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Tough, refined and legendary: The new SA-bound Jeep Wrangler is the epitome of all-terrain driving

2018-07-12 12:03

Image: Newspress

An undisputed off-road champion and a unique vehicle for everyday urban adventures, the new generation of the iconic Jeep Wrangler offers excellent levels of comfort and superior driving dynamics.

The all-new Jeep Wrangler is a one-of-a-kind vehicle that is ready to write a fresh, unprecedented chapter in the legendary history of the Jeep brand, a story which began in 1941.

Fiat Chrysler Group SA says the new Wrangler will arrive in South Africa during the fourth quarter of 2018.

True to its roots

It is with this clear objective that the iconic Jeep Wrangler has been completely renewed while remaining true to itself, with legendary off-road capabilities, authentic Jeep styling and advanced technology features.

READ: SA-bound Trackhawk, new Wrangler... Jeep at the Geneva auto show

The result is the most capable Wrangler ever, courtesy of unmatched technical contents, which, depending on the trim, include two advanced four-wheel drive, active, on-demand full time systems - Command-Trac and Rock Trac, plus Tru-Lock electric front- and rear-axle lockers, Trac-Lok limited slip differential and electronic front sway-bar disconnect.

From the roughest terrain to more exclusive city streets, the all-new Jeep Wrangler is perfectly at ease, and delivers a more modern design, that stays true to the original, combined with more open-air freedom and advanced technology features in terms of safety and connectivity.

The fourth generation Jeep Wrangler is offered in three different trim levels: Sport, Sahara and Rubicon – all available in two- or four-door configuration, and in an all-new Overland pack, exclusively on the Sahara version, ensuring a more up-scale appearance.

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In Europe, sales of the all-new Jeep Wrangler will start in September. In specific countries outside Europe (Russia and the Middle East), first units of the all-new Wrangler will be available starting from July.

Improved legendary go-anywhere Jeep 4x4 capability

Engineered to master the most challenging off-road tracks, Jeep Wrangler is the result of more than seventy-five years of leadership in the development of 4x4 systems.

Two four-wheel drive systems are available: Command-Trac - on the Sport and Sahara trim levels, and Rock-Trac - standard on the Rubicon trim configuration, the most rugged and capable model for off-road driving. Both systems feature the new Selec-Trac full-time two-speed transfer case for a continuous monitoring and management of the torque sent to front and rear wheels.

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In details, Command-Trac four-wheel drive system features a two-speed transfer case with a 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio, heavy-duty next-generation Dana front and rear axles with 3.45 rear axle ratio for the petrol version, and 3.73 for the diesel versions.

The system operates in 4 driving modes (plus Neutral):

• 2H (Two-Wheel Drive High Range)
• 4H AUTO (Full-Time Active On-Demand High Drive)
• 4H Part-Time (Part-Time Four-Wheel Drive High Range)
• N (Neutral)
• 4L (Four-Wheel Drive Low Range)
• The new Wrangler features shift on the fly technology which allows for shifting between 2WD and 4WD High range at speed up to 72km/h.

In normal driving conditions, Command-Trac operates in two-wheel drive (2WD) and transfers 100 percent of engine torque to the rear axle. 

By shifting the dedicated lever to the 4WD High position, the driver can switch to four-wheel drive mode ideal when driving on slippery surfaces, such as sand, mud, snow or ice.

An available Trac-Lok limited-slip rear differential provides extra torque and grip during slippery, low-traction situations, such as driving over sand, gravel, snow or ice.

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Jeep Wrangler Rubicon models provide additional off-road prowess and are equipped with the Rock-Trac 4x4 system, featuring a two-speed transfer case with 4.0:1 low-range gear ratio and front and rear heavy-duty next-generation Dana 44 axles and Tru-Lok electric front- and rear-axle lockers to tackle the most extreme off-road trails.

The standard equipment also includes a front and rear axle ratio of 4.10 for the petrol models and 3.73 for the diesel versions, Tru-Lok electric front- and rear-axle lockers to tackle the most extreme off-road trails.

Rubicon models also offer added articulation and total suspension travel with help from an electronic sway-bar disconnect. This system allows drivers to disconnect the front sway bar to deliver additional wheel travel for traversing the toughest trails.

Wrangler Rubicon petrol models have a maximum and improved crawl ratio of 77.2:1 and of 70.3 on the Rubicon diesel versions – both of which makes scaling any obstacle on the trail easy.

