The next-generation Jeep Wrangler may be underpinned by a unibody platform and have an aluminum body, disclosed Fiat Chrysler Automobiles chief executive Sergio Marchionne. These are some of the plans for the next generation Wrangler, which may also feature smaller and turbocharged engines to help Fiat Chrysler meet stricter fuel economy rules in the United States – hints that the new off-roader due 2017 would be fundamentally different from current version.
For instance, the next Wrangler might have aluminum body-on-frame tub, which may mean that the carmaker would have to be built at other plants away from its current site in Toledo, Marchionne said during a press conference at the Paris Auto Show.
Chrysler has been building the hot-selling SUV at its production site in Toledo, Ohio. He remarked people at Ford are currently debating whether the new Wrangler would be built from a material other than steel. He quipped that if the decision eventually sides with aluminum, the Toledo side would be the “wrong place and wrong setup” to try and build a Wrangler, since it would mean a complete reconfiguration of the assets.
“It would be so outrageously expensive,” he said. Marchionne also hinted that the next-generation Wrangler might be underpinned by a unibody platform by naming alternative plants in North America that builds vehicles using the architecture.
He added that should Wrangler output be shifted away from Toledo, there would be zero impact on the number of employees on the site, as the carmaker will look for ways to fulfill its commitment to the city and to Ohio.