-body-29910

Marchionne: Next Wrangler won’t be all-aluminum

The next-generation Jeep Wrangler won’t be all aluminum, according to FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne.

Marchionne spoke to reporters at the SAE Foundation’s Annual Celebration last night. He was the guest of honor at the event where he received the group’s 2015 Industry Leadership award.

According to a report in today’s Detroit News, Marchionne said that company tests showed the costs of an all-aluminum body outweighed the weight-saving benefits.

“Because of the difference in cost, not just the new material but the actual assembly process, I think we can do almost as well without doing it all-aluminum,” Marchionne was quoted as saying.

The decision could have been fueled by the difficulties Ford Motor Company faced in producing the latest-generation F-150 pickup. The problems, including the tearing of aluminum body panels in the stamping process, caused delays and constrained early deliveries of Ford’s moneymaker.

The announcement could boost the prospects for Toledo, Ohio, which is spending millions of dollars trying to keep Wrangler production in the city.

Marchionne didn’t give any hints, but said Toledo is one of just two sites being considered for the next-generation of the Wrangler.

During his comments, Marchionne also spoke about the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) latest actions.

“We need to work with the agency in a very cooperative and open way to make sure that we can meet their requirements for their new stance,” Marchionne said. “We have no option but to comply with their requirements and we will. I have nothing to hide in this process. I just want clear rules.”

He said the agency’s increasingly aggressive stance will increase automakers’ costs as they try to meet new demands; and that he will not be testifying at the NHTSA’s public hearings scheduled for July 2.

Speaking about the new Jeep Renegade, Marchionne confirmed that several issues, including some software problems, were limiting availability of the Italian-built small Jeep.

Read more at: http://allparnews.com/index.php/2015/05/marchionne-next-wrangler-wont-be-all-aluminum-28735

2018 Jeep Wrangler: The most changes since 1997

The next generation of the iconic off-roader will be the 2018 Jeep Wrangler, debuting sometime in 2017.

While Jeep reportedly tried an independent suspension for Wrangler, based on the 1963 Jeep Wagoneer or the Ram 4×4, Larry Vellequette of Automotive News wrote on February 15, 2015, that they would stick with floating solid axles; one insider said they would change the configuration somewhat. Among other things, this will help Mopar and the aftermarket to keep selling modifications, and will keep modified Wranglers on the trail for years to come.

To lose weight, or at least to avoid gaining too much extra weight, Wrangler is likely to switch to an aluminum tub and may use a lighter but equally tough hydroformed frame, possibly with other aluminum-alloy components. A diesel could provide a serious boost in fuel efficiency.

The Jeep Wrangler is a key vehicle for Chrysler, the “ring that controls all Jeeps,” and Sergio Marchionne has said many times they cannot reduce its off-road capability. Whether this means they will actually not reduce its capability remains to be seen.

The appearance of the Wrangler is not likely to change much, and aerodynamic improvements may be brought about mostly by changes in the side mirrors, underbody covers, and gearing.

Flip-up rear window

A new Chrysler patent application shows a unique full folding back glass design, and while this patent isn’t officially related to the Jeep Wrangler, it is used for the illustrations, and there is no vehicle in the current lineup that would accept a design like this as well as the Wrangler.

The current Wrangler has backglass that opens away from the bodywork with struts that hold it up high enough to access the entire opening for easier loading and unloading. The spare tire swings out of the way and the backglass opens upwards. This patent application shows a similar design, but this backglass folds all of the way up to the roof, with clips built into the roof so it can be pinned down. This design also has clips inside of the vehicle where the driver may clip up the struts after disconnecting them to swivel the glass up onto the roof.

Driving with rear glass open could cause the vehicle to pull in exhaust fumes if the front windows were not also open, or while idling at a halt; and can also draw in mud when used off-road. Even with these downsides, there are likely people who would love to be able to lock the backglass of their Jeep Wrangler open while driving with the top on, so the next generation Wrangler may include this as an optional package. There is also the possibility that this backglass design is intended for a fixed roof model that would offer the option to drive with the backglass open because the owner cannot remove the roof altogether. It could also serve as another “look what we have” item that will never get used.

Chrysler may also simply have patented it to prevent other automakers from using it.

Aluminum Wranglers

Automotive News’ Larry Vellequette quoted Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne (May 6, 2014) that indicates extensive use of aluminum on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler (to be produced starting in calendar-year 2017, according to the latest Five Year Plan). When aksed if he could think of a better use for aluminum than Wrangler, Mr. Marchionne answered, “No.” He also said that FCA would be ready to produce aluminum vehicles in 2017, the same year Wrangler (but also probably at least one Alfa Romeo) enters production. (Alfa Romeo appears to be re-pioneering resins, years after GM’s Saturn and Chrysler’s own research, which resulted in several concept cars but no production car.)

While Chrysler has successfully attacked highway mileage with gearing and aerodynamics, weight is the key to city mileage, and the company is having problems meeting fuel economy goals because of customer demands for weight-increasing safety ratings, big wheels, powerful stereos, and (outside of Wrangler) near-silent interiors.

Chrysler posted a job opening for a senior buyer of aluminum components in June 2014.

