Then and Now: Jeep Wrangler

August 17th, 2018 by

It’s difficult to take a look at the Jeep® Wrangler and not think that it’s a direct descendant of the iconic WWII Jeep, the Willys MB. Willys-Overland created the Willys MB in 1941 as a four-wheel drive utility vehicle for use in World War II. Designed for combat and synonymous with freedom, it’s not hard to see why the connection is made between the two, as modern Wranglers are capable of tackling incredible off-road challenges often found off the beaten path. The Wrangler shares many of its components with the original Willys MB as well – a fold-flat windshield, separate body and frame construction, flared fenders, a tapered nose design, classic Jeep grille, and unmistakable round lights are all features of the original.

The Willys CJ (Civilian Jeep), introduced in 1945, was responsible for transforming a military vehicle into one for everyday use. Jeep’s iconic seven-slot grille that’s still in use today was initially introduced on the CJ-2A model. The Willys CJ model endured until 1986 when the Wrangler was introduced as a replacement. Initially designed to be an SUV for daily driving, the Jeep Wrangler eventually became a vehicle associated with the off-roading lifestyle. The 1986 Wrangler was available with two engine options, a standard 2.5-liter AMC engine or an optional 4.2-liter AMC engine, generating between 177 and 190 horsepower. One particular design choice in this model was the decision to replace the easily recognizable round headlights with square lights.

A few months after the 1986 Wrangler went into production, the American Motors Company was bought out by Chrysler but the Wrangler soldiered on. Originally named Wrangler YJ, it remained in production until 1995 when Chrysler decided it was time for an upgrade. After spending one year off the market, the Wrangler returned with a Wrangler TJ model in 1996. What was new in the Wrangler TJ? The original round headlights made a triumphant return! The Wrangler TJ remained in production until the introduction of the Wrangler JK in 2007. This third-generation Wrangler recognized the potential of not only being a lifestyle vehicle but truly one for everyday use. With the introduction of a four-door model – named the Unlimited model – Wrangler opened the door to bigger adventures.

The fourth-generation Wrangler, the Wrangler JL, debuted in 2018 after a late unveiling in 2017. Then, Jeep sought to simplify the Wrangler JL options, opting to reduce the JL trim lineup to four different trims – the Wrangler Sport, Sport S, Rubicon, and Sahara. The Wrangler Unlimited moniker was also dropped, no longer differentiating the two-door and four-door vehicles. A redesigned transmission, additional engine and powertrain options, soft top designs, an easier fold-flat windshield, and an upgraded Uconnect infotainment system are among the new and improved features of the 2018 Wrangler JL.

Want to see the new 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL up close? Come by Hollywood Chrysler Jeep and take a look at our new Wrangler JL inventory. With over 40 Wrangler vehicles in stock, we are sure that our helpful staff can help you find one that suits your needs.

If you already own a Jeep, you’ll be happy to know that our service department is open six days a week for your convenience. Take advantage and schedule a service appointment online today!

Photo Source/Copyright: Jeep