Jeep to Cease Wrangler JK Production Making Way for new JL Pickup
Jeep is scheduled to end production of the outgoing Wrangler JK on April 7, 2018. Both the JK and the all-new 2018 Wrangler JL have been built simultaneously since November, but on separate assembly lines on separate sides of the Jeep campus. However, the JK’s end marks the beginning of the Wrangler JL-based pickup truck, the Scrambler.
Moreover, that means the Scrambler’s official debut is quickly approaching. The 2018 Chicago Auto Show is likely the next-best opportunity. The show is slated for February 8 and 9, so we don’t have long to wait.
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Think the Jeep Renegade is Small? There Could be an Even Smaller Jeep in the Works
Jeep is an immensely lucrative brand these days, and Fiat Chrysler is wisely cashing in on the moneymaker. FCA is reportedly developing a “baby Jeep” that’s smaller than the current Renegade for use in global markets like China and Europe.
A report from Automotive News quotes Jeep boss Mike Manley as saying the brand is looking “very closely” at a small crossover. What’s more, the Jeep would already have a chassis to borrow – the Mini architecture currently underpinning the Fiat Panda and several other city cars sold across Europe. FCA’s Pomigliano assembly plant outside Naples, Italy has already been selected as the factory. That’s not too surprising given the Panda is currently built there.
However, according to FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne who spoke on the topic at the 2017 Geneva Auto Show, the Panda is scheduled to vacate the Pomigliano factory between 2019 and 2020. Marchionne said Pomigliano “can work on more complex cars than the Panda.” Perhaps that means the Jeep will be more adept at off-road than even the beefed-up Fiat Panda Cross.
Unfortunately, it seems development of this baby Jeep has hit roadblocks, according to reports from Automotive News Europe. Speculation suggests delays could be tied to developing a more capable off-roader from the Mini platform in order to retain Jeep’s Trail Rated status. That ties in with Marchionne’s statement.
Naturally, such a small crossover would flop here in the U.S., so Jeep will reserve the compact model for its international markets. That means the Reengaged will likely continue being America’s smallest Jeep product, which is totally fine.
Of course, Jeep is also building SUVs in the other direction. Jeep has all but debuted the Ram 1500 pickup-based Wagoneer and luxury-minded Grand Wagoneer. Both models were promised by Marchionne a few years back as Jeep’s way of competing with Ranger Rover and the other high-end SUVs flooding the market. Moreover, Jeep has its upcoming Grand Commander three-row SUV that will be completely dedicated to the Chinese automotive market.
What do you think? Should Jeep build a compact model below the Renegade and sell it everywhere but inside the U.S.? Let us know in the comments below.
2019 Jeep Renegade
The cute-ute Jeep Renegade is getting its first mid-cycle refresh. Spy photographers spotted a camouflaged Renegade winter testing in Europe along side the euro-spec Wrangler JL and some Alfa Romeo products. The changes are confined to the Renegade’s front and rear fascias, along with tweaks to the dashboard.
Changes to the drivetrain will likely be limited to a new nine-speed automatic transmission and updated Active Drive 4WD system, both courtesy of the updated 2019 Cherokee. Jeep could even include its new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, though at 270 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, is a big jump over the for the 2.4-liter Tigershark four-cylinder and its 180 horses and 175 pound-feet. The power would certainly be welcomed, though.
Jeep is expected to debut the updated Renegade sometime in 2018 ahead of the 2019 model year.
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Jeep Could Put the Wrangler JL’s 2.0-liter in the new Cherokee
The refreshed 2019 Jeep Cherokee is going to look different from its predecessor. That’s good because the current Cherokee is a sight for sore eyes. Mercifully, Jeep is doing away with the horrendous headlights setup of the current model, opting instead to go with a more conventional design that should be more pleasing to look at. But the headlights aren’t the only things changing with the new model as reports show that the Cherokee will also receive a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that we saw in the next-generation Jeep Wrangler when it debuted at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show.
2019 Jeep Scrambler Spotted On The Road
It’s no secret Jeep is developing a pickup version of its next-generation Wrangler SUV. We’ve seen countless test mules and pre-production examples driving around, but this might be out best look yet. A YouTuber caught this one on video from mere feet as the pair was stuck in rain-soaked traffic.
