Rumors and speculation fly as Jeep prepares the next-generation Wrangler

The next-generation Wrangler will likely make its debut before the end of 2016 and should bring a variety of improvements, both to its design and to its mechanical bits. Among those mechanical improvements should be an updated 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 and the addition of the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6. Of course, FCA has not spoken in detail about this, but the speculation is fairly consistent across the web.

Well the guys at The Fast Lane Truck decided to get an up-close view of what a diesel-powered Wrangler is like. Our lucky European friends already have a diesel Wrangler, equipped with a 2.8-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel. Ironically the diesel Wrangler is made in the U.S. on the same assembly line as every other Wrangler.

Of course, the 2.8-liter is far down on power compared to the EcoDiesel, so the software was tuned to make up the difference. The result is 220 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. That’s still not the 240 horses and 420 pound-feet from the EcoDiesel, but the improvement is welcome nonetheless. And while the current Wrangler JK makes do with a five-speed automatic transmission, we fully expect to see the ZF eight-speed auto in the upcoming version.

It will certainly be exciting to see how Jeep evolves the Wrangler in the next-generation. Our bet is that it becomes more civilized on the road with better fuel efficiency without losing that legendary off-road prowess that makes the Wrangler a modern-day icon.

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