2018 Jeep Wrangler To Debut At LA Auto Show
Jeep boss Mike Manley spills the detailsby Mark McNabb, on
The upcoming and highly anticipated 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL will debut at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show in late November. That’s the official word from Jeep CEO Mike Manley, originating from an interview with Auto Express. What’s more, Manley confirmed the Wrangler will have a hybrid powertrain option, the details of which will be announced before the end of 2017. Thankfully, the Wrangler will still have the rugged looks and off-road capability of the current Wrangler JK we’ve come to love, but with healthy updates to both styling details and interior NVH.
“It’s definitely going to move the game along but you will absolutely know it’s a Wrangler – for sure! If we did anything that departed from the Wrangler formula I don’t think I’d be able to get out of the States,” said Manley, a native of Great Britain. It’s clear the next-generation Wrangler will have a familiar shape thanks to numerous spy shots of prototype vehicles seen scurrying around Detroit. However, improvements to the Wrangler’s everyday livability will be a welcomed addition. “You’ll be really surprised how far we’ve been able to move things in terms of capability, fuel economy, ride comfort, noise and all of those things, said Mike Manley. “I’m very pleased with where it is.”
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Good News Grows Anticipation
You’ll see the new Wrangler on 28 or 29 November. Production will also begin shortly afterward.
Jeep has kept secret its plans for debuting the next-generation Wrangler until now. Anticipation was high at the last few auto shows in the spring of 2017, but nothing ever materialized. Thankfully, Mike Manley has removed all doubt, telling Auto Express, “We’re going to see Wrangler this year. With the LA Show dates shifting back we’ve managed to coincide with that, so you’ll see new Wrangler on 28 or 29 November.” He also added that production will also begin shortly afterward.
Not surprisingly, Manley says hints of the new Wrangler were hidden within the 2017 Easter Jeep Safari concepts. Though not confirmed, we’re betting the seven-slot grille seen on the Safari and Quicksand concepts will make its way into production. Interestingly, Manley specifically names the Jeep Switchback concept – a vehicle without the supposed new grille. What the Switchback does have are cut-outs within the half-doors, a vented hood with a power budge, new five-spoke wheels, and a taller safari-style roof.
The new Jeep Wrangler Pickup it is scheduled for the 2019 model year
The new Jeep Wrangler Pickup was mentioned, too, with Manley confirming it is scheduled for the 2019 model year and will be followed in 2020 by the high-end Grand Wagoneer – a competitor FCA boss Sergio Marchionne says will compete with Range Rover. Jeep is also working the other end of the spectrum, developing a small, entry-level SUV or crossover that slots under the Renegade. Sadly, no further details were given.
And as for the Wrangler hybrid, Manley says the vehicle will still have plenty of off-road capability. “For the Wrangler, you need to strike the right balance; we don’t want to do something that will leave you stranded on a hillside. So for me, full battery EV is not a great fit. But hybridization works well with the brand because of the attributes that come with electric motors – not just the torque, but also the control.”
Instant torque at zero rpm would be a fantastic partner with a transfer case set to 4WD Low. Other engine choices will include the carry-over 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, and the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6, provided the turbodiesel is ever cleared of its current investigation by the EPA. Transmission choices are a six-speed manual transmission and the eight-speed automatic, though, we’ve hear the 2.0-liter (dubbed the Hurricane) will only come with the automatic.
More information will likely come to light as November slowly approaches, so stay tuned to TopSpeed for the latest. And don’t forget to let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Read our speculative review on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler.
Read our full review on the 2017 Jeep Wrangler.
Source: Auto Express