Archive for the ‘jeep’ Tag

Truck Thursday: All-new 2020 Gladiator carries on the Jeep® truck heritage

The all-new 2020 Jeep® Gladiator is the latest iteration in a long line of Jeep trucks with more than 40 years of rich heritage to draw from.

Jeep’s truck heritage began back in 1947 when Willys Overland introduced a one-ton truck with four-wheel drive based on the CJ-2A.

1947 Jeep(R) Pickup Truck. (J-0275)

In the early 1960s, the first Gladiator was introduced.

“The most iconic Jeep truck is probably the Jeep Gladiator,” said Brandt Rosenbusch, FCA Manager of Historical Services. “It’s got that round or oval ‘rhinoceros grille’ as they called it. It was just a tough strong looking vehicle.”

1963 Jeep Gladiator

The Gladiator was the third Jeep truck to be introduced after World War II. The truck, which was available in pickup, stake bed, and cab and chassis models, was built until 1965.

“Willys Overland expanded beyond the CJ series into trucks because they knew there was a market for them,” added Rosenbusch, who said the truck didn’t even have a name when it was first introduced. “It was just known as the Jeep truck. It had the same reputation: it could go anywhere and do anything like the rest of the Jeep models.”

In 1957, Jeep launched the FC-150/170 Pickup. These were essentially work trucks with an 81-inch wheelbase for the FC-150 and 103.5 inches for the FC-170.

Jeep brought the Scrambler, which was similar to the CJ-7 but with a longer wheelbase, to market in 1981. The truck was known internationally as the CJ-8 and was available in either hard- or soft-top versions.

The final Jeep truck model was the Jeep Comanche. It was produced from 1986-1992 and was based on the Cherokee platform and was similarly equipped. It received a six-foot bed in 1987, with later models offering Selec-Trac® or Command-Trac four-wheel drive.

1986 Jeep Comanche

As Jeep reenters the midsize truck market, Rosenbusch stated that the new Gladiator pays homage to its lineage while offering the latest in technology, engineering and capability.

2020 Jeep® Gladiator Rubicon

“I think the new Gladiator really harkens back to those Jeep trucks. You know its a Jeep when you see it,” Rosenbusch said. “It has the workload and the work ethic that all the other Jeep vehicles had. I think it’s something we can be proud of calling the Gladiator name again.”

Read more at: https://blog.fcanorthamerica.com/2019/04/18/truck-thursday-all-new-2020-gladiator-carries-on-the-jeep-truck-heritage/?fbclid=IwAR0Ub3H24mlkZx_RtP5mNjVHZF6GvYaQCdmfdRp9PTWcWvPt6laAVcV3WhY

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FCA Drive for Design Contest Ends April 27th!

The FCA Drive for Design contest was first launched in 2013. At that time, only Detroit-area students were able to enter. Now, open on a national level, more than 25 students have won the contest. This week, we catch up with two past winners, Alex Fischer and Josh Blundo.

In 2014, students were asked to design a vehicle that satisfied the needs of young consumers while remaining eco-friendly. Alex Fischer submitted the winning sketch. The contest gave Alex the confidence he needed to pursue a career in automotive design. In 2017, Alex joined FCA as a design intern in the Dodge//SRT design studio and has since graduated from the College for Creative Studies (CCS).

The following year, in 2015, students were asked to submit a sketch of their vision of the Dodge brand. Josh Blundo took the top prize that year. Josh also joined FCA as a design intern in the Dodge//SRT design studio and is studying at CCS today.

The main goal of the Drive for Design contest is to increase awareness and educate students and parents about the good-paying opportunities available in this field. Many of today’s designers had no idea that automotive design could be a career option and the FCA design team wants to change that.

Think you have what it takes to be a car designer? You have one week left to submit your sketch! The FCA Product Design Team is challenging high school students grades 10-12 to sketch the ultimate status vehicle using any FCA brand.

To learn more about the FCA US Drive for Design Contest and how to enter, visit: http://bit.ly/DriveForDesign

You have an RT even if you have an SE

Back in 2014, Chrysler added an extended warranty to early 3.6 liter V6 engines. The otherwise highly reliable engine could have a flaw in the left-hand cylinder head, which made itself known only under an odd set of circumstances (that was relatively common in Wranglers). Knowing that, Chrysler covered it for parts and labor for a good long time — 150,000 miles or ten years, whichever came first.

Pentastar V6 engines

The extended warranty covered the 2011, 2012, and early-2013 Grand Cherokee, Wrangler, Durango, minivans, 200, Avenger, Journey, Challenger, Charger, and 300 with engine sales code ERB, if a trouble code of P0300, P0302, P0304, or P0306 was set (for a misfire in cylinder 2, 4, 6, or a combination of cylinders).

Some customers were confused by the service bulletin itself, when they saw it, since it refers to the cars by body code. The Caravan listing has (RT) next to it, suggesting that only the RT (R/T) trim level was covered. In this case, though, RT is a body code, not a model; the Caravan SE is an RT-body. Confusing, yes, but, really, only for that generation of Caravans. Oh, and the LX cars (for 2011-13, that’s just the 300), since Chrysler used to have LX as a model (along with LXi).

Fortunately, Chrysler never used JC, JK, JS, LC, LD, WD, or WK as trim levels.

