The 2018 Jeep® Wrangler JL was officially revealed at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, and boy does it pack quite the punch. We didn’t know how much would be left to share after spy photos and leaked information, but there is a whole lot more going on for the next-generation Wrangler than anyone thought. New powertrain options, some classic retro style, and all kinds of customization makes the new 2018 Jeep Wrangler better than ever.
New Powertrain Options
Returning to the Jeep Wrangler JL will be the popular Pentastar 3.6-liter V6 engine. This time around, the engine has been integrated with start-stop technology to conserve fuel. Contrary to popular belief, electric start-stop systems don’t hurt the engine. Still going strong, the Pentastar V6 still generates up to 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, and can be paired to the standard six-speed manual transmission or the new available eight-speed automatic transmission. Depending on the transmission, standard or automatic, consumers will have a fuel economy of either 17/23 mpg city/highway or 18/23 mpg city/highway, respectively.
New for 2018 is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine. The latter won’t be available for installation until 2019, but if hauling cargo is the reason to get the next-generation Wrangler, then it’s best to wait for that engine to be available. The EcoDiesel engine is said to produce 262 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque. Otherwise, the next strongest engine is the new turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, able to generate its best-in-class 270 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque.
Paired to the eight-speed automatic transmission as a standard, the new turbocharged engine has some great qualities. Made with a hybrid system known as eTorque, several functions associated with hybrids are available on the Wrangler JL, such as auto stop/start, electric power assist, extended fuel shut-off, transmission shift management, intelligent battery charging, and regenerative braking. This is a strong hint towards a plug-in hybrid vehicle that Jeep has been talking about. We’re thinking they felt the heat from Bollinger Motors all-electric off-road truck.
The Jeep Wrangler JL shed 200 pounds from its chassis. This was accomplished by constructing auto parts out of aluminum and steel, a blend that is currently trending in the auto market. The interior of the cabin has gone a little retro, looking clean and crisp, but is still modernized and keeps iconic Jeep heritage style. For improved comfort, consumers will want to look for trims with automatic climate control, heated seats, and a heated steering wheel available. For entertainment, the standard setup is still Uconnect 5.0 on a 5-inch touchscreen, but the next-generation of Uconnect 4 with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability and a 7.0-inch touchscreen is available on high-end trims.
If looking more for rock-crawling and off-road adventure, the Rubicon is the “Trailhawk” of the Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited. The new 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL already has many of its own off-road specs upgraded, including a ground clearance of 10.9 inches, the ability to cross bodies of water up to 30 inches, and a standard 2.72:1 crawl ratio. If in a Rubicon, such capabilities are made available with new equipment, including a Rock-Trac 4×4 system, Dana 44 front and rear axles, 17-inch wheels with 33-inch tires, standard Tru-Lok locking differentials, heavy gauge rock rails, electronic sway bar disconnect, functional vents behind the front wheel wells to help relieve underhood pressure, and available steel bumpers with winch mount points and removable end caps. Rumor says these may also be available on the rest of the lineup come mid-2018.
Although the exterior of the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL hasn’t changed much, available as a two-door or four-door model, and designed with round headlamps, square taillamps, a fold-down windshield, and removable doors, it does have a new way of going topless. There’s the standard hard top, made up of three pieces, and able to support roof racks for carrying extra cargo. A new convertible top has its own design for changing up the atmosphere when riding in a Jeep Wrangler. Also new is a premium powered soft-top, acting as a sunroof that can be opened up with a single button.
That about covers it so far, and what a lot of new stuff to look forward to. The 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL has a starting MSRP of $26,995. Maybe we’ll find some news on the Jeep Wrangler Pickup truck.