The iconic Jeep Wrangler is set to be released in the States next year. The model hasn’t received a significant overhaul since 2007 so it’s going to be interesting to see what the iconic off-road brand has in store for us.
For images and the full Unsealed 4X4 experience, read this on our digital magazine platform.
The initial spy shots of the JL Wrangler show the body styling is not far removed from the JK it’s replacing, but the big news is that they’re apparently ditching the 3.6 V6 Pentastar motor in favour of a Fiat-sourced 2.0L turbo-charged four-cylinder that purportedly pumps out 300hp.
There have been rumours aplenty concerning the update, with Jeep reportedly trialling independent suspension before deciding to stick with solid axles; an aluminium tub that’s apparently been passed over for a hydro-formed steel frame that’s meant to save weight and increase strength; and even that they’re ditching the traditional soft-top in favour of removable soft panels.
Going off the pics, there are minimal changes to the appearance, but there is an increased angle on the windscreen frame, a slight bend in the upper grille and a few tweaks to the indicators – all presumably to increase aerodynamic efficiency. The headlights are rumoured to feature LED or HID output and there’s even industry whispers of an electric hybrid model slated for a couple of years into the model run.
Jeep has also interestingly applied for a new patent for a full folding rear glass design. The current JK has a lower tailgate that opens out sideways before the rear glass can open upwards. The new set-up will allow the rear glass to fold up to the roof, with clips to hold it in place so it can be left open for beach driving… or sharing obnoxiously loud music with others in traffic. We’re not sure at this stage if this feature will definitely make its way onto the JL, but it’s certainly an interesting idea.
For us, we can’t wait to test drive the JL. It’s a potentially great blend of new-school (hi-po turbo-four, modern lighting and a fancy frame) meets old-school (solid axles, essentially the same body style as the decades-old TJ Wrangler and a removable top). It’ll either be one of those vehicles that falls short of our expectations or completely blows us away.
Love them or hate them the JK is a hell of an off-road vehicle, do you think the new JL will be worthy of the iconic seven-slot grille and Wrangler badge?