U.S. dealers should have details as part of warranty bulletin D-14-12, dated June 10, 2014. Other warranty bulletins were SAB-2014-11 (Canada), BG-22-14 (Mexico), ID-14-04 (Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands), and ID-14-03 (everywhere else).

Chrysler’s Pentastar V6 engines were critically acclaimed for their power, economy, and quiet operation; they have generally been trouble-free after the head issues were resolved.

Read more at: https://www.allpar.com/news/2019/02/you-have-an-rt-even-if-you-have-an-se-43801?fbclid=IwAR1OEj0U0BiGQIAfA6IktibCQNU7GOt2s1xFaFrxXTsFfZytxSIxSx4ueaE

Diverse talent in the spotlight during Black History Month

Over the years, a growing list of diverse FCA US leaders are recognized for their technical achievements, management skills, leadership and community service.

Perhaps the timeliest of these awards are those earned as part of the annual Black Engineer of the Year event held each year in February during the nation’s observance of Black History Month.

And while the event is a great opportunity to celebrate the current accomplishments of several very talented employees, it is perhaps a better opportunity to step back and consider all the FCA US employees of African American ancestry who have earned this important recognition each year for many years.

This year, U.S. Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine awarded its 2019 Black Engineer of the Year Gerald Johnson Legacy Award (BEYA) to Tanya Foutch, Quality Engineering Supervisor, FCA US LLC.

Tanya was named Resident Engineering Supervisor at FCA US transmission plants in Kokomo and Tipton, Indiana, in 2016.  In this role, she leads a team focused on identifying quality issues for the Company’s current and future portfolio of products.

Tanya graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.  She earned a master’s degree in business administration in 2000 from Anderson University in Indiana.

She is an enthusiastic advocate of STEM education for youth in her community and actively engages with and mentors young women interested in pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

Since 2017, Tanya has been the energy and passion behind a successful annual STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) summer camp for youth in the Kokomo area.

Joining Tanya in accepting a BEYA award this year were three FCA US employees who were recognized as Modern Day Technology Leaders for 2019:

  • Mesgana Asmelash – Advanced Drive Assistance Systems (ADAS) Verification & Validation Engineer, Product Development (Electrical Engineering)
  • BranDee Tatum – Maintenance Area Supervisor, Manufacturing (Trenton South Engine Plant)
  • Jasmine Tompkins – Value Optimization Lead, Product Development (Interior)

Last year, Eric Burnett, Automatic Transmission Chief Engineer, FCA US LLC, earned BEYA’s Edward Welburn Legacy Award.

And before Eric, Kristal Fears, Manager – Central Stamping Assembly, FCA US LLC, earned a special recognition award at BEYA.

The achievements of these colleagues, and so many others through the years, deserve our attention and respect as we continue our observance of Black History Month.

Read more at: https://blog.fcanorthamerica.com/2019/02/15/diverse-talent-in-the-spotlight-during-black-history-month/?fbclid=IwAR1FoUHpuS3DlOkL5Ouv2arrJ9j2HJ3m5uzkoouZ6kV_DvnerBvbP-mNECE

More Than 14.6 Million Families in the Fold: FCA US Celebrates Minivan Leadership With 35th Anniversary Edition

  • The company that created the minivan segment celebrates 35 years of minivan leadership this year
  • To mark this milestone, FCA US is offering 35th Anniversary editions, which feature new badging, an all-black interior with Cranberry Wine accent stitching and upgraded content on 2019 Chrysler Pacifica, Pacifica Hybrid and Dodge Grand Caravan models, available this summer
  • With more than 14.6 million minivans sold globally since 1983, FCA US tops the segment, selling twice as many minivans as any other manufacturer over the past 35 years, and remains the leader with 55 percent market share in 2018 – the highest ever attained
  • As the first company to introduce the minivan and through six generations of the vehicle, FCA US has innovated 115 minivan-firsts – 37 of those innovations coming from the Chrysler Pacifica and Pacifica Hybrid
  • The S Appearance package can be added to any 35th Anniversary edition Pacifica or Pacifica Hybrid for an even sportier, blacked-out, customized exterior
  • The Pacifica and Pacifica Hybrid, the first and only hybrid minivan, deliver class-leading gasoline and hybrid powertrains to the minivan segment, with the hybrid offering more than 80 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe)
  • With more than 100 honors and accolades, the Chrysler Pacifica reinvents the minivan segment with an unprecedented level of functionality, versatility, technology and bold styling, earning its title as the most awarded minivan of the past three years

FCA US is celebrating the 35th anniversary of the minivan as the originator and leading innovator in the segment it created in 1984.

New for 2019, the 35th Anniversary edition is available on Chrysler Pacifica, Pacifica Hybrid and Dodge Grand Caravan models, featuring new badging, an all-black interior with Cranberry Wine accent stitching, and upgraded content, in addition to the already extensive list of standard equipment.

The first modern minivan rolled off the Windsor Assembly Plant line on Nov. 2, 1983, sparking a new segment of people movers that rose in popularity very quickly, transporting millions of moms, dads and kids, and becoming part of their families.

FCA US minivans are now appealing to a new generation. Kids who used to ride in the second row are now in the driver’s seat, making memories with families of their own.

With more than 14.6 million minivans sold globally since 1983, FCA US tops the segment, selling twice as many minivans as any other manufacturer over the past 35 years, and remains the leader with 55 percent market share in 2018 – the highest ever attained.

