The 2018 model will be the first Jeep Wrangler under new ownership of parent company Fiat and the buzz in my ear is that I am not the only one feeling a bit trepidatious. Jeep owners are a fickle bunch and not necessarily accepting of change when it comes to their beloved Jeep. Oh sure, half of them are ready for a diesel engine because who wouldn't want more torque (insert Tim Allen grunt). But other changes? Well that is a different story.
Pictures of the new Jeep flagship have been leaked online all year with car magazines and websites trying to outdo one another with who has scooped the first or best picture of the changes slotted on the new JL. A small indentation on the front fenders aft of the wheels, turn signals moving to the fenders, or a shorter more bulbous grill have peaked interest in Jeepers all around.
Some of these are interesting tweaks to the design, but don't necessarily raise concern. However, looking at the pictures it appears the new windshield will be flatter as well as have a greater rake angle. I for one, am not real sure how I feel about this without getting behind the steering wheel but it raises concerns with me in regards to the depth of the dashboard, closeness to the windshield for increased vision while off-roading, especially when climbing over obstacles. Though, this too can be considered minor in the grand scheme of changes to the Jeep with the exception of aesthetics.
What's under the hood of the 2018 Jeep Wrangler?
I know a few Jeepers who have wondered about this very subject. What are they going to change? Will they keep the tried and tested Pentastar V6 couple with the six speed transmission? Well the answer to that question is, sort of. Fiat is going to be offering different engine choices and one will be the Pentastar. The other is a turbocharged 2 liter that will put out approximately 300 horsepower. And yes you read that correct. I did say "the other." So where is the diesel you ask? Well the answer is, "still not here yet." Ok Fiat, Jeep, Chrysler...what's the hold up? You offer the diesel in the Wrangler in foreign countries but not the country that founded it? The country where the majority of your sales come from,? What gives? Have you not been listening to the owners or the masses? Or did you think a four cylinder 2.0L would appease us? A recent article I read stated there is a chance that a diesel could be in the future but before that happens Jeep would introduce a hybrid version.
Hybrid Jeep Wrangler
Hybrid? Seriously? IT'S A JEEP!!! Ok, there are probably a few people out there that want this. A few. Like maybe three or four at the most. LOL. But seriously, if you are buying a Jeep it is not for the economy. It's because of what you can do with it. Which leads me to my next point.
I think the biggest question on the minds of Jeepers is, "Will I be able to modify it?"
When I look at a stock Jeep the first thing that starts going through my mind is lift kit, new wheels, bigger tires, bumpers, winch, etc. That and taking the top and doors off. Rumor has it Fiat has left the external hinges on so the doors do look to be removable. At least the look that way. The top, pictures have shown the new JL mules with both hard and soft top versions. But the rumors about the hard top and it's functionality are wide spread. Freedom tops? A removable second row?
It all remains to be seen. But don't look for it any time soon like most new models of vehicles that come out several months before the new year. Fiat Chrysler Jeep is holding on to this one for a reveal in November and projected to hit the streets in January of 2018.
Until then, I anticipate its arrival with excitement and skepticism.