Jeep Will Say Goodbye To Wrangler JK With Six Special Editions
Designed to drive customer interest until the Wrangler JL debutsby Mark McNabb, on
Jeep is on the cusp of launching its next-generation Wrangler SUV, the JL. But until that time comes in mid-2017, Jeep’s goal is move as many current Wranglers as it can. Helping the cause will be six special edition models based on the Sport, Sahara, and Rubicon models, according to Automotive News.
Anticipation for the next-generation Wrangler is growing and could be to blame for the Wrangler’s five-percent drop in sales since October 2016. The slight drop is the only blemish in the Wrangler’s exemplary sales record since 2011, having doubled its sales numbers since the Great Recession. Jeep reported selling more than 202,000 in 2015 with almost no incentives to drive demand.
The Wrangler’s popularity can be attributed to several factors. It remains a true body-on-frame SUV with solid axles front and rear, despite the industry’s move to car-based crossovers. It’s available in both two- and four-door versions with both soft and hard tops. It offers outstanding off-road capabilities, far more than nearly every other SUV on the market, save for perhaps the Toyota 4Runner. And of course, the Wrangler enjoys one of the largest aftermarket followings in the industry, with a countless number of parts and accessories from hundreds of companies.
The next-generation Wrangler will build on these attributes, supposedly adding a
efficient four-cylinder turbo, the availability of the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6, an eight-speed automatic, improved aerodynamics, an updated interior, and an innovative new removable top system. These areas fix known downfalls of the current Wrangler JK and will likely boost sales thanks to a greater appeal to a wider audience.
But until the new Wrangler JL hits dealer showrooms, Jeep is determined to milk the Wrangler JK for all it’s worth. Keep reading for the run-down on the upcoming special editions.
Continue reading for more information.
Jeep is set to release six new special edition Wranglers ahead of the upcoming next-generation Wrangler’s debut in showrooms. Of the six, Automotive News caught wind of two models and their included features.
Coming first is the 2017 Jeep Wrangler Sport Freedom edition and the 2017 Jeep Wrangler Sahara Winter edition. AN reports both special editions are already in Jeep dealership ordering books, with customers already putting down money. They go on sale in December, but will have short production runs. The Freedom edition will only last through February 2017, giving customers a three-month window for purchase. The Sahara Winter edition gets a longer lifespan, living on through May 2017.
2017 Jeep Wrangler Sport Freedom edition
The Wrangler Sport Freedom edition is based on the base Sport trim level. But rather than being a stripped-out model, this Jeep will come with 18-inch mid-gloss granite crystal wheels from the Sahara, a new heavy-duty, cast rear differential cover, a black fuel door, and tail lamp guards. The most visible difference will be the Freedom star on the hood with the American flag flying on the driver side fender, just ahead of the A-pillar. A matte black graphic will run vertically down from the flag, encompassing a Freedom edition badge. Other graphics will be found on the rear fenders as well. The Jeep will also come with a mid-gross grille that matches the wheels.
It will sell for $30,690 for the two-door and $34,590 for the four-door Wrangler Unlimited. It will arrive in dealerships in December.
2017 Jeep Wrangler Sahara Winter edition
The Wrangler Sahara Winter edition will (obviously) be based on the Sahara model, the Wrangler’s luxury-minded trim level. It will come standard with Jeep’s new upgraded LED headlights and fog lights, a remote start keyless entry system when paired with the automatic transmission, heavy-duty rock slider rails, and a standard three-piece hard top. Customers will have the option of getting the hard top in body-color rather than black.
The visual changes include a hood, driver side fender, and rear fender decals. Other badges will be present, too, denoting the Winter edition. Pricing will start at $37,440 for the two-door and $41,240 for the four-door Wrangler Unlimited. Like with the Sport Freedom edition, the Sahara Winter edition will arrive in Jeep showrooms come December.
Upcoming Jeep Wrangler Special Editions
As 2017 progresses, Jeep will offer four other limited-edition models. Jeep hasn’t announced their specification, but Automotive News did learn their names. We suspect more information will become available around the 2017 North American International Auto show, scheduled for January.
Sport Big Bear edition
Available from February until July 2017
Jeep had similar special editions for the Wrangler for the 2016 model year. It was called the Black Bear edition, named after the famed Black Bear Pass in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. It came with a topographical map the old mining road on its hood, Wrangler graphics just above the fenders, rock rails below the doors, and both the Connectivity Group and Power & Convenience Group packages.
Sahara Chief edition
Available from March until June
We’re very curious about this special edition. Jeep hasn’t used the Chief name on a production Wrangler, but one of its Easter Jeep Safari concepts did posses the Chief nomenclature. That Wrangler concept was a custom-built beach cruiser set up like a 1970s Cherokee Chief SUV. It features a baby blue paint color with a white roof and body stripe. We’re betting the color scheme will be what’s seen on the 2017 Wrangler JK Sahara Chief edition.
Sahara Smoky Mountain edition
Available from March until July
The Great Smoky Mountain National Forest in East Tennessee is a beautiful place full of rolling mountains, luscious green forests, and stone-filled creaks that run for miles. This will likely be Jeep’s homage to the Smokies. There’s no telling what the special edition Wrangler will look like, but we suspect an outline or silhouette of the mountain skyline will be incorporated into the design. We’d also love to see Jeep send some of its profits from this special edition to help rebuild the many areas around the Smoky Mountains devastated by recent wildfires.
Rubicon Recon edition
February through end of Wrangler JK production
The report from AN suggests the Rubicon Recon edition will replace the current Rubicon Hard Rock edition come February. Though no specifics were given, this Jeep will likely come with steel bumpers like those found on the Hard Rock. We suspect the mud-terrain tires will also make their return, as will the upgraded Rubicon rock sliders, and underbody skid plates. The drivetrain will retain the Rubicon’s upgraded transfer case with its 4:1 crawl ratio. Locking front and rear differentials and the electronic front sway bar disconnect will surely be present as well. Perhaps the Recon edition will have a military theme to it, maybe even with some tasteful camouflage or similar styling.
Jeep has done very well for itself over the last six years with Wrangler sales. In fact, since 2011, the Wrangler has continually outsold itself by nearly 20,000 units each year. In 2011, the Wrangler moved 122,460 units. In 2015, Jeep sold 202,702 Wranglers in the U.S. alone. Those are impressive stats for a vehicle that’s nearly 10 years old and that’s only received one interior refresh (2011) and a new engine (2012).
While Jeep fans are looking forward to the all-new 2018 Wrangler JL, Jeep is still determined to keep sales strong of the current model. These six special editions will surely help that cause.
Source: Automotive News