“We created the minivan segment, we’re proud of our place in it, and we will continue to innovate like we’ve done with the first hybrid minivan, industry-exclusive Stow ‘n Go seating, Uconnect Theater with 10-inch touchscreens in the second row and much more,” said Steve Beahm, Head of Passenger Car Brands, Dodge//SRT, Chrysler and FIAT – FCA North America. “More than 14.6 million families have created lasting memories in their minivans throughout the past 35 years, through home projects, road trips, soccer practice, you name it. There is no better way to commemorate the anniversary of the people mover that does it all, than by introducing an edition that offers even more value to today’s families.”

FCA US invented the modern minivan in 1984 with the Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager. The first luxury minivan, the Chrysler Town & Country, debuted in 1989. The company still leads the way with the best, most innovative vehicle to move people and things – 115 minivan-first innovations and 14.6 million minivan sales later. Through all six generations of the minivan, FCA US has continued to deliver versatility, functionality, safety and technology.

Chrysler Pacifica/Pacifica Hybrid 35th Anniversary Edition
Celebrating its status as the most awarded minivan of the past three years, with more than 100 awards, the Pacifica revolutionizes the minivan segment by offering class-leading gasoline and hybrid powertrains and nearly 40 new minivan-first features.

Available on Pacifica Touring L (gas/hybrid), Touring L Plus and Limited (gas/hybrid) models, the 35th Anniversary edition features a 35th Anniversary badge and a Liquid Chrome Chrysler Wing badge with a Gloss Black insert on the front fascia grille and rear liftgate.

The luxuriously appointed all-black interior features Cranberry Wine accent stitching on McKinley and Nappa leather perforated seats, steering wheel, door trim, bezels on the instrument panel (IP) and door handles, and a 35th Anniversary embroidered logo on the front floor mats.

35th Anniversary Pacifica models feature:

  • Touring L: Memory driver’s seat, eight-passenger seating, Mopar overhead DVD, 18-inch wheels
  • Touring L Plus: Memory driver’s seat, eight-passenger seating and dual-pane sunroof
  • Limited: 20-inch wheels

35th Anniversary Pacifica Hybrid models feature:

  • Hybrid Touring L: Premium Audio Group with 13 Alpine speakers, Uconnect 4C Nav with 8.4-inch display, 17-inch wheels
  • Hybrid Limited: 18-inch wheels

The S Appearance package can be added to any 35th Anniversary edition Pacifica or Pacifica Hybrid for an even sportier, blacked-out, customized exterior.

The 2019 Chrysler Pacifica is available in 10 exterior colors: Billet Silver Metallic, Brilliant Black, Bright White, Dark Cordovan, Granite Crystal Metallic, Jazz Blue, Luxury White, Maximum Steel, Ocean Blue Metallic and Velvet Red.

Dodge Grand Caravan 35th Anniversary Edition
As America’s best-selling minivan ever, the Dodge Grand Caravan delivers a tremendous value. Available on Grand Caravan SE and SXT models, the 35th Anniversary edition includes 17-inch tech silver aluminum wheels, 35th Anniversary fender badge and a Bright grille.

Inside, an all-black interior features Cranberry Wine accent stitching on the seats, steering wheel and door trim, a Piano Black console and IP accent, and a 35th Anniversary embroidered logo on the front floor mats.

35th Anniversary Grand Caravan models feature:

  • SE: Stow ‘N Go second-row bucket seats, power driver’s seat
  • SXT: Navigation radio, Driver Convenience Group that features heated front seats, heated steering wheel, second-row window shades

The 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan is available in six exterior colors: Billet Silver Metallic, Black Onyx, Granite Crystal, IndiGo Blue, Octane Red and White Knuckle.

The Chrysler Pacifica, Pacifica Hybrid and Dodge Grand Caravan are built at Windsor Assembly Plant in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Orders open in the spring, with 35th Anniversary Editions arriving in dealerships this summer – just in time for family road trips.

Avoid holiday gridlock with Uconnect and Waze

 

Holiday hustle and bustle? It’s more enjoyable if you avoid the fun-sapping traffic gridlock.

Owners of ChryslerDodgeJeep®, Ram and FIAT vehicles with a Uconnect 4, 4C or 4C NAV system can cut the chance of imitating a lawn display in the parking lot by taking advantage of the Waze traffic app with their Uconnect display.

Waze is now available for owners to use from their Uconnect 4, 4C or 4C NAV system that supports Apple CarPlay. Previously, Waze could be used from an Android phone plugged into a Uconnect system compatible with Android Auto. Now you can also use Apple CarPlay and an iPhone to run Waze on your Uconnect 4, 4C or 4C NAV touchscreen.

Waze, a navigation app, helps plot the fastest route to your destination, taking into account traffic flow, construction detours and crash-induced slowdowns. The app collects real-time data from users and offers to change the routing in response to changes in traffic conditions.

No update is needed to your Uconnect system, so long as it is a 4, 4C or 4C NAV system that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Apple users should make sure they are running iOS 12 on their iPhone and that the latest version of the Waze app is installed.

That’s just one of the ways Uconnect can put some jolly in your holiday travels. Learn more about Uconnect at www.driveuconnect.com.

