Sunday, Dec 17, 2017 | Last Update : 02:06 AM IST
Wrangler builds on its legacy and is now improved in terms of off-roading capabilities, interior comfort and safety.
Jeep has officially unveiled the 2018 Wrangler at the ongoing Los Angeles Auto Show. Christened “the most capable SUV ever”, the American manufacturer, Jeep, has kept us intrigued by dropping its exterior and interior shots ahead of the official unveil.
Like every Wrangler before it, the new one too is based on a body-on-frame design. But this time around, it gets a five-link suspension system which promises to make the new Wrangler a better off-roader while increasing safety for the passengers. To make the new Wrangler is lighter without compromising on strength, Jeep has used lightweight aluminium for the doors, hinges, bonnet, etc. To further shed weight, the Wrangler gets hollow track and stabiliser bars along with aluminium engine mounts and steering gear. The approach angle of 44 degrees, breakover angle of 27.8 degrees, and departure angle of 37 degrees are all better than the previous generation SUV. The new Wrangler boasts of a ground clearance of 276mm and water wading depth of 762mm. All of this has been made possible because of the large 33-inch off-road tyres.
Talking about the design, it gets the signature 7-slat grille up front. However, the round LED headlamps now intersect with the outer slats. In addition to this, the rake of the windshield has changed as well and now features a new bolt design at the bottom which lets you fold the windshield. The new Wrangler continues to get dozens of different door, top and windshield combinations. A new half-door design will be available starting from 2019.
Like the exterior, the cabin of the 2018 Wrangler has been refreshed as well and looks way more modern than before. However, some bits like the round AC vents and high-mounted dashboard look familiar. The centre console features a clean and sculpted design and houses the gear lever, 4x4 shifter and parking brake. It also gets a 5.0-, 7.0- or an 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system which comes equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The instrument cluster is also new and features a 7-inch (3.5-inch in lower models) driver information display which shows information such as tyre pressure, speed and media playback.
Now, for the ‘heart’ of the matter.The 2018 Wrangler is offered with three engine options - a 3.0-litre EcoDiesel V6, a 2.0-litre turbocharged inline 4-cylinder petrol and the existing 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 petrol engine, which has been updated for the new SUV. In India, the Wrangler Unlimited is offered with a 2.8-litre diesel and the 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 petrol engine producing 200PS/460Nm and 284PS/347Nm respectively. These engines are mated to a 5-speed manual transmission with Command-Trac 4x4 system which sends power to all four wheels. India is the only market which gets the 2.8-litre diesel engine.
3.0-litre engine will be available starting 2019.
Power from the engines will be sent to the wheels by two different 4x4 systems- Command-Trac and Rock-Trac. Command-Trac gets a two-speed transfer case with a 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio and front and rear axles with a 3.45 rear axle ratio, and is available only in Standard and Sahara models. Rock-Trac features heavy-duty Dana 44 front and rear axles with a “4LO” ratio of 4:1. A 4.10 front and rear axle ratio is standard along with Tru-Lok locking differentials. The Rock-Trac system is available only with Rubicon models which in all likeliness will not make it to India though we dearly hope they do.
On the safety front, Jeep claims the Wrangler has been equipped with 75 safety and security features. Available features include Blind-spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Path detection, ParkView rear backup camera with dynamic grid lines, electronic stability control (ESC) with electronic roll mitigation and four standard airbags.
2018 Jeep Wrangler 2-door model is available in three different trim configurations: Sport, Sport S and Rubicon. The Wrangler 4-door models will also be available in the aforementioned trims along with a Sahara configuration as well. The new Wrangler is being produced at its Toledo, Ohio, facility and will go sale in January 2018 in the USA.
Currently, the Wrangler offered in India is the Wrangler Unlimited, which is priced at Rs 56 lakh and Rs 64.4 lakh for petrol and diesel variant respectively. So, when the updated Wrangler is launched in India, we expect it to be in later half of 2018 and, it will most likely attract a premium over the current model