Ramping up for its November 2017 release, the upcoming redesigned 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL is starting to shed some layers of camouflage and in doing so, revealing several important components that are putting to rest some speculations and rumors. Originally reported on by our friends at JL Wrangler Forum, the recent development surrounds the soft top and the possibility of a permanent railing structure that would be part of an electrically powered system.
First Look At The JL Wrangler Soft Top
Up until now, the prototype 2018 JLWrangler has always been seen with the factory hard top, this recent exposure sheds some light on the soft top, which is one of three proposed tops that will be offered on the new Wrangler. Earlier reports discussed the possibility of a powered soft top, that would eliminate the need to manually retract and reinstall the soft top, a procedure that Jeep has struggled with throughout the years.
Recent four-door Jeep models have tried to address the retractable function by installing spring loaded hinges along the rear corners of the soft top aluminum frame, to help assist with the weight of the soft top when retracting and installing. Traditionally on four-door models this was a laboring task for one person to handle alone, with the introduction of the spring-loaded component, Jeep has simplified the process and now allows a single person to easily retract and install the soft top.
The recent rumor would look to automate the process even further and bring the JL into modern day, by offering a soft top that is electrically powered. To support this power controlled option, it was rumored that the JL would have a plastic frame that would be a permanent structure, allowing the top fabric to retract along a railing system.
The frame has been a point of contention for Wrangler loyalists as it removes from the open cabin feeling that Wranglers have been known for. The recent spy photos however seem to showcase a more traditional soft top structure, except for an odd vinyl cover along the rear corners that extends to the fender line.
This cover doesn’t fall in line with the top’s overall aesthetics and clearly sticks out, almost as if intentionally covering the rear portion of the top. This would be a critical part of the soft top’s structure and confirm speculations of a permanent plastic railing system for a powered top.
What are your thoughts surrounding the tops or the possibility of a powered soft top and permanent railing system? Comment below and tell us what you think!