And they were.
Developed during the DaimlerChrysler association, the Wrangler JK came in three main trim levels: Wrangler X, Sahara, and Rubicon. The latter became a true off-road gladiator fighting with the mighty Mercedes-Benz G-Class and beating it at its own game.
The Rubicon was similar in shape and size to the Sahara version from the outside. Yet, the off-road designated tires and the flared wheel arches were unique for the model. Due to the new wheels, the car was 36 mm (1.4") taller than the rest of the range. Also, at the front, the car featured a thicker metallic bumper covered with a plastic trim to respect the pedestrian protection rules. That metallic part was specially made to accommodate a winch. In addition, it was fitted with a removable hardtop, which couldn't be carried with the car. But, as insurance against bad weather, a canvas top was available.
The interior was good for two people on the front seats. It is true that it also sported a pair of seats in the back, but it was hard to accommodate anyone in there due to the limited legroom. Yet, in case of emergency, it was possible. The carmaker installed a thick steering wheel and tall seatback seats for the front occupants.
Depending on the market, the Rubicon was available with either a gasoline or a turbodiesel powerplant. It sent the power to the rear wheels, in normal driving mode, or to all four via a two-speed transfer case. The low-range featured a 4.0:1 gearing, which was unique on the market. Moreover, its Dana axles sported locking differentials. On top of that, the front stabilizer bar could have been electrically disconnected via a designated button.