TFLTruck Spots Jeep Wrangler Prototype, Talks Top 10 Predictions: Video
Current-gen Wrangler test mule possibly evaluating EcoDiesel V-6by Mark McNabb, on
The guys over at TFLTruck recently spotted a current-generation Jeep Wrangler fitted with light camouflage, a manufacture license plate, and an odd-looking exhaust tip. What does this cocktail mean? It’s hard to definitively say, but our hunch says this test mule is logging miles with the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6.
Rumors have long been spreading that Jeep would incorporate the EcoDiesel into the Wrangler at its next generational change. Well, that time has come and it appears Jeep’s R&D department is well underway with evaluations.
The addition of the V-6 EcoDiesel would give the Wrangler an incredible boost in fuel economy – perhaps by a full 10 mpg on the highway. The current Wrangler is rated at 21 mpg highway with its 3.6-liter gasoline V-6. Conversely, the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel pickup, which is slightly heavier than the current Wrangler, can achieve 29 mpg on the highway. If the next-generation Wrangler loses a decent amount of weight, it could potentially achieve 30 mpg highway. That’s a big deal.
Beyond the spy shots, TFLTruck spends time talking about their top 10 topics for the upcoming off-roader. They include all the fiercely debated rumors like roof designs, suspension set-ups, and of course powertrain rumors. I won’t spoil all the fun, so you’ll have to watch the video for the full details.
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Why It Matters
It’s an understatement to say the Wrangler is a hugely important vehicle for the Jeep brand. Wrangler sales have exploded since 2011, with year-over-year gains of 20,000 examples sold. The 2015 model year saw Wrangler sales exceed the 200,000 mark, making it one of the hottest SUVs on the market. Obviously, not loosing that momentum is a top priority for Jeep.
Making the next-generation Wrangler more user friendly without offending the hard-core enthusiasts will be a fine balancing act. Jeep must cater to its largest customer base, which these days, seems to be the “mall crawler” type rather than those who actually rock crawl. Still, don’t expect the new Jeep to be some watered-down shadow of its past self, but rather a finely tuned conglomeration of ideas, built to be a multi-purpose vehicle with wide-ranging appeal. That’s something we can certainly look forward to.
Read our full review on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler here.