The camouflage is almost not needed at this point, since Jeep has already released photos of the two- and four-door Wranglers. The only parts in question are behind the B-pillar. It’s unknown how Jeep has designed the transition between cab and bed, what the rear fenders will look like, or how the rear bumper lines up with the bodywork. On that note, this video shows the Scrambler’s rear bumper hanging well below the cargo bed. It actually looks like a Ram 1500’s bumper, but with D-ring shackles like on the Hummer H2. Jeep will have to rework this transition for the production version.
The Scrambler will share most its parts with the Wrangler Unlimited, including its four removable doors, powertrain options, solid axles, and overall design ahead of the cargo bed. The 2.0-liter turbo-four isn’t expected in the Scrambler, leaving the 3.6-liter V-6 and 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 as the two choices. Jeep would be wise to offer the six-speed manual transmission with both engines, too. We know the eight-speed automatic will be offered, as well.
Differences from the Wrangler will include a unique hard top that is hopefully removable, a lengthened frame and wheelbase, and the obvious addition of the bed. We expect to see the Wrangler’s trim levels carry over to the Scrambler, too, including the Rubicon, but new trim lines might debut.
The 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL Needs A V-8 Option
The 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL is the hottest SUV right now. It’s not often Jeep reworks its most popular model, after all. Much of the buzz centers on the Wrangler’s new powertrain choices, which include the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder “Hurricane” and 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6, along with a revised version of the familiar 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6. Jeep fans and journalists alike are praising FCA for adding a fuel-sipping four-cylinder and the torquey yet efficient EcoDiesel, but there’s still something missing – a V-8.
Raise an eyebrow if you want, but Jeep actually has a rich history of offering V-8s in the Wrangler’s predecessor, the CJ. It started back in 1972 with the CJ-5. See, American Motors Corporation had bought Kaiser Jeep in 1970 and soon replaced Kaiser’s engines with its own, including the 3.8-liter and 4.2-liter straight-sixes. There was also a four-cylinder that carried the Hurricane name, which is directly referenced in the 2018 Wrangler JL’s new 2.0-liter turbo-four. But, the most desirable engine was the AMC 304 cubic-inch V-8. This 5.0-liter produced 150 horsepower and 245 pound-feet of torque. While those aren’t big numbers by today’s standards, that was impressive power amid the Arab Oil Embargo and tightening government fuel economy and emissions regulations. The power was especially robust in a short-wheelbase SUV.
The 304 V-8 made the jump to the longer CJ-7 when it debuted in 1976. Sadly, the V-8 was phased out during the 1981 model year, leaving the 4.2-liter inline-six as the largest and most powerful engine option.
But, modern times are different. Dodge builds an 840-horsepower Challenger, Jeep has a 707-horsepower Grand Cherokee, and the Wrangler is ripe for getting a mild V-8 behind its seven-slotted grille. Keep reading for my thoughts on the matter.
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You Can Now Pre-Order The 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL & Here’s All The Details
The online leaks of Jeep Wrangler JL information continue to pour from FCA like wind through a chain-link fence, but the latest news is a doozy. It’s the complete order guide for the early-production 2018 Wrangler Unlimited JL. It gives an unprecedented look at what options are offered, including paint color, engine and transmission combinations, and trim levels. Best of all, as of October 24, anyone can pre-order a four-door Wrangler JL at their local Jeep dealership.
The order guide also confirms Jeep’s slow rollout of certain features. The two-door Wrangler won’t be available at first, the paint choices are limited to five, and the updated 3.6-liter Pentastar is the only engine choice. Those wanting the 2.0-liter Hurricane turbo-four or the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 will have to wait – but not for long. We’ve got all the details below thanks to JLWranglerforums.com, which has been at the forefront of Jeep leaks since information started coming out.
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BIG LEAK: 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL Owner’s Manual!
Talk of the upcoming and all-new 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL has been nearly limitless. At least once a week we’ve heard source-fed rumors or seen spy photos of Wrangler test mules running around. Well, the wait is finally over – sort of. A PDF copy of the new Wrangler’s user guide and owner’s manual turned up online. And as you’d expect, the books are full of nitty-gritty details showing everything from the exterior design and the updated interior to how the infotainment system works and the power-retractable hardtop operates. Yep, this is basically the Full Monty.