Every Wrangler receives a "Trail Rated" badge that proves its legendary 4x4 capabilities. Trail Rated performance is the result of a series of heavy tests performed in the following areas: Traction, Water Fording, Manoeuvrability, Articulation and Ground Clearance.

On the all-new Jeep Wrangler, the Trail Rated badge includes the following features:

    • Command-Trac 4x4 system with 2.72:1 crawl ratio standard on the Sport and Sahara models;
    • Rock-Trac 4x4 system with "4LO" ratio of 4:1 and Tru-Lok locking differentials standard on Rubicon models;
    • Skid plates and rear tow hooks;
    • Benchmark approach angle (2-door Rubicon) of 36.4 degrees, breakover angle of 25.8 degrees, departure angle of 30.8 degrees and ground clearance of more than 25cm;
    • Up to 76cm of water fording
    • Up to 1 500kg of towing capacity (2-door models) and 2 500kg (4-door models).

Wrangler’s new exterior design is bold and rugged with a wide stance and lowered beltline with larger windows for better outward visibility, especially out on extreme trails.

The Jeep design team gave the legendary seven-slot grille a more modern look that now shows both of the outer grille slats intersecting with the headlights, paying homage to the legendary CJ model. The top of the keystone-shaped grille has been gently swept back for improved aerodynamics.

In the Sahara and Rubicon versions, the available headlights and LED fog lights feature crisp white lighting and add to the Wrangler’s distinctive look. The daytime running lights are positioned on the front of the trapezoidal wheel flares. From behind, traditional square tail lamps feature available LED lighting.

The windshield is tilted to an optimal degree to improve aerodynamics, and features a new four bolt design at the top of the windshield’s frame to allow the windshield to fold down quickly and easily.

The new header bar now connects the A-pillars and remains in place even when the windshield is folded down. This allows the rear-view mirror can remain in place even when the windshield has been folded away. Two-piece body-colour fender flares with a black lower insert are standard on Sahara.

New lightweight, high-strength aluminium doors feature the size of the Torx bit tool size stamped directly onto the hinge to easily remove the doors.

All Wrangler models now feature body-coloured sport bars, which are welded to the body and feature integrated grab handles.

Jeep Wrangler is a unique vehicle thanks to the several combinations offered to owners to enjoy open-air adventure, and features different windshield and top solutions that allow customers to choose multiple configuration possibilities.

As the only authentic full open-air 4x4 SUV available on the market, the all-new Jeep Wrangler offers various top combinations to ensure even more open-air freedom.

The modular Freedom Top hard top features an easy to use three-piece structure and has been improved with the introduction of lighter Freedom panels and improved latches that enable a quicker removal and installation of the hard top. Depending on the version, Freedom Top is available either as a body-colour or black hard top.

Last but not least, the position of the spare wheel support on the rear of the Wrangler is also new, as it has been lowered by approximately 300 mm, for better visibility of both driver and passengers.


An exclusive Overland pack is available to provide a more upscale appearance to the Sahara trim. It offers unique 18-inch aluminium wheels, body colour grille with Bright accent throats and headlamp bezels, body colour hard spare tyre cover and Overland logo. The unique exterior of the Overland pack is complemented by dedicated leather interior and LED lights.

A wide variety of wheels designs is available on the all-new Wrangler. The Sport version rides on standard 17" polished painted aluminium wheels and two optional 17” aluminium wheel designs – with models outside Europe featuring standard fully painted 17" steel wheels.

The Sahara version rides on standard 18" aluminium wheels and optional 18” wheels featuring the unique finish available with the sophisticated Overland Pack.

The all-capable Rubicon sports standard 17" painted polished aluminium wheels with 32-inch BF Goodrich Mud-Terrain tyres and optional 17" aluminium wheels with dedicated design and a black polished finish. These configurations may change according to markets needs and specifics.

The all-new Jeep Wrangler will be available in 10 different exterior colours: Black, Firecracker Red, Billet Silver Metallic, Bright White, Granite Crystal Metallic, Hellayella, Ocean Blue, Punk’n Metallic, Mojito and Sting Gray.

New interiors offering comfort and functionality

The interior of the new Jeep Wrangler combines authentic styling, versatility, functionality and intuitive feature use, in addition to a more stylish and comfortable cabin, thanks to the use of high-quality materials and finishes. 