Jeep Wrangler is the 2019 MotorTrend SUV of the Year

Look past the iconic grille, and you’ll see it. Behold the latest evolution of a seven-decades-old design, a soul-stirring affirmation of freedom, a surprisingly groundbreaking vehicle that shouldn’t work in the 21st century as well as it does. The new Jeep Wrangler is what crossovers want to be when they grow up, and it’s the 2019 MotorTrend SUV of the Year.

Rarely do past and future coexist so beautifully. The thoroughly redesigned and re-engineered Wrangler finds its own path to modernization, resisting the temptation to dilute its climb-that-mountain capabilities for crossover softness. Even so, beach-bound cruisers and daily commuters will appreciate the upgraded pavement game, and off-roaders will admire how much more confidently they can traverse their favorite trails. This Jeep delivers, no matter what.

The Wrangler’s diverse range furnishes a model for every need. For the Jeep lover reminiscing about the Wrangler’s past, the capable two-door model with a V-6 and manual transmission costs about $30,000—before hitting the aftermarket for customization. The four-door Unlimited model makes it easier to bring friends along for the journey. Perhaps the best part is the available mild-hybrid turbo-four, which improves EPA-rated city fuel economy by an astounding 38 percent compared to the outgoing model.

“The Wrangler is a thoughtful, thorough rework of an American original,” international bureau chief Angus MacKenzie said. “It’s laser-focused on improving the performance of its intended function, right down to the last nut and bolt.”

Advancement in Design

It’s no easy task to update the look of an icon. It’s a no-win proposition. Do too much (or too little), and the critics will howl. But Jeep nailed it.

 Jeep approached the Wrangler’s styling with a light but deliberate touch. Relocating the Jeep badge from the Wrangler’s face to the front fenders facilitates a less cluttered look, with round headlights touching the edge of the seven-bar grille. Other than LED turn signals mounted on the ends of the wheel flares and updated square taillights, not much else gives away the Wrangler as the new JL model. And that’s exactly how it should be. The Wrangler isn’t a crossover requiring twice-a-decade face-lifts to retain buyers’ interest. It embraces a classic style that continues to attract dreamers who want to remember what SUVs used to be.

2018 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 4x4 side
2018 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 4x4 headlight 1
2018 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 4x4 headlight 2
2018 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 4x4 side detail

 The standard canvas top and plastic side windows remain available, and like the fold-down front windshield, they’re easier and quicker to disassemble and reinstall than before, using simple tools. For further customization, black or body-colored hard tops are available, and the soft top comes in black or tan. A vibrant color palette, seven wheel styles, and a regular series of special editions present every opportunity to make a Wrangler reflect your tastes—and that’s before you venture to Mopar for accessories and upgrades.

In so many ways, the Wrangler advances design to make Jeeping more rewarding—whatever that means to you. Open the power-retractable Sky One-Touch soft top, and a starry night will provide all the mood lighting front and rear passengers desire. The new option isn’t cheap, but it’s worth the money. Features editor Christian Seabaugh noted it “combines the safety of the hard top with the ease and open-air experience of the soft top” and called it a revolution for the brand.

Despite its unapologetically industrial interior, the Wrangler masters some details better than many sensible crossovers. Soft-touch and high-quality materials equal those of luxury competitors. As with many Fiat Chrysler Automobiles products, audio volume and channel-change controls are located conveniently on the back side of the steering wheel. Once you drive a car with this intuitive setup, you’ll wonder why more automakers don’t adopt it. The same is true of the rear-seat headrests, which conveniently fold down when not in use for better rearward visibility.

The Uconnect infotainment system, which can be optioned with a 7.0- or 8.4-inch touchscreen that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, is intuitive to use. “Its controls can be learned in seconds, and it responds quickly to your inputs,” associate online editor and resident tech nerd Stefan Ogbac said.

Delightful design Easter eggs, such as the on-screen air recirculation control that looks like a Jeep in silhouette, add character. Remove the doors, and the exposed hinges will remind you how much more special your Jeep is than your neighbor’s anonymous lozenge every time you climb inside. And once you’re there, the high seating position offers great visibility that’s perfect for seeing obstacles ahead on a trail or peering over the roofs of idling cars on a traffic-choked freeway.

Another win for Wrangler fans and first-timers alike: how well the interior is screwed together. “Build quality seems so much better than before,” executive editor Mark Rechtin said.

Engineering Excellence

The Jeep grille is iconic, but like the New York Yankees and their pinstripes, it can also be a distraction from the substance underneath. The Bronx Bombers also had Mickey Mantle, and likewise, this Wrangler is so much more than those seven vertical air intakes. The “sport” in “sport utility vehicle” doesn’t mean tearing up a racetrack or winding road. In the body-on-frame Wrangler’s case, “sport” means heading beyond the paved road’s end. Off-roading capability is its core DNA, bred for military use from the Ardennes to An Loc. And the 2019 edition got all the good genes.

2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4x4 dashboard 6
2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4x4 center stack 3 1
2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4x4 front interior seats
2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4x4 rear interior seats
2018 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 4x4 front interior 2

Jeep added to the Wrangler’s already impressive go-anywhere abilities, improving articulation and total suspension travel on the Rubicon trim. The boulevard-ready Sahara trim nonetheless offers full-time four-wheel drive that’s sufficient for most trails, especially when it would be overkill to enlist the Rubicon’s Dana 44 front and rear axles with electronically locking differentials and disconnecting anti-roll bars.

