The next generation Jeep Wrangler will be unveiled at LA Auto Show, but here’s our first glimpse by way of leaked documents.
The new 2018 Jeep Wrangler has leaked in full on an online forum ahead of its official unveiling at the LA Motor Show later this year.
We’ve published plenty of spy shots of the new Wrangler before, but the leaked images of the firm’s rugged new 4×4 throw up no surprises – it’s still an old-school, boxy off-roader, and there’s little change compared to the outgoing model. The appearance is slightly refreshed with a new grille, headlights, and subtle new indicator clusters. Both two and four door variants will continue to be offered.
For the US market at least, two petrol engines are set to be offered – a 2.0-litre four-cylinder and a 3.6-litre V6 unit, which replaces the 2.8-litre diesel offered before. However, a diesel engine is expected to hit the line-up later in the car’s life. Power and torque figures for the two petrol engines are not published in the leaked document.
In the cabin, things remain similar to as they are now, though new infotainment is set to feature – a seven-inch touchscreen system will be offered alongside an 8.4-inch option with built-in satellite navigation.
According to the leaked manual, the infotainment system will now act as a central hub for controlling many of the car’s settings, including climate and off-road controls. The new Wrangler also boasts fresh assistance and safety technology in the form of automatic emergency braking, a new braking mode specifically designed with wet weather in mind, and adaptive steering which can be configured for different terrain.
The leaked manual doesn’t reference a hybrid Wrangler, but later in its life it’s likely to be the first Jeep model to feature electric power.
Speaking to Auto Express about the new car earlier this year, Jeep boss Mike Manley said: “It really does move everything the Wrangler stands for forward significantly.
“You’ll be really surprised how far we’ve been able to move things in terms of capability, fuel economy, ride comfort, noise and all of those things. I’m very pleased with where it is.”
When asked if the new Wrangler platform was ready for electric power, Manley told us, “This platform is future-proofed.”
“Like everyone we have clearly defined plans for electrification of our vehicles. As you get into the 20s it’s impossible to have a balanced fleet without a wide range of electrification – we have those plans and we have the technology. You’ll probably hear more about electrification towards the end of this year.”
That ties in with the launch of the new Wrangler, which Manley revealed would take place at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show. “We’re going to see Wrangler this year,” he told us. “With the LA Show dates shifting back we’ve managed to coincide with that, so you’ll see new Wrangler on 28 or 29 November.
“It’ll be right on the cusp of production when it hits Los Angeles and Europe will probably be August or September 2018.”
Manley also confirmed that a Jeep pickup would follow Wrangler out of the blocks in 2019, to be followed by the range-topping Grand Wagoneer in 2020. A smaller Jeep sitting under the Renegade is also under consideration, with Manley telling us: “We’re still very much looking at a smaller entry level Jeep – we’ve still got to work our way through a strong, viable business plan for that”
Jeep Wrangler hybrid: what we already know
Jeep has experimented with hybrid tech in past, releasing a Wrangler EV concept as long ago as 2008. And Mike Manley has previously indicated to Auto Express that the brand was considering electrification for the new Wrangler in 2015 and at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.
In an interview at the Geneva Motor Show, Manley revealed that the next Wrangler will feature some form of hybridisation. Asked directly if a hybrid would feature in the new range, he said, “Yes. We have continued our studies on hybridisation for the Wrangler, and it’s a balance for us. Obviously there are loads of different hybrid technologies, from mild to 48v through to full battery-electric.
“For the Wrangler you need to strike the right balance; we don’t want to do something that will leave you stranded on a hillside. So for me, full battery EV is not a great fit. But hybridisation works well with the brand because of the attributes that come with electric motors – not just the torque, but also the control.”
Manley added that the new Wrangler would be put through a weight reduction programmed, but would still use the high-strength steels that ensure its robustness in extreme conditions. Jeep has also concentrated on improving the fuel economy and NVH on the new 4×4.