What the Future Holds for the Jeep Wrangler
The Jeep Wrangler is one of the most easily-recognized icons around the globe. Evolution gets the best of us and even icons are subject to change. In the case of the Wrangler too much change is out of the question. Introduced as a military tool and an integral part of America’s “Arsenal of Democracy,” the Jeep Wrangler has not changed much over the last 75 years. Sure, tech features were added over time, but the Wrangler remains the same open-air off-roader it was initially introduced as. Special edition models over the years add a little spice to the icon’s history, but the fact remains – what started as the Willys MB and progressed into what we know as the modern Jeep Wrangler is an icon that changed the world. As advances in technology, fuel sources and propulsion methods rapidly change with the times, what does the future of the Jeep Wrangler look like according to experts? And how will it perform?
The last time the Wrangler took a major step towards the future was back in November 2017 at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Back then, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) introduced the latest-generation Jeep Wrangler for the 2018 model year – currently known as the Wrangler JL. The “JL” brought with its introduction a host of much-needed refinements, updated powertrains, and the perks of modern technology. The standard engine that powers most of today’s Wrangler vehicles is the classic Pentastar 3.6-liter V6 with 285 horsepower; paired with either a six-speed manual transmission of an eight-speed automatic that sends power to all four wheels. Buyers can also opt for a more efficient, turbo inline-four engine with 270 horsepower and an optional eTorque system for those looking to get more fuel efficiency.
Currently, those two are the powertrains Jeep offers, but more options are slated to arrive for the Wrangler soon. There’s a rumored 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 that’s set to bring forth more torque for towing and off-roading adventures sometime before 2020. According to FCA’s existing electrification plans, there’s also a plug-in hybrid variant that’s scheduled for production during 2020, but details are scarce at this point. Experts believe that the plug-in Wrangler will use a version of the existing Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid and its two-motor hybrid system powered in an Atkinson Cycle. Regardless of electrification changes, we can rest assured that the classic seven-slot grille, round headlights, and square taillights are here to stay.
Lightweight materials, such as the Wrangler’s current aluminum body, will become a necessity as emissions regulations tighten up across the globe where Jeep wants to conquer the market. Evolving regulations also mean that the Wrangler and its off-road hardware will be forced to evolve as well. Today the Wrangler combines mechanical hardware, such as the renowned Dana axles, with modern electronics like the electronically disconnecting sway bar. Experts believe that more electronic aides and varying drive modes will push mechanical bits further into the future.
Advances in battery chemistry and management software are sure to help push the Jeep Wrangler further into the future. Also, serious competition from Bollinger and Rivian – both electric vehicle companies that offer all-electric off-road vehicles – will likely serve to motivate the Jeep brand. Jeep is notorious for its survival, having outlived countless owners in its 75+ years of history, but no matter what the future of Jeep holds one thing is certain, it’ll endure. The Wrangler of today is world’s away from the Willys MB that started it all, despite the obvious similarities. Tomorrow’s Jeep Wrangler will no doubt feel even more radical, but with that air of familiarity.
Let The Jeep Experts at Hollywood Chrysler Jeep help you find the Wrangler of your dreams. Explore the 2019 Jeep Wrangler inventory at Hollywood Chrysler Jeep and schedule your test drive today!
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