As for the impressive Rubicon, technical director Frank Markus aptly described the off-road-focused trim as “designed and engineered to retain the faithful.”

“The Unlimited Rubicon naturally behaved like the mother of all Jeeps,” Markus said after taking the SUV off-road. “In four-low with front and rear differentials locked, there’s no stopping it in the sand.”

That confidence-instilling performance is standard on every Wrangler. Only one oddity: Hill-descent control can only be activated in four-low.

“The genius of this Jeep is that it can be configured to suit the ambitions of the off-roading neophyte and expert alike and deliver an experience that will reward them both,” MacKenzie said.

2018 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 4x4 Rubicon 4x4 8
2018 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 4x4 rear three quarter in motion 4
2018 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 4x4 Rubicon 4x4 12
2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4x4 rear three quarter in motion 2

That’s also true with the new 2.0-liter eTorque turbo-four mild-hybrid powertrain, which is worth consideration regardless of how you enjoy your Jeep. The 2.0-liter powerplant provides 270 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, making it an intriguing option. More responsive than you’d expect, the engine is mated exclusively to an eight-speed automatic and employs a system that facilitates engine stop/start and regenerative braking. The new engine isn’t impressive for a Wrangler—it’s just plain impressive. Markus called the Wrangler 2.0’s engine stop/start system “amazingly quick” to restart, lauding it as “one of the best.”

Those who are nonetheless wary of a four-cylinder Wrangler can stick with the 285-hp 3.6-liter V-6 (which develops 35 lb-ft of torque less than the turbo-four). However, we’d recommend upgrading the V-6 to the eight-speed automatic. The standard six-speed manual may be new, but multiple judges found the engine’s torque delivery poorly matched with this transmission.

Performance of Intended Function

Just as no one expects last year’s SUVOTY, the Honda CR-V, to traverse Hell’s Revenge, the Jeep Wrangler doesn’t ride as smoothly, handle as crisply, or travel in such isolated splendor as a car-based crossover. (Such is the philosophical predicament in defining this category in today’s market.) Yet for a vehicle more capable off-road than any other new SUV offered today, the Wrangler’s everyday trade-offs aren’t as severe as you’d think.

Revised suspension tuning makes both the Sahara and Rubicon trim levels more comfortable than their predecessors. New electrohydraulic steering brings more precision, but the Wrangler never pretends to be a sports car. Instead, the Jeep provides a deliberate pace, encouraging you to appreciate your surroundings.

“The Wrangler doesn’t wallow or flop around,” features editor Scott Evans said. “It moves with a purpose. The ride quality is so, so much better than it was before.”

Stronger performance off-road is part of the package, and a stretched wheelbase provides more room in the rear seats. For those more interested in image-building than trail-running, Jeep offers nearly endless customization possibilities and ways to enjoy the sunshine.

Efficiency

The 2.0-liter eTorque engine is a huge upgrade, but even the 3.6-liter V-6 sees fuel economy improvements, and both engines feature stop/start tech. No matter the powertrain, Wranglers benefit from lighter aluminum used for the doors, hood, and windshield frame. With the V-6, fuel economy improves by 1-2 mpg in the city and 2-3 mpg on the highway.

Go for the eTorque engine, and mileage jumps to 22-23/24-25 mpg. Put another way, the Wrangler’s 2.0-liter engine’s efficiency means more miles of Jeeping before you have to stop to refuel. Jeep is also planning a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6, and about the time a Wrangler-based pickup truck arrives, a plug-in hybrid should, too.

Safety

The best way to stay safe is to avoid accidents altogether, and the Wrangler’s superior maneuverability compared to its predecessors provides a good foundation. The Jeep’s frame is strengthened with high-strength steel, and every new Wrangler comes with seat-mounted front side airbags. Blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and LED headlights are available, and the Wrangler can apply maximum braking force in a panic-braking situation even if the driver hasn’t pushed the pedal all the way down.

For optimal on-road safety, the 2019 model offers forward collision warning—it’s a feature you’ll value once it saves you from damaging the Jeep’s iconic face. The Jeep’s active safety also impresses off-road; its ABS system has a rough-road detection feature, which adapts its settings to improve performance over off-pavement surfaces.

The body-on-frame Wrangler, which hasn’t yet been crash-tested, won’t handle a panic maneuver as well as a unibody crossover, obviously. Even so, the Jeep’s all-around visibility rises above that of most new CUVs, and the Wrangler is a sure bet if you’re seeking a vehicle that will feel secure off-road.

Value

Not everyone will fully appreciate the Jeep’s appeal. But what price do you place on the smile a car puts on your face? The Wrangler is as far from a four-wheeled appliance as you can get. And when the going gets rocky, sandy, or snowy, the Wrangler outperforms vehicles costing more than twice as much.

A two-door canvas-soft-topped Wrangler with 285 hp and four-wheel drive starts around $30,000, though a well-equipped four-door Unlimited with the excellent 2.0-liter engine and an automatic transmission can clear $50,000. That’s a ton of cash, but some buyers feel Jeep’s seven-bar grille carries just as much cachet as certain luxury automaker logos. Compared to the Wrangler, no Fordyce Creek forder combines such capability, efficiency, infotainment tech, and overall appeal in quite the same way.