Of course, the 340-page User Guide and the 608-page Owner’s Manual don’t showcase the 2018 Wrangler’s full design details and don’t get into specifics like horsepower and torque. However, we now know just about everything else. It’s clear Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has kept the Wrangler’s off-roading spirit alive while creating a more livable, user-friendly SUV that doesn’t have so many compromises as the outgoing Wrangler JK. Most notably, the interior is much improved and includes a choice of the Uconnect 4 system in a 7.0-inch or 8.4-inch screen, dual-zone climate controls, push-button starting, a 3.5-inch or 7.0-inch driver information display in the gauge cluster, and door checks that prevent the doors from freely swinging. Don’t worry, though, the doors are just as easily removable as the JK’s doors. Oh, and there’s now a backup camera – finally.
Want to know more? Yes you do, so keep reading for the highlights.
Are You Ready For the 2019 Jeep Wrangler JL?
The 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL might not last long. In fact, the all-new Wrangler might only enjoy one month of production. But that’s not because Jeep is canning its multi-million dollar makeover of its bread-n-butter SUV, rather, Jeep will begin manufacturing 2019 model year Wranglers on January 2, 2018. Yep, only one month after the Wrangler JL arrives in showrooms; the 2018 model will make way for the upcoming model year – at least that’s according to an insider source for Allpar who is said to be reliable.
This is an unprecedented move by Jeep to begin production of the next model year so early within the calendar year. Generally, automakers wait until mid-summer to release the next model year, with the first big waves of stock hitting dealership showrooms in August and September. So why January 2? Well, January 1 is a holiday, making the 2nd the earliest legal date Jeep can build a 2019 production vehicle.
Putting the pieces from several rumors together, this could mean all 2018 Jeep Wrangler JLs will be the four-door Unlimited version. A past report suggested the two-door Wrangler wouldn’t arrive until February 2018. It also means the Wrangler JL-based pickup truck, the Scrambler, could begin production within the same 2019 model year.
That same insider source for Allpar had also broke news the current Jeep Wrangler JK will remain in production through March 2018. It was later confirmed by Jeep that the JK would overlap production of the JL into the 2018 calendar year. That will likely give Jeep the chance to deplete its stockpile of JK parts while smoothly transitioning into JL production and supplies for dealerships across North America and around the world.
Jeep Says “Nope” to 368-horse Wrangler JL
Just days ago a leaked document from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggested the next-generation, 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL would have a 368-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. The world gasped and Jeep fans melted at the thought of a Wrangler having more power than a Ford Focus RS. Sadly, it seems FCA either had a type-o or is now trying to cover up this leaked information. Those same documents regarding VIN identification have now been resubmitted with edited information. The 2.0-liter’s horsepower is now listed as “Not Rated.”
The way I see it, there are three possibilities. First, some engineer or clerical worker deep inside Chrysler’s headquarters didn’t have their morning cup of Joe and fudged the numbers. Perhaps it was an honest mistake and it was supposed to read 268 horsepower or something. That’s a likely scenario. Second, some engineer or clerical worker forgot to censor the horsepower specs for Jeep’s new 2.0-liter “Hurricane” four-cylinder and is now in hot water with Sergio Marchionne and Mike Manley. Oops. Third, FCA is playing us – and hard. It’s very possible Jeep is leaving clues for us to find just like Dodge did with the SRT Demon. And if the Hurricane truly makes 368 horsepower, who could blame them? That’s a massive amount of power from such a small engine. Only the Mercedes-AMG GLA45 and CLA45’s 2.0-liter turbo-four makes more horsepower (375) from the factory.
The good news is we won’t have to wait long. Jeep is scheduled to debut the new 2018 Wrangler JL at the 2017 L.A. Auto Show in late November with vehicles arriving in dealerships in December. The initial launch will consist only of the four-door Wrangler Unlimited, with the classic two-door Wrangler following in February of 2018.
What scenario do you think is going on? Did someone make a type-o? Was the info accidentally leaked? Is Jeep trolling us by teasing high-horsepower specs only to redact the information? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
2018 Jeep Wrangler JL Will Have 368-HP Four-Cylinder!
News of the next-generation Jeep Wrangler is still trickling in, but thanks to an official document sent by Fiat Chrysler to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, we now know the horsepower rating for the new 2.0-liter “Hurricane” turbocharged four-cylinder. Turns out, the Hurricane isn’t some lowly four-banger nobody will want. Actually, the engine kicks out 368 horsepower, making it one of the most potent turbo-fours on the market.
