The rumors and suspicions appear to be true – the next generation Jeep Wrangler will come with the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel and the ZF-sourced, eight-speed automatic transmission. The news comes from the guys at Autoblog whose anonymous FCA insider confirmed the powertrain has finally been given the green light.

You’ll recall that the EcoDiesel is the award-winning V-6 that is available in the Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee. Producing 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, the 3.0-liter offers up class-leading fuel economy and competitive hauling and towing numbers in both the Ram and Grand Cherokee.

Due out in 2018, the next generation Wrangler will likely offer the EcoDiesel right from the start, though Autoblog’s secretive source couldn’t confirm what model year the oil-burner would arrive in. The only concerning mater is whether Jeep can offer a manual transmission with the EcoDiesel as the current six-speed manual isn’t rated to handle 420 pound-feet of torque. Perhaps the G56 six-speed manual uses in the Ram Heavy Duty trucks could work.

While the EcoDiesel has been a long-awaited option for the Wrangler, Jeep will undoubtedly offer other powertrain choices. There have been rumors of a smaller, turbocharged V-6 engine to replace the current 3.6-liter Pentastar, but the jury is still out on that hearsay.

Continue reading to learn more about the next Jeep Wrangler.

Why it matters

Offering a compact yet powerful diesel engine within the Jeep Wrangler will undoubtedly add to its off-roading abilities. The EcoDiesel’s 420 pound-feet of torque is perfectly suited for rock crawling and other low-speed, low-gearing operations – exactly where the Wrangle is most at home. Add to that the diesel’s excellent fuel economy and the upcoming Wrangler’s aluminum body, and no longer will the American war machine be a gas guzzler.

Jeep Wrangler

2012 Jeep Wrangler - image 413455

The current Jeep Wrangler was introduced for the 2007 model year and has exponentially grown Wrangler sales. Much of that praise can be given to the available Unlimited model with four doors and acceptable room for five. An engine upgrade in 2012 brought the more reliable and more powerful 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 while an interior upgrade in 2011 brought some much needed comfort to the cabin.

The next generation Wrangler is slated to keep its body-on-frame design, complete with its two solid axles. An aluminum body structure is slated to happen, lowering the Wrangler’s curb weight and boosting fuel economy.

Currently, the 2015 Wrangler has a starting price of $22,795 and grows into the lower $40,000 range.

Source: Autoblog

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