For the Gold

The Wrangler isn’t for everyone. Guest judge, veteran automotive R&D executive, and 2013 Wrangler owner Gordon Dickie noted that second-row ingress and egress remains cramped, tire and wind noise is quieter but still intrusive, the manual transmission’s clutch will ruin your Achilles tendon in rush-hour traffic, and the Rubicon’s around-town ride—though improved—is still flinty compared to car-based crossovers. Such are the trade-offs Jeep lovers willingly endure.

2018 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 4x4 Rubicon 4x4 1
2018 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 4x4 front side
2018 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 4x4 Rubicon 4x4 5
2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4x4 front three quarter in motion 6

But when you’ve gotta have an off-roader—or want to look like you spend weekends stomping terra firma—the Jeep is impossible to beat. Tracing its lineage to the original Willys MB, the Wrangler navigates nostalgia without getting stuck in it. The Jeep Wrangler is remarkably well-rounded for its core purpose, and it’s a most deserving SUV of the Year.

Read more at: https://www.motortrend.com/news/jeep-wrangler-2019-suv-of-the-year/

Ready for Battle: Mopar to Offer 200-plus Products for All-new 2020 Jeep® Gladiator

  • Mopar-modified 2020 Jeep® Gladiator on display in Los Angeles highlights open-air personalization potential of most capable midsize truck ever
  • Available Mopar products for all-new Jeep Gladiator include active lifestyle accessories and Jeep Performance Parts
  • Accessories include truck bed-mounted cross rails, bed storage system, tonneau covers and more
  • Jeep Performance Parts portfolio for Gladiator includes lift kit, rock rails and tube doors
  • More information on Jeep Performance Parts available at www.mopar.com/jpp

The Mopar brand will deliver a portfolio of more than 200 parts and accessories available to enhance the all-new 2020 Jeep® Gladiator. A Mopar-modified 2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon, on display at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show’s AutoMobility LA, highlights the open-air personalization potential of the most capable midsize truck ever.
 
Owners can put their personal imprint on the all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator by choosing from a full Mopar menu of products. Customization options include a Jeep Performance Parts (JPP) 2-inch lift, JPP tube doors, Mopar spray-in bedliner, tonneau covers, a truck bed storage system and much more, all designed specifically for the 2020 Jeep Gladiator.
 
“The Mopar brand is bringing to market a full selection of parts and accessories for owners to personalize the all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator to fit their individual lifestyles,” said Steve Beahm, Head of Parts & Service (Mopar) and Passenger Car Brands, FCA – North America. “We’re giving owners what they need to enhance the most capable midsize truck ever, whether that’s versatile lifestyle accessories or Jeep Performance Parts for hard-core off-roaders.”
 
The majority of parts and accessories for the 2020 Jeep Gladiator will be ready when the truck launches in the second quarter of 2019. Mopar products will include active lifestyle, truck-capable accessories, such as bed-mounted cross rails that adapt to a variety of carriers, and additional performance content, such as off-road lights and beadlock wheels, and many more that have been developed specifically for the new Jeep Gladiator.
 
Mopar parts and accessories for the Gladiator are backed by a factory warranty and were created in close conjunction with the Jeep brand, engineering and the product design office through tens of thousands of hours of development, testing and validation. The strictest standards and factory-exclusive data — information not available to the aftermarket — were used to seamlessly integrate Mopar parts and accessories with the Gladiator and to deliver proper fit, finish and quality down to the color, grain, look and line of each product.
 
Mopar-modified all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon
The Mopar brand grabbed a large selection of items from its available portfolio to demonstrate the top-down, open-air potential of the all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon with a modified version on display at the 2018 LA Auto Show’s AutoMobility LA.
 
Exterior Mopar modifications include a JPP 2-inch lift kit, JPP tube doors and rock rails and JPP 5-inch and 7-inch off-road LED lights. A mesh sun bonnet works with the tube doors to deliver an open-air feel unlike any other offered by a production midsize truck. The JPP logo is added to the rear of both bed sides. Additional Mopar accessories include unique five-spoke wheels, a hood decal, a blacked out Mopar grille and windshield tie-down straps.
 
In the rear, Mopar bed-mounted cross rails work with a Mopar bike carrier to support active lifestyles. A truck bed storage system enhances utility with lockable, dual sliding drawers. The interior of the custom 2020 Jeep Gladiator is outfitted with Katzkin seats, Mopar grab handles, molle bags and all-weather floor mats.
 
The Jeep Gladiator is armed with a Mopar cold air intake, which works with a Mopar cat-back exhaust system to add horsepower and torque.
 
20 Mopar Products for 2020 Jeep Gladiator
Below are 20 Mopar products available for the all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator:
 
Bed-mounted cross rails: Adapted from Ram 1500, bed cross rails work with Trail Rail system for adding Mopar lifestyle accessories, such as bike carriers, kayak carriers and more.
 
Bed storage system: Tailgate opens for access to dual sliding drawers, providing lockable storage space for gear, supplies and tools.
 
Ramps: Carryover from Mopar portfolio for Ram 1500, ramps are tested and proven and provide easy ingress and egress into bed area.
 
Lift kit: Available 2-inch lift kit delivers additional off-road clearance and adds aggressive appearance.
 
Bedliners: Durable, factory-backed spray-in bedliner available as production option through Mopar Custom Shop, with drop-in bedliner also available.
 
