Tax-friendly four-bangers at first, six-cylinders on the way.
American off-road specialists Jeep have released preliminary details on its European-spec Wrangler, arriving on the continent a few months after the commencement of American sales (and ahead of us too, notably). While not being the strongest seller in its class the Wrangler has sold consistently since its introduction, and the new model is expected to take those figures to new heights.
The Wrangler will arrive in Europe in both two- and four-door bodystyles, in no less than four trims. The Sport, Sport S, Sahara (4-door only) and Rubicon will carry unique specification, and offer buyers a wide enough selection to suit all tastes.
The same can be said of the launch-spec powertrains, too. Two four-cylinder engines will spearhead the Wrangler’s European introduction ahead of the arrival of more powerful six-cylinder mills, with the former two consisting of a 2.2-litre turbodiesel and 2.0-litre turbo petrol.
The diesel is expected to be the most popular in Europe, with the mill producing a respectable 147kW and 450Nm. Power goes to all four wheels via a six-speed manual as standard, though a slick 8-speed auto will be available as a cost option.
Those keen to save a few pennies on road tax (it’s dependant on Co2 emissions in Europe) will likely warm to the 2.0-litre mild-hybrid turbo-petrol mill though. With 200kW and 400Nm it’s considerably more powerful than the diesel, though it does lack torque. But the 8-speed automatic gearbox is standard here, no manual option offered. Thanks to the eTorque mild-hybrid system, the petrol mill can be turned off during low-load or coasting scenarios, with the Wrangler relying on the electric starter motor alone.
The cabin hasn’t been spared revisions either, and it promises to be an altogether more liveable space for daily drivers. A touchscreen infotainment system will come as standard, and they even offer Android Auto and Apple Car Play. However, entry-level models will get just a 5.0-inch unit – you’ll have to step up to enjoy the more usable 7.0-inch unit, or the very pretty 8.4-inch one.
It’s not just the infotainment screen that grows in size as you spec up: The driver’s information display, nestled between the dials, also goes from 3.5-inches to 7.0-inches in size, filling up the space between. Looks neat.
The design may be familiar, but it’s all new underneath. There’s a new frame upon which that iconic silhouette rests, itself made of aluminium, high-strength low-weight steel, and magnesium, resulting in a reinvention that doesn’t offend purists. Functionality and day-to-day usability improvements were prime focuses for the new-generation Wrangler, resulting in an instantly-recognisable off-roader that is, by any objective metric, vastly improved.
The new-generation Wrangler will be built in the Toledo, Ohio plant in the US, where Jeep vehicles have been built for the better part of the last decade. There’s no confirmed timeline for the Wrangler’s introduction in Australia, nor a mention of the upcoming Wrangler Ute body style (we know that it’s coming though), so stay tuned to CarShowroom as we bring you more updates as they come.