That’s right; the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL will have an optional 2.0-liter turbo-four with more horsepower than a Ford Focus RS and Porsche 718 Boxster S. In fact, only the Mercedes-AMG CLA45 and GLA45’s 2.0-liter turbo-four with 375 horsepower is more powerful. Unfortunately, FCA’s document didn’t divulge the Hurricane’s torque figure, but we’d bet on at least 320 pound-feet. Also unfortunate, is the rumor suggesting the Hurricane will be limited to an automatic transmission, preventing Jeep folks who row their own from having high-horsepower fun. Then again, we’ve never had a complaint with FCA’s use and programming of the ZF eight-speed automatic, so even the automatic Wrangler JL should be fun to drive.
The other bit of powertrain news is the confirmed return of the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 but slotted as the base engine. The same documents show the V-6 producing the same 285 horsepower. While that’s a bit disappointing, Jeep could be saving an update for the V-6 until after the current-generation Wrangler JK ends production sometime late in 2018. Jeep will keep the JK in production, likely named the Wrangler Classic or something, in order to supplement sales of the JL. At launch, the new JL will only be available in the four-door Unlimited trim, with two-door models coming in February of 2018. Retaining the current V-6 would be more cost-effective than updating the outgoing JK to use the updated V-6. Jeep could then position an updated V-6 as a mid-cycle perk sometime towards 2020. Of course, that’s just speculation.
What do you think? Would you buy a 368-horsepower Wrangler JL? Let us know in the comments below.
Is This The next Jeep Wrangler Two-Door?
The next-generation Jeep Wrangler is nearing its debut date and the anticipation is nearing pandemonium. But before its unveiling expected at the 2017 L.A. Auto Show in late November, the sleuths at JLWranglerForums have rendered what they think the two-door Wrangler will look like. Codenamed JL, the 2018 Wrangler won’t be a dramatic departure from the current, 2007-2017 Wrangler JK, but rather an evolution of the iconic design that dates back to the 1941 Willys MB general purpose military vehicle. Nevertheless, the new Jeep will be brimming with updated technology, new powertrains, and tons of user-friendly features.
The Wrangler JL two-door rendering matches up quite well with the camouflaged test mules seen slogging around in different parts of the country. The short-wheelbase Jeep uses all the same design elements as its four-door brother, but with no rear doors. The two-door sill can seat five, though three across in the rear bench is a pinch and getting back there isn’t as easy without dedicated doors. But the plus side: the two-door Wrangler will be the off-roading champ of the JL lineup thanks to its shorter wheelbase (and therefore better break-over angle) and slightly lighter weight. Speaking of weight, a few of the Wrangler’s body panels are expected to be aluminum, though most of the body will be stamped from steel. And of course, the Wrangler will continue to use solid axles at each end, ride on coil springs, and have a body-on-frame construction – just as God intended.
The 2018 Wrangler JL does have a few exterior features worth mentioning. First, the front bumper has a new, more functional design. It might be limited to upper trim levels, but hopefully not. The daytime running lights and turn signals are incorporated into the front fenders. While it looks cool, the aftermarket will have to overcome this when designing stubby fenders for large-diameter tires. The engine bay vent is expected here, as well, nestled neatly behind the front fenders. A strong character line below the windows helps divide the Wrangler’s top and bottom halves. Last but not least, the rear bumper now holds the license plate – a big departure from the body-mounted plate on the CJs and Wranglers that have come before. And of course, those taillights are designed to look like Jerry Cans, a design feature Jeep first incorporated into the Renegade.
So, what do you think of this rendering of the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL two-door? Will it be a big success? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
2018 Jeep Scrambler
The Jeep Wrangler Pickup has been confirmed for some time now, but Jeep has been quiet on the details. Between spy shots and insider information, we know the pickup will use the upcoming 2018 Wrangler JL’s frame, front styling, cab, interior, and powertrains. The mystery still remains as to what the cargo bed looks like and the materials its constructional from. What’s more, Jeep has yet to define the exact target audience for the Wrangler pickup, otherwise known as the JT. Will it offer class-leading payload and towing or will it be more focused on off-road performance? While we can’t say for sure, we’ve got some strong indications of Jeep’s intentions with its 2019-model-year pickup.
The Wrangler Pickup will ride on a lengthened version of the Wrangler Unlimited JL’s frame to accommodate the extra length needed for the bed. This means a longer, more stable Wrangler for on-road driving and trailer towing, but a slightly less maneuverable and (dare I say) capable Wrangler for off-roading adventures. It’s the break-over angle that will suffer the most, making the Wrangler pickup more vulnerable to high centering. Still, expect the JT to come standard with 4WD and Jeep’s Trail Rated rating.
