As other manufacturers are eliminating SUV-truck hybrids (See: Chevy Avalanche and Ford Explorer Sport Trac) Chrysler is just now debating officially releasing one in Jeep Wrangler garb. In 2005, Jeep teased us with the idea of this monstrosity with the Gladiator Concept, which we didn’t care for then and really dislike now, as that fad has run its course.
In an interview with CarAdvice, Jeep president, Mike Manley, let them in on the secret that Jeep will be making a decision “pretty soon” on whether the Jeep Wrangler-based pickup will head into production or not.
In the interview, Manley was asked when he thought the Wrangler truck may be an option, Manley responded by saying “Probably the next generation.” This means that the Jeep Wrangler truck could be in Jeep’s lineup as early as 2015. The biggest debate, aside from whether there is a market for it or not, is whether it will come as a 2- or 4-door.
The 2-door model eliminates lots of passenger room, but in return, you get the Wrangler’s impressive break-over angle – the ability to avoid dragging its back end when climbing a steep grade. In a 4-door model, you get the added passenger room, but Jeep would then have to make the bed longer and that would cause a smaller break-over angle, resulting in you dragging the tail when starting up a steep grade. The only other option there would be to lengthen the wheelbase, which can result in your New Wrangler pickup turning into a large teeter-totter when climbing over rocky terrain.
We have a quick solution to this whole problem... Just scrap the plan altogether, Jeep. There is already an aftermarket kit to turn the Wrangler into a truck. If customers want one that bad, they can have it custom fabricated.
We could be wrong and the Wrangler-based truck could be a hit, but we just don’t see that kind of response coming from Wrangler fans.
If auto tuning was an actual Olympic event, British tuner Kahn Design would probably be the odds-on favorite to win the most gold medals by sheer quantity of programs alone. Don’t sleep on these guys though, because they’ve got top-class quality covered too.
For their latest offering, Azfal Kahn and his team decided to go the utilitarian route by releasing a new program for the Jeep Wrangler, called the Chelsea Truck CJ 300 Expedition Vehicle.
The most distinguishable element of the program for the Chelsea Truck CJ 300 is its military green paint finish, which pretty much gives away the underlying purpose of the vehicle. Moreover, a lot of intricate modifications were given to the Wrangler to ensure that it keeps true to its new looks, including the smoked headlights and indicators to go with LED daytime running lights. The front grille was also abjectly modified to give the Wrangler’s front profile a more menacing look while also getting some technical boost thanks to new openings on the valance and grille area, providing better airflow to the radiator, intercooler and brakes. etc. Over at the back, Kahn Design added a new enamel tailgate, cross hair exhausts in stainless steel, and a new 20" smoked black Kahn RS spare wheel.
Moving inside, the British tuner added heated perforated leather seats with matching stitching, aluminum pedals, and a red speedometer and rev counter fascia to complete the aesthetic overhaul for this off-road menace.
We still have to wait a long time before the 2012 SEMA Auto Show officially starts, but there are already a few vehicles getting prepped for their big day. One of these models is a ruggedly eccentric Wrangler Crush Recovery designed by famed Jeep builder, Dave Doetsch.
His project is based on a 2012 Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon, the most capable off-road vehicle on the market. The new Wrangler Unlimited "Crush Recovery" was outfitted with more than 60 of the latest products from OMIX’s family. These products include Alloy USA’s high-strength chromoly axle shafts, Rugged Ridge XHD modular aluminum bumpers, and new half doors for the Jeep. Topping off the accessories is an Orange Crush exterior paint finish, which is where the name of the project comes from.
Before its official launch in SEMA, the Wrangler Unlimited "Crush Recovery" will be unveiled to selected customers at the 2012 Airpark Jeep Jamboree in Scottsdale, Ariz. on October 13, 2012.
The USA is celebrating its independence and Jeep is rolling out a special edition Wrangler to commemorate the occasion.
