2018 Jeep Wrangler JL Debut at LA Auto Show
Well, the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show, December 2017, and with the press getting in on it early, the internet and every auto website and blog out there has been saturated with the news. There is so much good stuff coming out of this show that it’s hard to know where to start. We guess it comes down to whether you’re looking for new tech, new concepts, or just following a certain brand. It goes without saying we’ve been reading all about the next generation 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL, and we finally got to see it in all its glory.
3.6L V6 Engine
The next-generation Jeep Wrangler, the Jeep Wrangler JL, is available with three engine options. Returning to the Wrangler lineup for the new generation design is the 3.6-liter V6 engine, and it’s been slightly tweaked. The 3.6L V6 engine now features Engine Start-Stop, a fuel saving technology that turns off the engine when it is idling. Like the previous Wrangler JK, the 3.6L engine comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission, but the new Wrangler JL is now available with a new eight-speed automatic transmission. Able to generate up to 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, the fuel economy for the Jeep Wrangler JL powered by the V6 engine is 17/23 mpg city/highway when equipped with the manual transmission and 18/23 mpg city/highway when equipped with the automatic transmission.
New 2.0L I-4 Engine
The other engine options are new to the Wrangler lineup. The new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is a great new option because it enhances vehicle performance, boosts torque, and improves fuel economy. The 2.0L engine has best-in-class 270 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque; that’s more torque than the larger 3.6L V6 engine offers. The 2.0L engine comes standard with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
We talked a little about how turbo and superchargers create more horsepower when discussing the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon power chiller. In addition to the help from the turbocharger, the new engine’s eTorque system also improves performance. The eTorque system has hybrid functions like auto stop/start, electric power assist, extended fuel shut-off, transmission shift management, intelligent battery charging, and regenerative braking.
New 3.0L EcoDiesel Engine
Starting in 2019, Wrangler JL will be available with the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine that is available on a couple other Jeep models. Registering on the dynamometer at 262 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque, the EcoDiesel engine is a great option for those that want maximum torque, a feature that is especially helpful when off-roading or towing.
Jeep made a lot of efforts to make the next-generation Wrangler JL lighter than previous models and they were able to decrease the vehicle’s weight by 200 pounds by making the vehicle’s hood, doors, and windshield frame with aluminum.
We got a look at the 2018 Jeep Wrangler cabin and in action last month, but for a little recap, the new interior focuses on the retro classy style while keeping the rugged and heritage-style of Jeep clear. Some new bits to point out are the new push-button start, 5.0-inch touch screen and Uconnect 5.0. Buyers also have the option to upgrade their Wrangler JL with the next-generation of Uconnect 4 that features Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a 7.0-inch touchscreen.
Also, there are new safety features and they are great for a vehicle as off-road capable as the Jeep Wrangler. Systems like electronic stability control (ESC) with electronic roll mitigation are standard Many buyers will want to opt for the available Blind-spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Path Detection, and ParkView rear backup camera with dynamic gridlines.
Customization is key with the Jeep Wrangler, and that’s no different with the NEW Wrangler JL. Aside from being available as a two-door or four-door model, the Jeep Wrangler JL comes with round headlamps, square taillamps, a fold-down windshield, two removable hardtop roofs, a premium soft top roof, and removable doors. The three top options are a convertible top (definitely new for Jeep), the standard hardtop, and a powered soft top. Like a sunroof, the powered soft top requires a single button to move it around. The convertible top has its own design for removal, and the hard top can be removed in pieces of three and has the added support of carrying roof racks.
The Rubicon trim returns for both, the two-door and four-door models. Like Trailhawk trims, the Rubicon comes with its own exclusive 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. All of that will do wonders for the already great off-road specs – a ground clearance of 10.9 inches, able to cross terrain with 30-inches of water, and a standard 2.72:1 crawl ratio (84.2:1 and 77.2:1 for Rubicon models).
Many customizable parts will be made available as well. Jeep teased them at SEMA in Vegas, but now over 200 accessories will be made available when the 2018 Jeep Wrangler is released, including 2-inch round steel tube doors, a front “Stubby” bumper, a 2-inch lift kit, LED off-road lights, a Jeep Performance Parts snorkel, to name a few. Look out for them when building a 2018 Jeep Wrangler.
One last inkling. In 2020, expect to see a plug-in hybrid Jeep. The eTorque mentioned above is the first foray into alternative fuel technology for Jeep. This would be Jeep testing things out as it were.
“A full plug-in electric Jeep Wrangler will be available in 2020, furthering our commitment to all those who value the responsible, sustainable enjoyment of the great outdoors and very importantly, future proofing this Wrangler for generations to come,” – Mike Manley, Jeep CEO.
Now that’s a whole lot of information on the new 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL, and it’s all thanks to the Los Angeles Auto Show. A lot of the specs and style of the new 2018 Jeep Wrangler were released beforehand, but all of this just adds to the excitement of the new model. What do you think of the new Jeep Wrangler JL? Tell us your thoughts on social media and our Aventura CJDR Facebook page. The discussion, as usual, starts there. Let’s get to it.