The heritage-inspired centre stack features a clean, sculpted form that compliments the horizontal dashboard design and sports a finish dictated by the model choice. A hand-wrapped instrument panel features a soft-touch surface with accent stitching on Wrangler Sahara models.

Functional features, including climate and volume control knobs, Engine Stop Start (ESS) control and media charging and connectivity ports are all sculpted for quick recognition and are easily within reach of the front-seat occupants.

Inboard and outboard circular HVAC vents are surrounded by a platinum chrome bezel for a precise and premium yet rugged appearance.

Jeep functionality and versatility are celebrated in the completely restyled centre console which houses the gear shift selection, transfer case and parking brake. Real bolts featured on the shifter, grab handles and frame the infotainment screen highlight genuine construction methods.

Making its debut on the all-new Jeep Wrangler, a push-button starter, featuring a weather-proof surround is easily located within the driver’s reach. The fabric or leather upholstered seats feature accent stitching, and now offer adjustable bolster and lumbar support. Available comfort options include heated front seats and steering wheel.

The driver and front passenger vinyl-wrapped door trim panels are soft to the touch, and feature lengthened arm rests for better comfort.

The instrument cluster features a 3.5-inch or 7-inc thin-film transistor (TFT) information LED display. The 7-inch LED display, offered as standard on the Sahara and Rubicon versions, is full-colour and allows the driver to configure information in more than 100 ways.

Integrated buttons on the steering wheel control audio, voice, and speed functions and allow the driver to keep their hands on the wheel at all times.

The all-new Wrangler makes no exception, and offers a host of clever storage solutions, durable mesh pockets that extend the entire length of the doors, cup holders and numerous phone storage areas.

The glove box is now damped and like the centre console, can be locked to safely secure valuables when the top is down. An under-floor storage area behind the rear seat provides room to secure small items out of sight.

The available all-new Trail Rail cargo management system allows easy access to the contents in the cargo area and provides additional storage options to organize and secure cargo.

There is also a functional new screws and bolts organizer at the bottom of the trunk, to store away individual screws, and a tool kit with instructions inside the central armrest.

Both tool kit and organizer were designed to stock screws and bolts of the Wrangler’s tops, doors and foldable windshield when driving open-air, and underline how everything onboard the iconic Jeep has been engineered for easy, practical usage.

One of Wrangler's unique characteristics are the entirely washable interiors and the protective rubber cover for the infotainment system screen, that allows easy clean up in complete peace of mind.

Reliable body-on-frame design at the heart of the legendary Jeep capabilities

Thanks to its body-on-frame design and featuring a superbly engineered five-link suspension system, Wrangler delivers benchmark 4x4 capability, with improved on-road driving dynamics, passenger safety and a more comfortable driving experience.

The use of light-weight, high-strength aluminium closures - including doors, door hinges, fender flares, windshield frame and magnesium swing gate – contributed to reduce the overall vehicle weight, improving its fuel efficiency.

To protect critical vehicle components while on the trail – including the fuel tank, transfer case and automatic transmission oil pan – Wrangler employs four skid plates and bars. Rubicon models benefit from the use of heavy gauge tubular steel rock rails to curtail potential body damage inflicted while out on the trail.

All-new Wrangler’ suspension have been tuned to optimize on-road handling and ride comfort without sacrificing off-road capability. Wrangler continues to utilize the proven five-link coil suspension configuration.

Front suspension features a lateral control arm and four longitudinal control arms, while the five-link rear suspension features two upper and two lower forged steel control arms for longitudinal control, and a track bar for lateral axle control.

New powertrains for the all-new Jeep Wrangler

The Wrangler engine range is enhanced with the introduction of two new engines – the 2.2-litre MultiJet II turbo diesel and the 2.0-litre turbocharged inline four-cylinder petrol engine.

Both join the 3.6-litre V-6 Pentastar engine upgraded for the new Wrangler and already available in its engine offer. All Wrangler engine options are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, an absolute new for this model.

New 2.2-litre MultiJet II turbo diesel engine: featuring second-generation MultiJet technology, the new, efficient 2.2-litre diesel engine features four valves per cylinder, a belt-driven Double Over Head Camshafts (DOHC), 2 000-bar Common Rail injection system, solenoid injectors and a variable geometry turbocharger (VGT).