The special Wrangler is called the Freedom Edition and it’s being released as a limited-run model that’s based on the Wrangler Sport. In line with its "tribute to the military" theme, the Wrangler Freedom Edition will be made available in three special color finishes involving the three shades that make up the US flag: Deep Cherry Red, Bright White, or True Blue.
Among the exclusive features attached to the Wrangler Freedom Edition include "Oscar Mike" badges, an homage to the military lexicon of "on the move." In addition, star badges can also be found on the front hood and the rear-quarter panel while star images have been embroidered on the setbacks, which is then visually complemented by silver stitching. Likewise, silver accents can also be found on the interior, particularly on the Mopar slush mats.
As far as performance, the Wrangler Freedom Edition will be powered by a 3.6-liter V6 Pentastar engine, one that produces 285 horsepower.
Anybody interested in this special edition, patriotism-inspired Wrangler will need to fork over $29,090 for the two-door model and $31,595 for the four-door model. Better yet, for every model sold by Jeep, the automaker is sending over $250 to a number of charities, including the Fisher House Foundation and the I Support Foundation.
Kahn Design has become a reliable tuning company as far as building programs for a wide variety of vehicles. Unlike other tuners that specialize on a specific automaker, Kahn just tunes anything and everything.
Their latest example involves the 2012 Jeep Wrangler, which they’ve bestowed as the Military Edition. The copper paintwork on the utility vehicle adds a rugged look while the set of 20-inch smoked black alloy wheels offers a nice complement to it. Other modifications on the Wrangler include the addition of xenon crosshair headlamps, a black fuel filler cap, a rear wheel cover, tinted windows, mud flaps, brake calipers finished in the same copper color as the body paint, and a new sports exhaust system with twin tailpipes.
The British tuner is offering the Wrangler Military Edition for a wide variety of Wrangler models with the entire program priced at £41,875, which is around $65,100 based on current exchange rates.
While everyone’s attention is focused over in China where the Beijing Auto Show is taking place, Jeep has decided to offer the US market a new special edition Wrangler Unlimited Altitude. The new model is based on the 2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara model and will go on sale in May 2012 at a price of $33,740.
The new Wrangler Unlimited Altitude will be distinguished by a body-color hardtop with matching painted center sections on the front and rear bumpers, as well as a new set of unique 18" five-spoke alloy wheels with black-painted spokes and polished wheel rings. For this special edition, Mopar has added a black fuel fill door, a matte black "Jeep" grille badge, and a black tone-on-tone hood graphic.
The interior gets red accent stitching on black leather seats, door panels, center arm rest, floor mats, and steering wheel. Vent rings, steering-wheel spokes, door pulls, passenger-side dashboard grab handle, and berber floor mats are all painted in black.
Customers can choose between Deep Cherry Red, Black, Bright White, and Bright Silver Metallic.
Now that Fiat and Chrysler have signed an alliance, the company hopes to make a great return to the Chinese market to take advantage of the fact that it will eventually become the biggest automotive market in the world. To mark this return, Chrysler has unveiled the Jeep Wrangler "Dragon" Design Concept at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show.
As its name suggests, the concept features design elements that have been inspired from Chinese culture. These elements start with bronze-gold details inside the front grille slats, headlamp surrounds, and Jeep badging in the front and rear. The same color has been used for a pad-printed engine cover, bolts for the fuel-filler door, and the tail lamp assembly, a Chinese dragon character side badge, and wheel center caps. The concept sits on a new set of 18" five-spoke alloy wheels in matte black with a bronze-gold high-gloss outer edge.
Exterior elements also include painted fenders, a gloss-black applique on the front bumper, and a tone-on-tone dragon decal that starts on the hood and runs down the driver’s side of the vehicle. A dragon motif on a unique carbon-fiber insulator has been mounted under the hood and on the gloss-black spare tire cover.
For the interior, the concept gets black leather seating surfaces with bronze-gold accent piping and stitching. The same dragon motif can be found on the head restraints, while bronze-gold leather covers the outside edges of the seats and front center arm rest.
UPDATE 04/24/2012: This review has been updated with the official details and images for the Jeep Wrangler Year of the Dragon Concept.
