The supremely-popular Jeep Wrangler JK – FCA’s outgoing version of the adventure-ready Wrangler SUV, which has been in near-continuous production for more than a decade – will officially end production this Friday when the very last example rolls off the assembly line at FCA’s Toledo Assembly Complex in Ohio. The capable off-roader has been replaced by an all-new Jeep Wrangler, codenamed “JL”, which was unveiled to the world at last year’s Los Angeles Auto Show and promptly entered production at the same complex.
The JK generation of the Jeep Wrangler is the first to spawn a four-door model: the Wrangler Unlimited, known by some as the “JKU”. The Unlimited got off to a rough start, initially selling about half as many units as the regular two-door model, Automotive News says. But with time, Fiat Chrysler’s investment in the JKU proved to be quite smart, as the four-door off-roader is now roughly twice as popular as the standard model. In effect, it helped broaden the Wrangler’s appeal by signaling that the vehicle wasn’t just for hardcore off-roaders, willing to make all sorts of sacrifices to have a capable rock-crawler; you could daily it, if you want, or use it to take the whole family on vacation.
The all-new Jeep Wrangler JL entered production in November of last year, being built alongside the JK for several months at the north end of Toledo Assembly. It launched with a single engine option – FCA’s familiar, 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 – and later added a second: a turbocharged, 2.0-liter I4. A 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 is on the way.