As we start the New Year, the anticipation for the upcoming 2018 JL Wrangler continues to build. The redesigned Wrangler is set to debut in November of this year with a totally new look.
Recent spy shots of a rumored front grille help form some of the overall direction, as the rumors of other components starts to gel. Let’s take a look at some of the major changes that could possibly be coming.
Although Jeep has plans for several engine options for the new JL; most are rumored to appear several years later into the generation’s life cycle. At launch, Jeep plans to upgrade the current 3.6-liter V6 Pentastar engine, that’s been in the Wrangler since 2012.
In order to offer a more fuel-efficient option, Jeep also plans to launch with a four cylinder 2.0-liter “Hurricane” Turbo engine. Things start to get interesting in the 2018-2019 year, when the planned “mild Hybrid” engine is set to debut. However, the most anticipated engine option, diesel, is set to debut in 2020, alongside another full hybrid engine.
Jeep loyalists in the U.S. might finally get a diesel engine, carried over from the Dodge Ram 1500, the 3.0-liter V6 diesel engine would provide 240hp and a massive 420-lb-ft of torque, finally allowing Wranglers to be a legitimate towing vehicle and a beast on the trails. In addition, Chrysler plans to incorporate their 8-speed transmission, with a big focus on fuel consumption, while still providing a powerful drivetrain for off-road use and keep a manual transmission option for hardcore enthusiast.
In an effort to meet strict industry requirements for fuel-economy, Jeep is rumored to be working with Alcoa to use C6A1 high form alloy offer more aluminum parts. Alcoa is also rumored to be producing 6022 and A951 aluminum parts for the Door inners and hood, which are two major components that could offer a good amount of savings in weight. Initial rumblings of a full aluminum frame were quickly de-bunked, putting the nervous off-road community at ease.
Jeep has finally addressed the poor factory lighting in current 2017 JK Wranglers. LED headlights and fog lights are come standard on Sahara, Rubicon and special edition models. This upgrade in lighting will transition to the new JL model along with a rumored LED turning light on the front face of the fender, this rumor was recently re-established after leaked photos of the JL front grille showcase the lack of turn signal provisions.
A recent leak seems to indicate that the new JL Wrangler will have three choices of tops. The soft top will finally get a motorized power solution, allowing owners a very convenient and easy way to lower and raise the top. A Panoramic glass hardtop will be the second option, allowing occupants a great view while out on the trail.
The third and final option is a true 3-piece hard top. Current Wranglers currently come with a 3-piece hard top, but what makes the new 3-piece top interesting is the call out of it being a “True” 3-piece hard top, that has spurred several discussions online as to the varying possibilities.
Throughout all the rumors the constant variable has been Jeep’s commitment to maintain the important iconic look of the Wrangler. The boxy stance and up-right windshield seems to still be in place, with slight angle adjustments to tweak out slightly better aerodynamics for better fuel economy.
As mentioned earlier, recent leaked photos of the iconic grille showcase Jeep’s commitment to sticking with the traditional style and look of the Wrangler. The grille continues to offer the seven slot openings, which are representative of the 7-continents and the Wranglers off-road dominance.
In addition, Jeep is rumored to maintain the Jeep’s modular design, allowing customers to remove the tops and doors. There hasn’t been much discussion as to the JL’s ability to fold down the revised windshield. Nonetheless, Jeep loyalists seem to be content with Jeep’s commitment to the brand’s traditional design.
Aside from the whirlwind of rumors surrounding the upcoming redesigned JL Wrangler, probably the most anticipated and juiciest one is in regards the proposed JT pickup. Spy shots have already confirmed that a prototype is in testing and leaked reports point towards a 2019 model release. Although the JT pickup will have a significantly different look than the JL, the models will still have several things in common.
Both Jeeps are rumored to share the same drivetrain, especially the diesel engine. Allowing the JT pickup to a viable towing vehicle. The front half of both vehicles is rumored to be the same, with a redesigned grille, hood and angled windshield. Similar aluminum treatment to the hood and door inners is also rumored to be the same, along with axles and suspension.
In addition, the front cabin interior is rumored to be the same, with slight possibilities of a configuration different in the back cabin area, especially in the rumored two door split cabin JT model. Nonetheless Jeep seems committed to leave no doubt that the JT pickup is a close sibling to the new JL.