Sure, 2018 doesn’t seem all that close right now, but when talking models years of cars and trucks; it’s closer than you think. With this in mind, Jeep is hard at work with their newest model of the beloved Wrangler. While there are no hard facts just yet, Jeep’s head of brand Mike Manley hinted at some welcome changes to the 4x4 platform.
For starters, unlike the Cherokee the redesigned Wrangler will NOT share a platform with Fiat and in fact will have its own unique platform not shared with any other vehicle. This means the new Wrangler should be able to address specific concerns and abilities that the off-road crowd wants and needs.
Manley did mention that a focal point of the new Wrangler will be weight-reduction technologies to get more power and fuel efficiency without increasing engine size. One could imagine that like the Ford F-150, the new Wrangler will feature an all-aluminum body, a huge weight reduction possibility. Who knows, maybe the new Jeep will be able to be picked up like the original Willys was!
Speaking of fuel economy, there are some rumors out there that the Wrangler will feature some new engine setups to increase power while keeping fuel economy better than ever. For starters, there is talk of the new Wrangler featuring a turbocharger on an inline-4, which would keep size and weight down while still giving the Wrangler all the power it needs. Some long-shot rumors even talk about Jeep placing a hybrid powertrain in the Wrangler, too. Sure, we think of electric cars as small and weak, a 4x4 hybrid could give perfect torque while keeping fuel economy nice. Another option might be electric for the road and gas for the trail. Remember, a company looking for performance would aim their electric engine more towards the likes of Ferraris and Teslas rather than the Prius. There’s even the possibility that both these options could be offered as well as a diesel version, too.
If the 2018 Wrangler ends up like any of the recent redesigns, we should expect to see some major design cues that harken back to the original Willys Jeep. This might mean an all-new front end and more aerodynamic lines to give the old design some new life. While the platform itself will be unique, there’s a very good chance that it could share a modified suspension with the Ram Power Wagon, something that would be a huge help with usability and reliability.
There’s a new patent from Chrysler that details a folding glass rear window that could give the Jeep a new design and better allow it to be both the open top Jeep and a nice sealed ride when the weather gets bad.
In review, there will definitely be a redesigned Jeep Wrangler for 2018, and we should see the final version of this sometime in 2016-2017. We know it will have better fuel economy and ideally will have a look that pairs a swept modern look with design cues from older versions. It will have weight-saving technologies and be on a platform that won’t be shared with any other vehicle. Looks like 2018 might very well be the year of the Wrangler.