Update 08/22/2017: A report from JeepScramblerForum.com shows confirmation the Jeep Wrangler pickup will be called the Jeep Scrambler, a name already associated with Jeep pickups of the 1980s. What’s more, CAD drawings show the extended frame and upgraded Dana axles. Also confirmed is the pickup’s use of the 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6.
Holy Toledo! 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL Breaks Cover
Well, it’s finally happened – the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL has been spotted without camouflage. The next-generation Jeep was reportedly spotted inside Jeep’s Toledo assembly plant and sent to our friends at JLWranglerForums. The grainy photo was undoubtedly not supposed to be taken, as evidenced by the limited view it affords of the new Wrangler Unlimited. Still, there are plenty of details to pour over.
First, it’s clear this is a four-door Wrangler Unlimited, otherwise known as the JLU. It’s lack of badging, knobby tires, and rock rails suggests this is a Sport model, though its hood features vents – a previous sign of an upper-class model or special edition. The windshield bump-stops on the hood have been redesigned, too. Also visible is the side vent integrated just behind the front fender. It’s smaller than anticipated, but thankfully doesn’t distract from the Wrangler’s classic lines. And speaking of lines, the cowling panel and doors have strong creases, helping break up the flat, vertical sides seen on the previous Wrangler JK. New side mirrors are present, too, with integrated turn signals. Gone are the push-button door handles, replaced with pull-style handles in black. The front fenders carry a new shape and appear molded from richer, higher-quality plastic. This particular Jeep has the soft top option, which we’re glad still exists. Unfortunately, the photos don’t show much of the interior, beyond the black seats covered in protective plastic. Of course, at this rate, we’ll have a full view of the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL long before its official debut at the 2017 LA Auto Show in November.
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Juicy Jeep Wrangler JL Details Leaked, Including Full-Time 4WD!
Fiat Chrysler can’t keep the cat in the bag with its upcoming 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL. The latest leak is massive in scale, unloading details of trim packages, paint colors, and order codes, complete with all their corresponding options. The info comes straight from FCA’s online dealership ordering system via the fan forum JLWranglerForums. Image screenshots confirm the authenticity while giving an unprecedented glimpse at what Jeep’s internal operations. This leaves only the final design, engine output specs, and MSRP to speculation. But with the Wrangler’s debut scheduled for the LA Auto Show in November, there’s still plenty of time for more leaks.
Leading this batch of leaks is the addition of a power-retractable soft top, the conformation of the 2.0-liter four-cylinder and 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6, the axing of the luxury-minded Sahara trim for the two-door Wrangler, and the debut of a full-time 4WD system reserved exclusively for the four-door Sahara. Jeep purists shouldn’t fret, though – the Sport and Rubicon trims return, along with an optional Heavy Duty Electrical Group (supposedly for running extra lights and a CB radio), and something called the “Trail Rail Management System.” Six tire and four wheel options are present, too, with wheels sized at 17 and 18 inches. Seven color choices will be offered, along with the return of a tan soft top. The AEK Electronic Infotainment System Group includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and Alpine returns as the premium audio system.
Continue reading for a ton more information on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL.
2018 Jeep Wrangler
The 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL is the successor to the wildly successful Wrangler JK – a vehicle that lasted from 2007 until the early parts of 2018. The new Wrangler JL picks up where the JK left off by offering an open-air driving experience on both paved roads and where no roads exist. The Wrangler continues to stay true to the Jeep legacy of all-terrain travel while offering more creature comforts and the least-compromised on-road driving experience of any vehicle in the lineage of the Willy MB from 1941.
For 2018, the Wrangler’s appearance is an evolved take on the previous JK, adding in better aerodynamics, more roof options, and improved safety, especially in the rollover department. New details bring the JL into modern times. Things like LED headlights, fender-mounted daytime running lights, and an interior that doesn’t look made by Little Tikes. New powertrain options bring more power and added fuel efficiency, while a manual transmission and manually operated transfer case keep ties to the Jeep heritage alive.
Update 11/01/2017: Jeep has released photos of the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL amid the SEMA Show and ahead of the Wrangler’s full debut at the L.A. Auto Show on November 29.