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2018 Jeep Wrangler, 5+ new designs just in time to put under your tree

With the much anticipated unveiling of the new 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL and the Unlimited Wrangler JLU in the November 29th LA auto show, (The Jeep truck (JT) to follow in Sept 2018) this will be a great time to wrap one of these babies and put it under the Christmas tree for your special someone, without forgetting the main reason and meaning of Christmas.

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After a long hiatus Jeep is once again offering a choice of engine types to power it's new Flagship. Jeep already shows some information on its 2018 Wrangler Rubicon page.

1. New Engines for Jeeps

Coming back is the 3.6L Pentastar with a few standard upgrades like the 8 speed automatic transmission and the engine start/stop technology, seen in the Grand Cherokee, to increase fuel efficiency. By the way, the 2018 Hellcat-powered Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawks are reaching dealers these days.

Also available is a 2.0L, 4Cyl turbo/8 speed tranny for those rice burner, tuner types that want to swap it out in their little Honda Civics.

Coming late to the show, and by late I mean several years projected for 2019, is a new 3.0L V6 turbo diesel with its own transmission (8HP75), that also incorporates the engine start/stop technology.

2. New Displays

Jeep is not just stopping there. They have made quite a few changes to their bread winner and some you may like, some not so much. New features I like is the new larger screen NAV/radio that includes Off-Road system pages for when you get lost on your favorite trail, and the return of the Alpine sounds system. On the Rubicon and 4dr Sahara Package (Jeep is losing the 2dr Sahara), will be a new 7" colored digital cluster display with the Wrangler Sport getting the 3.5 inch display. See my earlier story discussing both the excitement and skepticism of the new 2018 Jeep Wrangler. In fact, just a day before the LA Auto show The Drive and Fox News report that according to an insider information convertible Jeep Scrambler pickup is coming in 2019.

3. Old and New Tops

Rumored is a new three piece powered hard top as well as possible see through panels but it has been confirmed that Jeep will be keeping the hard top Freedom Tops as well as the sunrider soft top. They will have an optional powered soft top for those who, like me, would rather just push a button.

4. New Jeep Wrangler Looks

Not so high on my list of likes for new changes is the longer and flatter hood. I liked the sloping short hood of the JK/JKU Jeep Wrangler. Maybe it was needed as they increased the size of the new seven slot Jeep grill. Also not high on my list is the new larger and greater rake to the windshield. But I guess you need it to be able to see over that new bulbous bow.

5. Changes Underneath

Now I haven't looked under a new Rubicon in a little while, but it was my impression the Rubicon was the recipient of the Dana D44 axle. Something you didn't get with the Sport or Sahara models. This is changing with the new 2018 JL/JLU's. The D44 axles will be going to the lower end models with the Rubicon getting the wider Dana D2200 axle. I can't wait to hear the arguments over this piece of information. Either way, the Sport gets the D44 and that makes this writer happy.

If you want a fairly complete list of the new features of the new Jeep Iconic Wrangler, here is a Jeep forum that lists them. as there are too many to put here in this article. I wrote a previous article on the new Jeep listing some negative possibilities. After some research, I am feeling more positive.

Let me know what you think. Are you looking forward to the first Fiat Wrangler or do you think the Americanism of it is slowly being drained for a more European model? Is it still a symbol of American Freedom? Comment below. If you liked this article and think it may help your friends, consider sharing or tweeting it to your followers.

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Joe (not verified)    November 28, 2017 - 1:49PM

I like the number 1 and number 5 (new engines for Jeep and changes underneath). I don't like the rest.

Hal (not verified)    November 28, 2017 - 2:10PM

As an owner of both a Jeep Wrangler JKU and a Cherokee Trailhawk, the engine stop/start is a BIG ZERO. Hate it. And it cannot be permanently defeated. Best you can do is shut it off each time you start the engine.

Jane (not verified)    November 28, 2017 - 4:54PM

I am actually interested to see what these new Jeeps look like in person with the new hard top with see through panels.

John (not verified)    November 28, 2017 - 8:21PM

So it my sound goofy but I said I would love the option of clear tops for the driver/passenger compartment of Recon. You asked

Quinn (not verified)    June 28, 2018 - 11:35AM

I like it a lot. The lights on the fenders are a throwback to the TJ, they actually have a “roll cage” rather than just a sport bar, the windshield is easier to fold down, they have made improvements on the axles, hood flutter, and I’m pretty sure they fixed the “wobbly shifter” in the manual trans. The approach, departure and break over angles are better, and they are still quite capable off-road. Stock for stock they beat all other generations of wranglers. As for the fuel economy, well that’s not a choice, they have to make these more fuel efficient to please the tree huggers. And the styling inside is to grow the brand and keep it alive. If they were to keep the simple interior and the legendary 4.0L straight six the brand would die. Most people who hate on it are simply ignorant.

Glenn (not verified)    June 28, 2018 - 11:50AM

Time for them to ditch the Liberty and call the four door wagon version of the Wrangler the Liberty. Then call the 2 door Traditional Jeep the Wrangler. Simplify production. Too many products cannibalizing each other. The 2 dr Jeep and the stretch wheelbase 4 dr Soccer mom bus version are different animals and appeal to different buyers. They need need management that understand The Jeep.

Jeff (not verified)    June 28, 2018 - 12:04PM

I am curious as to what the writer considers “core” Jeep people are? Does he think the Jeep universe is only filled with Wranglers? I know guys that wheel XJs and have no interest in any open top Jeep. What about guys that are into early CJs? WJs?

If I were the writer? I’d just be thankful the new Wrangler is still rolling solid axles on a full frame and quit my bitching.

Slavek (not verified)    June 28, 2018 - 12:05PM

1. If you were to try and bring to market a TJ/LJ, new from 1996 designs, and evo to current know how, current regulations would not allow that.

So that ship has sailed in terms of law

And 2: ff-ing FIAT

Being in Europe, knowing what fiat is/does at its core, good luck, the jeep is the only growth brand at FCA, and they will milk it for every last drop, damned its identity!!

They will kill the aftermarket at least 50%, and Marchione is out next year and the next mob boss is in line

Cee (not verified)    June 28, 2018 - 12:37PM

The JL is significantly better than the JK. The engineering team listened and fixed most every complaint there was about the JK.

This JLUR did the Rubicon without lockers on 37” tires and a 2” lift. The 8 speed auto trans has a 4.56 first gear, so you don’t even need to regear the axles.