To satisfy off-road enthusiasts with upscale elements, the 2012 Wrangler Unlimited will be offered with the more powerful, more refined and lighter Pentastar V-6 engine. This is the replacement for the iron-block 3.8-liter V-6 engine used on the outgoing model. When Jeep debuted the four-door Wrangler Unlimited a handful of years ago, it found out that off-roading fans like features that may be seen as upscale.
The switch in engine has resulted to an improvement in acceleration. Going from zero to 60mph on a Wrangler Unlimited that’s fitted with a Pentastar engine takes 8.4 seconds.
In comparison, the outgoing model’s acceleration time is 11.4 seconds. The aluminum-block 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 has an output of 285 hp, about 41% higher than the 2011 model’s 202 hp from the V-6. Showrooms are expected to offer the 2012 model this month. In 2006, the year that the Wrangler Unlimited was first unveiled, it was seen to be important but certainly wasn’t expected to dominate in the Wrangler lineup.
The Unlimited sells more units than its two-door stable mate by a 3-2 ratio. At the same time, it appeals to customers who are younger and wealthier. The customers of the Wrangler Unlimited customers have an average age of 44, and the average household income is $110,000.
Meanwhile, the customers of the Wrangler two-door have an average age of 50 years old and its average household income is $95,000. It’s amazing how the four-door model has seemingly converted the Wrangler from being a cult vehicle beloved by off-roading enthusiasts into an all-purpose hauler that’s more appealing.
At a recent media launch, Ryan Nagode, lead interior designer for the Wrangler, said that the Wrangler Unlimited has started to be seen as a “day-to-day vehicle," and isn’t just for trails. To raise the appeal of the vehicle to upscale customers, Jeep has added fender flares and removable hard-top roofs with the same color as the body to its offering. The matching-color roofs and flares were offered initially on the 2011 Wrangler Sahara model. But they will be made available on the range-topping Rubicon model too.