Jeep CEO Confirms 2018 Jeep Wrangler (JL) Will Be Boxy, Water Is Still Wet

2018 Jeep Wrangler (JL) 1 photo
Photo: Stefan Baldauf/SB-Medien
For the next generation of the Wrangler, Jeep will go all out with turbocharging, aluminum, plug-in hybrid technology, as well as a pickup body style. Despite the much-welcomed modernity, Jeep CEO Mike Manley assures that the essentials will not change.
Manley and Automotive News sat down for a talk that, for what it’s worth, reinforces our expectations for the JL Wrangler. From the spy photographs, the new kid on the block is definitely aerodynamic than the JK. Unsurprisingly, Jeep engineers and designers didn’t go overboard with it because more aero equals a less square-shaped Wrangler, which is a big no-no if you ask me.

”You have to be very careful with the aero of Wrangler, because at the end of the day, it needs to be recognizable as a Wrangler. To some extent that restricts you on some of the aero that you can do. But with weight and a number of the changes that we've made, you're going to see that we've really pushed that vehicle forward in terms of its fuel economy,” said Manley. Speaking of frugality, a turbo-four engine will slot above the Pentastar V6.

More than that, the JL Wrangler will be available with a six-speed manual. By the looks of it, the transmission could be the Tremec TR-3160. At the other end of the spectrum, an eight-speed automatic shared with the BMW 7 Series will be available. All in all, the JL Wrangler will be more efficient, more powerful, lighter, and much smarter than the current model. Don’t, however, think that Jeep has messed it up with too many modern paraphernalia.

What I’m referring to are those little intangibles that make a Wrangler a Wrangler. More to the point, the body-on-frame architecture, solid axles at the front and rear end, and the “Go Anywhere. Do Anything.” philosophy.

Look forward for a late 2016 or early 2017 debut of the JL Wrangler.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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