The next generation of the Jeep Wrangler (JL) is being touted by the brand as having more power, more features and more off-road ability than the previous JK generation. To back up its claims, Jeep laid down the specs and numbers for the 2018 Jeep Wrangler as the off-road specialist is unveiled at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show.
Jeep will be commencing sales of the new 2018 Wrangler in the first quarter of next year. The very capable SUV will be available either as a two-door or four-door model. Customers have three trims to choose from: Sport, Sahara and the most off-road focused Rubicon. There are three top designs offered for new Wrangler: hardtop with a longer “gutter” and lighter removable “Freedom Top” panels; updated convertible top; and the new powered soft top that works like a canvas sunroof.
In terms of power source, three engines are available. One of these is a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine that offers up to 285 hp (209 kW) of output at 6,400 rpm and up to 260 lb.-ft. (353 Nm) of torque at 4,800 rpm. This engine is standard on all models of the 2018 Wrangler. Meanwhile, optional on all models of the new generation Wrangler is the 2.0-liter Turbo I-4 engine that could deliver 270 hp (200 kW) of max output at 5,250 rpm and 295 lb.-ft. (400 Nm) of peak torque at 3,000 rpm. Only available to four-door models of the 2018 Jeep Wrangler is the 3.0-liter Ecodiesel V-6 that generates 260 hp of max output and 442 lb-ft of peak torque as mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission (850RE).
Two transmission systems are offered. The 850RE automatic, eight-speed transmission with overdrive is fitted as standard on Wranglers powered by 2.0-liter I-4 engine and optional on models with 3.6-liter V-6 unit. Installed as standard on the 3.6-liter V-6-powered Wrangler is the D478 manual, six-speed gearbox with overdrive. Three transfer cases are also available: NV241 Command-Trac (standard on Sport and Sahara); NV241OR Rock-Trac (standard on Rubicon); and MP3022 Selec-Trac (optional on Sahara). All cases have two- or four-wheel drive options. Towing capacities remain the same at 2,000 lbs for two-door Wranglers and 3,500 lbs for four-door versions.
Both the Wrangler Sport and Sahara are provided with Dana 30 front axle and Dana 35 rear axle, while the Wrangler Rubicon – due to its off-road-focused nature – is fitted with Dana 44 front and rear axles. Among the three versions of the Wrangler, the Rubicon also has the highest ground clearance at 10.8 inches, while the Sport and Sahara trims clear the ground at 9.7 inches and 10 inches respectively. In addition, the power steering of the new Wrangler is now electro-hydraulic instead of full hydraulic, while its turning radius has decreased despite having a wider track.
In terms of weight, the JL-generation Wrangler is around 200 lbs lighter than the JK-generation. This is partly thanks to the new frame design that employs more high-strength steel than before. This is also partly due to the employment of aluminum for the hood, doors, and windshield frame as well rear swing gate (along with magnesium). Many parts of the 2018 Wrangler remain to be steel – like rear fenders and sport bars – due to the possible damage from off-road trips.
Seven sets of wheels are offered, five of which are 17-inch rims while two of them are 18-inch wheels (for the Sahara). Meanwhile, the wheels on the 2018 Wrangler Sport are shod with tires from Michelin (LTX MS2), Bridgestone (Dueler HT 685), Bridgestone (Dueler AT RH-S) and Goodyear (Wrangler Adventure AT). Standard tires for the Sahara include Bridgestone Dueler HT 685, Bridgestone Dueler AT RH-S and Goodyear Wrangler Adventure AT. The 17-inch rims of the Wrangler Rubicon are hugged by BF Goodrich KO2 All-Terrain tires.