Diesel engines, pickup trucks, and other changes

Many expect Jeep to finally issue a U.S. diesel version of the Wrangler, and a limited production pickup version (Gladiator? Comanche?). The engine would likely be a Fiat four-cylinder diesel (424?), the upcoming Alfa Romeo 2.2, or the next-generation VM 2.8 liter I-4 (a newer version of the engine used in Europe for many years).

Standard American engines would likely be a V6 — by then, upgraded with more power and efficiency — and the upcoming Hurricane Four.

Most expect Jeep to make the Wrangler more aerodynamic, with a greater slant to the windshield; many have speculated that the fold-down windshield function will finally be dropped. It is a unique feature for Jeep in North America, but few seem to care about it. Removable doors are likely to remain, along with the various hard and soft tops. A new patent shows flipping rear glass windows.

Independent suspensions

Many may ask why Jeep would even want to use an independent suspension, when the current design:

– Is proven to work well off-road

– Can be modified for higher off-road performance

– Is proven in sales

– Costs less to set up than an independent suspension

The arguments for the new design include:

– It could increase stability and would end the so-called “death wobble,” a public relations and lawsuit problem

– A “true Jeep” independent suspension would greatly improve ride and handling

– Most independent suspensions would improve on-road behavior

– The factory could increase capacity by bringing in ready-to-fit suspension assemblies

One possibility would be updating a 1990s design by Chrysler engineers Evan Boberg, Gerry Hentschel, and Bob Sheaves, who created an independent suspension for the 1997 Jeep Wrangler. This design does not lose ground clearance during a jounce; the differential travels with the wheel — if one side of the vehicle goes over a rock or into a ditch, the differential is pulled up, providing superior “real-life” ground clearance. Wheel travel was around 12 inches. (Evan Boberg described it in Common Sense Not Required, Bob Sheaves in this article on Li’l Blue; neither is currently employed by Chrysler.)

Another possibility is adapting the Ram Power Wagon’s suspension to the Wrangler, which would be less risky than most other solutions.

An independent suspension carries risks. The Wrangler’s off-road credentials will have to be superior to current models to win the hearts of Jeepers, who, with magazine critics, will be ready to call it “a rebadged Fiat,” “fake Jeep,” and “mall runner” — regardless of what it can do on the trail. The system will need to be well tested on all types of terrain, be as durable as the current setup, and capable on all models.

Some have talked about the possibility of making two Wranglers, traditional and independent, but this is not feasible in the current factory. A backup plan may be in place, but given that such a backup plan would also require a factory redesign, the “backup” may simply be spending more time to get it right… unless Chrysler is planning to reopen a closed plant (or build a new one) and move the old Rubicon tooling there. This remains unlikely, at best.

There have been no specific, official announcements on timing or suspension choices.

Read more at: http://www.allpar.com/SUVs/jeep/wrangler/2017.html

2018 Wrangler engines

With the help of former Jeep engineer Bob Sheaves and others, Allpar has posted an investigation of what Jeep could use to power the domestic 2018 Wrangler, due to arrive sometime in calendar-year 2017.

The choices are tough for the iconic Jeep, America’s heir to the famed military vehicles — which were far smaller and weighed half as much. On the one hand, higher fuel economy is likely to be needed if fuel prices rise, and if the government continues its demands for efficiency (for national security, balance-of-trade, and, ostensibly, for environmental reasons). On the other, the Jeep must still haul around over two tons of weight, while easily climbing difficult obstacles — and it can’t cheap out on torque.

With that in mind, Wrangler is likely to come with at least two engines, one for economy in Jeeps that will not be challenged much by off-road driving; and one for those who will immediately tackle tough terrain. Indeed, given the popularity of the Ram 1500 Diesel and long-time demands of hard-core Jeepers, a diesel might even be in the cards, and Fiat Chrysler has several options there, too.

As read on: http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2014/12/2018-wrangler-engines-surprises

2018 Jeep Wrangler to Gain Eight-Speed Auto

Jeep’s off-road enthusiast focused Wrangler SUV will be significantly more fuel efficient for the 2018 model year.

The iconic utility vehicle is slated to be fitted with an eight-speed automatic transmission that will ease its fuel consumption. Chrysler currently uses the same transmission in the Ram 1500 pickup truck, the Dodge Durango SUV and the Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV. Jeep hasn’t officially announced the change, but a filing with the SEC originally reported by Automotive News is tipping the brand’s plans.

According to the filing, Jeep expects the Wrangler to return nine percent better fuel economy when equipped with the eight-speed than it currently does with a five-speed automatic. Currently the five-speed automatic Wrangler is rated to return 17 MPG in city driving and 21 MPG on the highway.

The Wrangler is slated to be re-designed for 2018 with an aluminum body that will also enhance fuel economy. Chrysler needs to improve average fuel economy across the Jeep line and a smaller displacement engine than the current 3.6-liter V6 will be necessary to do so in the Wrangler, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne has said.

Other efficiency-minded changes are afoot at Chrysler. The company plans to produce its next-generation plug-in hybrid Town & Country minivan at its Windsor, Canada assembly plant.

As read on: http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2014/11/2018-jeep-wrangler-to-gain-eight-speed-auto.html