Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Jeep brand has finally revealed its all-new, 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL in earnest at the 2017 LA Auto Show, after weeks of trickling out new photographs and minute details. It by no means represents a radical departure from the previous-generation Jeep Wrangler – nor should it, as the JK was an enormous sales success, far outpacing any prior iteration of the rugged off-roader.
That said, the JL is definitively all-new, from its roof down to its tires, and we’ve got all the important new specs right here.
The 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL is up to 200 pounds lighter than the outgoing model, thanks to aluminum body parts and a new, high-strength steel frame. That’s despite growing larger in just about every dimension. Just take a look at this table:
|Jeep Wrangler JK||Jeep Wrangler JL||Change|
|Length (2-Door/4-Door)||164.3/184.9 in.||167.1/188.7 in.||2.8/3.8 in.|
|Wheelbase (2-Door/4-Door)||95.4/116 in.||96.8/118.4 in.||1.4/2.4 in.|
|Width||73.7 in.||73.9 in.||0.2 in.|
|Track Width||61.9 in.||64.4 in.||2.5 in.|
The extra size isn’t liable to make off-roading much more difficult, however – certainly not on the serious-minded Wrangler Rubicon. That model gets the largest tires ever fitted to a Jeep from the factory, at 33 inches in diameter, and tires up to 35 inches in diameter can be used with a 2-inch lift kit from Mopar. What’s more, the Rubicon’s steel front bumper features removable end caps that, when taken off, improve the approach angle.
The base engine in the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL is still the familiar 3.6L Pentastar V6, mated to an all-new 6-speed manual transmission as standard, or optionally, for the first time, an 8-speed TorqueFlite automatic. As promised, a turbocharged four-cylinder displacing 2.0 liters joins the lineup, although it can be had only with the 8-speed auto. And starting in 2019, a 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 will be available exclusively in the four-door Wrangler models, and again, only with the 8-speed.
|3.6L Pentastar V6||2.0L Turbocharged I4||3.0L EcoDiesel V6|
|Power||285 HP @ 6,400 RPM||270 HP @ 5,250 RPM||260 HP|
|Torque||260 lb-ft. @ 4,800 RPM||295 lb-ft. @ 3,000 RPM||442 lb-ft.|
As for the drivetrain, base models will be fitted with Dana 30 front, and Dana 35 rear axles, with four-wheel-drive provided by a Command-Trac NV241 transfer case with a 2.72:1 low range. A Trac-Lok limited-slip differential in the rear will be optional, and buyers of the Sahara model will have the option of a Selec-Trac transfer case with a full-time 4WD mode.
The Rubicon, meanwhile, will have Dana 44 axles front and rear, a Rock-Trac transfer case with a 4:1 low range, and Tru-Lok electronic locking differentials. The front sway bar will feature an electronic disconnect to provide more articulation on demand.
All this isn’t to mention the innumerable new features that have come to the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL, like a simpler fold-down windshield system, available blind-spot monitoring, and an optional power-folding soft top. While the JL is still fundamentally made up of the same stuff as previous Wranglers – a body slapped on top of a ladder frame, with solid front and rear axles – the new generation makes meaningful strides toward factory off-roader perfection.
We can’t wait to drive one.