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Inheriting The Classics Or Catering To The Market? Jeep Wrangler History (Part Three)

Since its birth, the Wrangler have always shown themselves as pure classics and hardliners. After 20 years of evolution, it is also constantly adapting itself to the market trend, so that more people can accept it. But because of its own positioning, it has to keep a certain “distance” from the city. After all, the field is the stage for it to exert its skills. What choices and changes has it made in the third and fourth generation? Without further ado, come and have a look.

The third generation Wrangler is codenamed JK (hereinafter referred to as Wrangler JK). Although it was officially launched in 2006, research and development began as early as 2001. In the second quarter of 2003, designer Mark Moushegian won the design leadership of Wrangler JK in the company’s internal competition. In January 2004, Wrangler JK started the concept phase.

In January 2005, JEEP Gladiator concept car was first launched at Detroit auto show, and many of Wrangler JK’s design elements can be seen on it.

At the New York auto show a year later, Wrangler JK surprised the world with an imaginative and very cool way to show off.

The new car was covered with six tons of dirt. Several firefighters rushed the new car out of the dirt with four high-pressure water cannons, which can be said to be the real “earth breaking”.

Such a creative way to appear was unexpected. When Wrangler JK, showed up in front of the world from the dirt, the press conference was full of mud and water. Therefore, this press conference is also joked to be the “dirtiest” new car launch ceremony in history, which is really interesting.

Wrangler JK was first listed in the US in September 2006 and internationally in the first half of 2007.

At the beginning of the launch of JK series, there were two series of models, standard two door version and Unlimited. Among them, Unlimited is a long wheelbase and provides a four-door design.

There is no doubt that the most attractive model of JK is the four-door version. Unlimited has grown to the size of a mid-size SUV, with a body size (length, width, height) of 4,751×1877×1825 (mm) and a wheelbase 523mm longer than the regular version, reaching 2,947mm, providing passengers with a more comfortable and wider riding space, indicating that Wrangler JK is more customer-oriented in the market.

Wrangler JK is manufactured by Chrysler’s Toledo assembly plant in Ohio, USA, and its performance is further improved on the original basis.

Wrangler JK’s exterior and interior design have become more contemporary and the configuration also become more advanced. But that’s not the key point. For Wrangler fans, they prefer to see the inheritance of classic design.

All Wrangler models feature solid axles, detachable doors, exposed hinges, reversible front Windows, and detachable and folding roofs, which are the essence of the Wrangler series so far. It has two large series, with a particularly large number of subdivisions. Take the Unlimited series as an example, it also includes three types of Wrangler X, Wrangler Sahara and Wrangler Rubicon.

Wrangler X mainly serves the US postal service. Its boxy body gives it enough space to store letters, parcels, etc. Its powerful performance provides an additional layer of security for access to areas with poor road conditions.

Wrangler Sahara and Wrangler X are equipped with the second generation Command-Trac four-wheel drive system. The Nv241 transfer case has two different gear ratios, with a low gear ratio of 2.72:1.

Rubicon puts more emphasis on off-road performance. Compared to Sahara, Rubicon adds two pure mechanical differential locks on the front and rear axle, and equipped with the Dana 44 front axle and rear axle with greater carrying capacity.

In terms of power, Wrangler JK standard version and longshaft version are equipped with the same engine. It is equipped with a 3.8L V6 engine with a maximum output of 199 horsepower and a maximum torque of 315nm. Compared with the 4.0L L6 engine used in the previous generation, the maximum output power and torque are both increased.

At the international trade show on defense systems and equipment held in September 2007, Jeep also launched an Wrangler Unlimited version named J8 for military use.

The J8 has larger brakes, axles and suspension components than the civilian version, with a maximum load capacity of 1,339 kg. It is powered by a 2.8L four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine with a maximum power of 158 horsepower and a maximum torque of 400 nm. The J8 also features a unique air intake system, wading depth of up to 762mm and withstanding up to five hours of sandstorms. It should be noted that J8 is produced in Egypt because it does not meet the emission requirements of the United States.

Wrangler JK has a pivotal position around the world, especially in the US market. As of 2017, JK has sold 1.5 million vehicles.

