It looks like our speculation on the next generation 2017 Jeep Wrangler is taking shape. Allpar recently released this 2017 Jeep Wrangler concept art by Jack Ratchett, which follows many of the concepts we think Jeep will use in the new Wrangler. This includes a more aerodynamic body and a stretched two door, but there’s one major exception: Allpar believes that Jeep is working on an IFS for the next generation Wrangler. Say it ain’t so!
If you’re an avid Jeeper like myself, then you’ve been living on bite sized rumors about the next generation Jeep Wrangler. And although the next generation Wrangler is a few years away, the Jeep community is already chomping at the bit for the redesign. In particular, whether or not Jeep (or should I say Fiat?) will toss the straight axle for an independent front suspension.
The problem that faces Jeep is stricter fuel economy standards mandated by the EPA, which state that by 2025 auto manufacturers must produce cars, light trucks, and SUV’s with a 54.5 MPG rating. Luckily for us the EPA doesn’t realize that Jeeps fall into their own category thereby making their laws invalid! haha! just kidding; this is actually a big leap for Jeep considering the Wrangler has yet to break the 20 MPG mark.
The solution has to be a considerably lighter and aerodynamic Wrangler with a better engine; but will we lose the straight axle to make weight? The rumor mill seems to think so, especially after Jeep’s CEO Mike Manley told Automotive News that there are no guarantees the new Wrangler will have a straight axle.
Fortunately, Manley knows his name is on the line with the Wrangler redesign:
“Frankly, I know that if I screw up the next Wrangler, then I probably wouldn’t be able to leave my house for a long time.”
- Mike Manley
With that being said, let’s take a look at what Jeepers want in the next generation Wrangler – slated for release in 2017:
Straight axle front end
The biggest issue of the redesign is whether or not the new Wrangler will stay true to its roots and keep the straight axle. The vast majority of Wrangler owners want a straight axle, and I’m no different. Sure, there’s a time and place for IFS, and I do realize that independent suspensions can handle KoH, but those are finely tuned machines – not mass market vehicles. The one thing that straight axles have over independent suspensions is simplicity, which lends itself to upgradability with aftermarket parts. I consider simplicity to be one of the Wrangler’s greatest strengths, and Jeep needs to embrace this in its redesign. Continue reading
Finally, a Jeep Wrangler diesel is within sight! According to Edmunds, an anonymous industry insider has tipped that the 2016 Jeep Wrangler, which will be available 2015, will have a diesel engine option. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise considering that Chrysler group now offers diesel options for the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2014 Dodge RAM 1500. Don’t forget that they’ve also been testing a diesel Jeep Wrangler in the states.
Not only will the 2016 Jeep Wrangler receive the CRD diesel option, but it’ll be given a refresher – presumably with a new interior trim and exterior colors/options. This move will renew the JK Wrangler as it nears the end of its decade long tenure. I’ve also been told that the 2017 model year is when we should expect a new Wrangler from Jeep. I was told this during EJS ’13 by a Jeep employee working on the project. Continue reading
Jeep president Mike Manley recently stirred up the automotive world when he revealed to the Australian site CarAdvice that Jeep is considering a new Jeep pickup truck. Some speculate that if this is true then we could see a Jeep truck in the next generation of Wranglers around 2015. It’s still unknown whether a Jeep pickup would be on a Wrangler or Fiat platform. What is known is that Chrysler has been toying with the pickup truck concept for awhile now. Back in 2005 is when we first got a taste of the new Wrangler truck with the remodeled Jeep Gladiator.
Chrysler teased us again during the 2012 Easter Jeep Safari when Jeep unveiled a Jeep 2500 Heavy Duty. Don’t forget that Chrysler has also been testing a diesel Wrangler in America. Combine that with strong JK-8 sales, and Jeep has more than enough R&D to crank out an entire line of diesel equipped Jeep trucks.
With the Jeep Liberty discontinued, the Wagoneer in the works, and Durango on the chopping block; it looks as if Chrysler has some big plans ahead. Let’s just hope this includes a well thought out pickup truck that meets the needs of today’s motorist.
Originally reported on expeditionportal.com
Photos Courtest of Bruce “Honeybadger” Dorn.
By now every Jeep enthusiast under the sun has begged Jeep to bring us a diesel option for the JK Wrangler- they offer great fuel economy, increased torque, and better reliability. It’s not even that they don’t produce a diesel Jeep- they do. It’s just for the european market only. Yesterday, on our way to Detroit with Expeditions 7, we ran into two European specification diesel Wranglers being tested, could this be a sign of things to come for the US market? A sky shot perhaps? Or is it just Jeep testing a better product to ship elsewhere?
From what we could tell on the highway the vehicles (a two door and a four door) were left hand drive, and featured soft upper doors, “Euro Spec Diesel” markings, as well as a CRD badge.