Blending utility and style., really well.
American off-road marque Jeep isn’t about to let the weeks leading up to the launch of the all-new 2018 Wrangler to simply go by, and it appears they’ve gotten into a strategy to slow-drip images of the upcoming model. The latest installation focuses on the interior, revealing a far more pleasant cabin than we’re used to.
While automotive design is a revered profession due to its complexity and exclusivity, we can only imagine that when it comes to reworking what is widely considered to be an automotive icon, the task gets that much harder, having to teeter the line between innovation and blasphemy very carefully. It appears that the designers in Dearborn have done a pretty good job though, as it appears that the 2018 Wrangler looks both fresh and recognisable, providing a contemporary take on the revered Wrangler design that’s sure to keep fans young and old happy.
Very few details were given along with the photographs, limited to the usual marketing garb. The new Wrangler will bring “advanced” powertrains and all the new-age kit you’d expect of something with a 2018 year designation, while retaining key Wrangler design cues like the “keystone-shaped grille,” round headlights and square taillights, and fold-down windshield, while offering more door, top, and windshield combinations to fully-utilise the Wrangler’s ability to allow the outdoors indoors.
No more details were provided as far as the cabin is concerned, which has reduced us to squinting at the photos to make out details.
From a wider perspective, it’s easy to see that while the exterior of the new Wrangler remains very true to its heritage, the cabin has been extensively reworked to make it as car-like as possible, while retaining aspects like the upright dashboard and the passenger-side grabhandle. Further, we can see that (on this manual model at least) the Wrangler will retain a mechanical drive selector (to move between 2H, 4H, and 4L powertrain modes), eschewing the now more-popular electronic solutions.
We can make out a large colour screen nestled between the dials, with what appears to be a smaller LED readout in the left binnacle dial (though we can’t quite work out what that’s for). That alone is a massive leap forward for the Wrangler, which has been offering driver information on a green-on-black dot-matrix screen up until this point. Move along the body-coloured dash panel (which looks really smart) and you’ll find an infotainment screen that looks like an iPad mounted on a tough-looking case, which appears to pack satellite navigation.
Move below that and you’ll find the climate control panel and its related gubbins, as well as volume and track controls for the media system. Below that lies the the power window switches, auxiliary inputs and 12V socket, while further below that you’ll find the controls for the locking differentials as well as four blank switches marked as ‘AUX,’ which is particularly handy in a car that’s regularly fitted with accessories like additional lights and winches that may benefit from an integrated solution.
Earlier details dropped by an anonymous source to American publication Jalopnik claims the Wrangler will arrive with no less than six engine variants. Two differently-tuned versions of the 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 will feature, along with 3.0-litre and 2.2-litre turbodiesels, as well as a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-pot in two states of tune. This largely lines up with information that’s been gleaned earlier this year, where a 2018 Wrangler Rubicon was spied with a diesel motor, as well as chatter that a 224kW turbo-petrol 2.0-litre will be joining the Wrangler lineup.
Details on the offered body styles were also offered, which detail the “typical two- and four-door configurations,” as well as a ute setup that we’ve spied before (supporting photos featured here are courtesy of JL Wrangler Forums). The roof’s several options should include black or tan soft tops, a black or body-coloured hard top, and a power-retractable roof. While all-wheel drive is a given, along with an automatic gearbox, it still remains only a rumour that the next-generation Wrangler will be offered with a manual gearbox.
We’ll have to wait for the 29th for more details on the Wrangler (as well as the possible ‘Wrangler Scrambler’ ute), but you can rest assured that we will bring you updates as and when they come. Jeep’s offered a second video update though, but we can’t embed it. So you can watch that here.