Next up is a new generation of Wranglers codenamed JL, which FCA has invested $700 million in its Toledo plant in America. The new Jeep Wrangler will follow the style of the Wrangler on sale and add new design concepts, including more reasonable aerodynamic design and lightweight aluminum alloy components.

As the most symbolic model of JEEP, the FCA Group is fully prepared for the arrival of the new Wrangler.

On the eve of the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, the first-hand information of the new generation of Wranglers was exposed, and it can be seen that JEEP gives it more urban attributes.

The appearance of the new generation of Wranglers inherited the tough style of the Wranglers and has a high degree of recognition. Although it also follows the trend of the times to add many new design elements, but the classic shape is always its label. Like the current model, the new generation of Wranglers can still choose from multiple versions, mainly in two large series, Sahara and Rubicon.

In the original state of the new generation Wrangler, the approach angle reaches 44 degrees, the departure angle is 37 degrees, the ground clearance is 10.9 inches (276mm), and the wading depth reaches 762mm. All the hard indicators related to off-road capabilities are eye-catching.

No matter which version, you can choose the hard top or soft top version, there are a variety of roof combinations.

The new generation of Wrangler has added an electric opening and closing soft roof called Sky One-Touch. Compared with the current version that is only manually disassembled, it is a veritable convertible SUV now. In addition to the ceiling changes, the doors are also made of lighter aluminum alloy, and there are a variety of door panel styles and windshields available. All in all, you can think of the form of Wranglers are available as much as possible.

In addition to the change in appearance, the new generation of Wranglers also pays attention to the internal improvement. The relatively rough feeling of the current Wrangler no longer exists on it, and it takes care of the user’s daily use.

Of course, it retains many classic elements. Like a circular air outlet, front passenger handrail and the large knob for convenient operation.

The core of the configuration improvement is multimedia. The new Wrangler adopted the fourth generation Uconnect multimedia system.

The new generation Wrangler is equipped with a fourth-generation Uconnect multimedia system, with an 8.4-inch touch screen, with CarPlay and Android Auto interconnection functions. The UI and clarity of the screen are also good. This is an upgrade to the configuration of the car environment. And its functionality is not limited to multimedia systems, it can also display information including four-wheel drive status, transfer case status, front and rear, left and right tilt angles, transmission oil temperature, suspension information, oil temperature and other information, so that the driver can better understand the vehicle status when walking off-road.

For the Wrangler, the new power assembly is the key. The new 2.0T turbocharged engine is the latest product of FCA group.

The new generation of Wranglers used this specially adjusted engine, which is the first time jeep’s model has used this 2.0T engine. In terms of parameters, the maximum power of 268 horsepower and the maximum torque output of 400 nm are absolutely eye-catching.

In addition, the new generation Wrangler still provides 3.6L Pentastat V6 naturally aspirated engine for consumers to choose from. At the same time, in order to cater for the needs of diesel users, Jeep will launch a 3.0T diesel engine version in 2019. Matching the 3.6L and 2.0T engine is an 8-speed automatic transmission with the FCA code 850RE. The 3.6L model can also choose a 6-speed manual transmission, while the 3.0T diesel version will be equipped with an 8-speed automatic transmission from ZF.

The new generation Wrangler has added an intelligent four-wheel drive model equipped with a two-speed transmission box, which is also the first time in the history of Wrangler.

This four-wheel drive system named Command-Trac4x4 has a torque magnification of 2.72: 1 in the low-speed four-wheel drive gear. The intelligent four-wheel drive system also makes the Wrangler more suitable for urban road driving. It does not need to consider when to use four-wheel drive and when to use two-wheel drive. The electronic program will help the driver to choose. It is also relatively difficult to operate under moderate to light off-road conditions, giving the Wrangler a strong four-wheel drive capability and more urban attributes.

For Jeep, the Wrangler represents the spirit of the brand and its decades-long commitment to a pure off-road experience. The Wrangler is also the ultimate dream of many off-road vehicle fans. Maybe its appearance is not the most fashionable, but it is classic enough; maybe its configuration is not the most luxurious, but it is practical enough. For those who love it, it is a choice of spiritual longing, emotional satisfaction or life attitude, and it is a “personal weapon” that can advertise itself in the city.

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