When Jeep revealed the Mighty FC Concept at the 2012 Easter Safari in Moab, Utah, we could really just think one thing, “bad-ass.” The Mighty FC is essentially a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon on ‘roids, as the designers hacked off the Wrangler’s hood and rear quarter, jacked it up into the sky a little, bolted an eight-foot bed onto it, and threw a set of nasty 40-inch tires under it.
Just the outward appearance of this thing is overwhelmingly awesome, but knowing that Jeep didn’t skimp out on it makes it even cooler. In the above video, you can actually witness the Mighty FC frolicking through the desert with the original Jeep forward control army vehicle, which features a two-cylinder two-stroke diesel engine, trailing it.
Watching this beast climb the rocks in Moab is awesome, but what really blew us away was the care that Jeep put into the interior. Unlike a lot of forward control vehicles, the Mighty FC has a regular old steering wheel, just like its donor Wrangler, and not that funny feeling bus-style steering wheel. It also features a carefully crafted plaid design that was actually one a part of a snowboard bag – some of the zippers and trimming are still on the fabric too.
Ultimately, the Mighty FC will likely never see production or it may be offered only as a fleet-type of vehicle, but it’s a sweet looking and performing concept nonetheless. Take a look at the video for yourself and also watch as one of the Mighty FC’s designers talks about this machine like a kid describing an awesome Christmas gift. We wouldn’t mind seeing this under the TopSpeed Christmas tree this year, that’s for sure.
Okay, I have worked in many repair shops in my day. During my tour as a service manager, I came across a fair share of “Mountain Man Mechanics,” which is the politically correct thing to call them. These guys love taking the strangest vehicles and creating monsters out of them.
There was one mechanic that took a 1980s Honda Civic hatchback and dropped a 1300 cc Hayabusa engine in it, thinking it would increase the Civic’s performance. He didn’t quite grasp the logic of torque-to-weight ratio and ended up with only a really cool sounding Civic.
Another monster that sticks out in my mind is when a mechanic tore apart his unwilling wife’s mid-1990s Mitsubishi Mirage and dropped its body on a self-shortened S-10 frame. He then dropped a 307 cubic-inch Oldsmobile engine in it and connected the Olds engine to the transmission and transfer case on the S-10 frame. It actually looked and sounded mean when he was done, but instead of re-welding the frame together, he used several bolts to secure it. Guess what happened...
What’s my point here? Well, a new monster has recently come to our attention, which is for sale on Craigslist. The owner has dubbed this machine a 2007 Willys Trike. This trike has a stretched Jeep CJ-2 body with a motorcycle wheel on the front. The body sits on a custom frame – hopefully it’s welded – and has the rear independent suspension from a T-bird.
Instead of having the old Jeep CJ-2 engine, this beast has a Chevy 4.3-liter Vortec engine, which is good for around 190 horsepower, if it is stock. Plus it has a four-speed transmission connecting the engine to the rear wheels.
The handle bars for the motorcycle wheel span all the way from the front of the vehicle through two slots under the windshield. We bet this thing is a scary animal to maneuver at high speeds. But anyways, this “Mountain Man” monster can be yours for “just” $11,000. We bet this thing sits on the market for a while.
The Jeep Wrangler Apache by Mopar is also in the concepts list that made their debut at the 2012 Easter Jeep Safari before being available for customers later this summer. The model is powered by a new Mopar 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 engine that delivers approximately 470 HP and 470 lb.-ft. of torque to the rear wheels. The engine will be mated to either a five-speed automatic transmission or the six-speed manual transmission also found in the 2012 Wrangler.
The new Jeep Wrangler Apache will also be distinguished by Mopar Pro 60 5.13 front and rear axles, a 4.5-inch Stage 3 long arm lift kit and off-road bead-lock wheels. For the exterior package, Mopar will add high-clearance flat fenders, rock rails, front and rear half-door kits, a Stinger front bumper, and a Warn 9.5ti XP winch. The interior will add Katzkin leather seats, a locking center console box, and different Mopar modifications.