Roof rack/carriers: Mopar roof rack accommodates variety of lifestyle cargo carriers, such as a bicycle, ski and snowboard carriers.
 
Door sill guards: Composite and stainless steel door sill guards feature the Gladiator text logo.
 
Tonneau covers: Similar in design to tonneau covers for Ram 1500, but configured to fit Jeep Gladiator, options include hard-trifold, soft–trifold and soft roll-up tonneau covers.
 
Side graphics: Graphics unique to Jeep Gladiator flow down from C-pillar and include a hexagonal design, military and retro-themed options.
 
Hood graphics: Options include “Flag,” “1941” and “Jeep Grille Through the Years” designs.
 
Cold air intake: Features the Jeep brand logo and draws in fresh air from hood cut-out to increase engine performance.
 
Katzkin seats: Katzkin leather seats are embroidered with distinctive Jeep grille logo in Tungsten stitching.
 
Tube doors: Tough, 2-inch-round steel tube doors add open-air feel that makes Jeep Gladiator unique for midsize pickups.
 
LED off-road lights: Military grade 5-inch and 7-inch LED lights shine at a maximum of 8,000 lumens for 7-inch option, with JPP brackets available for mounting.
 
Sun bonnets: Mopar mesh and solid sun bonnets enhance freedom of Jeep Gladiator while delivering factory-engineered and UV-tested protection when hardtop is removed.
 
Grab handles: Mopar grab handles feature Jeep grille logo and are hard-secured, offering increased grip.
 
All-weather mats: Durable, all-weather mats fit like a glove and feature graphic design inspired by rugged Moab trails.
 
Wheels: Aluminum 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels help negotiate off-road terrain, and additional wheel options include five-spoke “gear” and five-spoke “slot” designs.
 
Rock rails: Unique, heavy-gauge steel JPP rock rails are thicker and wider and utilize same powder-coating on Ram Truck bedliners to give non-slip finish.
 
Bumpers: Rugged, sturdy, winch-capable steel bumpers include production Rubicon and “Stubby” bumper options.
 
For more information on Jeep Performance Parts, visit www.mopar.com/jpp.

Auto Shows The 2019 Jeep Gladiator Is the Glorious Jeep Pickup You've Been Dreaming of for the Past 26 Years

The last time Jeep offered a pickup truck, Lee Iacocca was CEO. Over the 26 years since, enthusiasts clamoring for a Jeep with a bed have been let down by Chrysler Corporation, DaimlerChrysler AG, Chrysler LLC, Chrysler Group LLC, and FCA US LLC. But now the wait is over. The 2019 Jeep Gladiator is here, and it is glorious. Here’s what we know about the long-awaited Jeep truck.

Official images of the Jeep truck have been revealed by Truck Trend, and it appears that the spy shots we saw earlier this month showing a very Jeep Wrangler-looking vehicle were on point. The front half of the Gladiator looks just like the Wrangler.

According to Truck Trend’s post, which has since been taken down, the Gladiator’s frame is 31 inches longer than the JL Wrangler Unlimited’s, and the wheelbase is up 19.4 inches. The story also says the larger axles, brakes, and also the 33-inch tires and the suspension are unique to the truck. Truck Trend says the Gladiator will be able to carry 1,650 pounds of payload, with a towing capacity of 7,650 pounds.

The windshield folds flat and the roof comes off, just like on the JL Wrangler. That makes the new Jeep truck the first pickup on the U.S. market with a removable top since the the 1991 Dodge Dakota Sport convertible (and no, the Chevy SSR doesn’t count).

Under the hood is apparently the same 3.6-liter Pentastar “Upgrade” engine found in the JL, making 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. It can be had with either an automatic (Truck Trend, strangely, says it’s a six speed auto and not the eight speed found in all other Pentastar applications) or a six-speed manual. Truck Trend also says the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel should come in 2020 with 260 horsepower and 442 lb-ft, bolted to an eight-speed auto. We don’t know if a 2.0-liter will be available.

As for off-road bits, the story says the new Gladiator, in Rubicon trim, will get “Fox aluminum-bodied 2-inch-diameter shocks,” lockers, a disconnecting front sway bar, a 4:1 low range transfer case ratio, and 33-inch mud terrain tires. The new truck apparently has an approach angle of 43.6 degrees, a breakover angle of 20.3 degrees, and a 26 degree departure angle, along with 11.1 inches of ground clearance. Aside from the breakover angle, those are all at the top of the mid-size truck segment.

As for protection, the Rubicon will apparently get rock rails along the rocker panels to keep the big-bellied truck’s body safe from dings, and also metal bars aft of the rear axle to protect the long rear overhang.

Today is a big day for Jeep and for Jeep fans, who have waited since before Lee Iacocca retired from Chrysler in 1992 for another Jeep truck after the Cherokee-derived Comanche died off. And folks hoping for a true body-on-frame Jeep truck have waited even longer—since the departure of the full-size J10 (formerly called the Gladiator) in 1987. That’s the same year that Chrysler bought American Motors Corporation, which owned Jeep at the time.

Clearly, this has been a long time coming, but the recent resurgence of the mid-size truck segment means it was only a matter of time. The Jeep truck is here. And by the looks of it, it appears to be a legitimate, off-road worthy, solid axle-having, body-on-frame machine, just like Jeep diehards have been hoping for for over a quarter of a century.