Mated to a new eight-speed automatic transmission, the 2.2-litre turbo diesel engine delivers 200hP at 3 500rpm and a torque of 450Nm at 2 000rpm. The 2.2-litre engine also features fuel-saving Stop-Start (ESS) technology.

Main characteristics of the 2.2-litre engine are:

• Cylinder block is made by aluminium alloy
• Balancing system is a gear driven Lancaster system embedded into block
• Cylinder head is in aluminium alloy and timing system is a double overhead camshaft for a 16-valve configuration
• Valve train features roller finger followers and hydraulic lash adjusters
• Fuel Injection System is a second generation Multijet technology, 2000 bar injection pressure with solenoid injectors capable of Injection Rate Shaping management
• Turbocharger is a Variable Geometry managed by an electric actuator
• The engine emissions are managed with a new multiway EGR system, with LP EGR and HP EGR, both cooled. In addition the air is cooled with a Water Cooled Air Cooler that helps to reduce emission improving the engine responsiveness. The aftertreatment has a underfloor SCR system that reduces NOx to negligible values and a DOC and DPF close coupled to the engine for the particulate Matter reduction. Both these aftertreatment systems makes the vehicle compliant to the new RDE Euro 6/D standards.

New 2.0-litre turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine: the new 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine delivers 202kW (272Hp) a 5 250rpm and 400Nm at 3 000rpm and features engine Stop-Start (ESS).

Mated to the new eight-speed automatic gearbox, this engine is part of the Global Medium Engine architecture family and features Double Over Head Camshafts (DOHC), dual independent camshaft timing and a cooled exhaust gas recirculation (C-EGR) system.

This is the first time that the combined use of a Twin Scroll turbocharger, C-EGR system, central direct injection and the independent liquid cooling intake of air, throttle body and turbo have been employed together.

This combination of technologies affords superior levels of performance while at the same time reducing fuel consumption. The new 2.0-litre will be available across Europe in the fourth quarter of 2018.

3.6-litre Pentastar V-6 engine (Only for the Middle East and Africa): already available in the Wrangler engine range, the 3.6-litre delivers 284 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm and 347 Nm of torque @ 4,100 rpm, and now features Stop-Start (ESS) as standard equipment.

It was engineered to provide a broad torque band with a focus on low-end torque – an essential trait a vehicle with extreme off-road performance levels such as the Wrangler. The 3.6-litre petrol engine will be available only in specific markets outside Europe, such as the Middle East.

New eight-speed automatic transmission: all Jeep Wrangler engine options are mated to the new eight-speed automatic transmission enabling the vehicle to optimize engine output while on the trails or enjoying smooth, efficient power delivery at highway speeds. Uniquely suited to the requirements of the all-new Wrangler, the new automatic gearbox delivers unmatched off-road capabilities.

Jeep Wrangler and Mopar: more than 180 exclusive accessories complement the individual lifestyles of all-new Jeep Wrangler owners

For the launch of the all-new Wrangler, Mopar - the FCA brand in charge of after-sales services and products - is in the front-line, confirming its strong bond with the Jeep brand in exploring the world of customization.

Owners of the new Jeep Wrangler will be able to choose from more than 180 Original Accessories developed by Mopar® and specifically designed and engineered to offer the most comprehensive and extensive customization possibilities and suit the various Wrangler customers’ lifestyles.

Two different customizations with Original Accessories by Mopar for the Sahara model enhance its off-road characteristics, while emphasizing the urban style of the iconic Jeep Wrangler

To support the launch activities in the EMEA region, two Jeep Wrangler Sahara models will be displayed in the dedicated Mopar area set up in Spielberg (Austria) at the location of the international Wrangler media drive - both will be featuring different customizations including Original Accessories developed by Mopar and created in order to further enhance the off-road capability and urban appeal of the most iconic Jeep vehicle.

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The exclusive 'Off-road' customization is enhanced by a Steel Blue Metallic exterior, and features a 2" lift kit, 17" Off-Road Gear wheels and tyres, "1941" hood graphic and “Moab” body graphic, moulded splash guards, mesh bikini, snorkel and specific windshield off-road lights.

The 'Urban' one is enhanced by a Granite Crystal exterior and features silver valve caps with Jeep logo, "1941" body graphic, 32" tyre cover and several chrome details adorning the tube steps, door sills and fuel door – all adding to the urban appeal of the all-new Wrangler. Among the accessories on display, the public will be able to admire the wide variety of tyre covers developed for the all-new Wrangler.

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