Read more at: https://jalopnik.com/the-2019-jeep-gladiator-is-the-glorious-jeep-pickup-you-1830696134?utm_campaign=socialflow_jalopnik_facebook&utm_source=jalopnik_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow&fbclid=IwAR2X7X0QywD79wOhcumtWG69fLhZ8CY3McspmEhLnybGtg5EHNmVvHWmcBQ

FCA US Captures Motor Trend's 2019 SUV, Truck and Person of the Year Awards

  • Jeep® Wrangler is 2019 SUV of the Year®
  • Ram 1500 is 2019 Truck of the Year®
  • Sergio Marchionne honored posthumously with 2019 Person of the Year Award
  • Motor Trend “Of the Year” award honors vehicles that best represent design advancement, engineering excellence, safety, efficiency, value and performance of intended function

All-new 2019 Ram 1500 Captures Motor Trend’s 2019 Truck of the Year®

2019 Jeep® Wrangler Captures Motor Trend’s 2019 SUV of the Year®

 FCA US has landed Motor Trend’s 2019 SUV, Truck and Person of the Year awards. The editors of the automotive publication have named the Jeep® Wrangler as the 2019 SUV of the Year® and the Ram 1500 the 2019 Truck of the Year® — two of the most coveted automotive industry awards in extremely competitive segments. Former FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne is honored posthumously with Motor Trend’s 2019 Person of the Year.

Motor Trend’s “Of the Year” awards recognize the best vehicles representing exceptional value, superiority in their classes and impact on the automotive scene.

“The Jeep Wrangler and Ram 1500 are significant products at FCA; concurrently winning Motor Trend’s SUV of the Year and Truck of the Year titles is a proud accomplishment, and a testament to the capability and determination of our employees,” said Mike Manley, Chief Executive Officer, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. “These awards help to acknowledge our team’s tireless efforts to ensure the new Wrangler and the new Ram 1500 stand out in their competitive segments.

“On behalf of all FCA employees, we also deeply appreciate Motor Trend’s recognition of Sergio Marchionne as Person of the Year. His legacy in the industry, and his lasting impact on FCA will be remembered forever.”

Motor Trend’s “Of the Year” program is open to any all-new or substantially upgraded 2019 model-year vehicles. Instead of being compared against one another, contending vehicles are first put through Motor Trend’s full battery of performance tests to evaluate virtually every aspect of each vehicle. All competitors are then evaluated on three separate courses at a professional automotive test center before finalists are selected.

“For 2019, the Ram 1500 and Jeep Wrangler blew away our Motor Trend editors and judges by not only delivering class-leading capability for work and play, but truly impressive levels of refinement, technology, style and comfort,” said Ed Loh, Motor Trend editor-in-chief. “Congratulations to FCA for delivering two real winners.

“Sergio was a special leader who salvaged troubled Chrysler and Fiat, saving thousands of jobs across the globe,” added Loh. “He was a man who did not do something unless he was convinced it would be successful. Sergio Marchionne got the work done and he left an indelible mark on the automotive industry.”

After weeks of testing conclude, the judges determine which vehicles will be given “Of the Year” titles. The winners are not chosen from a direct comparison against other finalists, but instead a result of how each contender measured against the award’s six criteria: design advancement, engineering excellence, efficiency, safety, value and performance of intended function.

A full report on Motor Trend’s comprehensive testing will be featured on MotorTrend.com and in the January 2019 issue of Motor Trend.

Person of the Year Award
Every year, Motor Trend also honors automotive leaders who deserve attention for setting rules or for breaking them, and who contribute to expansion of industry thinking. Former FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne has been named as Motor Trend’s 2019 Person of the Year, marking the third time he has been recognized for his leadership, contributions, and passion for the automotive industry and its people.

2019 Jeep Wrangler
Jeep Wrangler continues to deliver class-leading capability, and has been completely refined to offer consumers a vehicle truly built for work, play and for driving every day … on the road, on the trail and in any weather condition. The all-new Jeep Wrangler is loaded with advanced technology and connectivity, and boasts a remarkably comfortable interior, improved on-road driving dynamics, unique and authentic styling, new levels of safety and security features, and powertrain options that include the dependable 3.6-liter V-6 engine and an all-new 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine that provides even more performance and fuel efficiency. Jeep Wrangler remains the most capable and recognized vehicle in the world.

2019 Ram 1500
The all-new 2019 Ram 1500 is a no-compromise truck, leading in luxury, efficiency, capability and innovation. Ram leads the full-size truck segment with significant gains in fuel efficiency through an all-new eTorque mild hybrid system in both V-6 and V-8 configurations. Overall weight for the Ram 1500 has been reduced by 225 pounds. The frame uses advanced materials and engineering to eliminate 100 pounds while increasing stiffness and durability for 12,750 pounds of towing capability and 2,300 pounds of payload. The new Uconnect 4C with a massive 12-inch touchscreen leads the pickup world with technology, featuring split-screen capability, 360-degree camera views and exclusive content from SiriusXM with 360L. Active safety and security systems join the technology onslaught with adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking and Blind-spot Monitoring.

Read more at: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/fca-us-captures-motor-trends-2019-suv-truck-and-person-of-the-year-awards-300755267.html