2018 Jeep Wrangler JL – An elusive creature

FCA is still not ready to show us the highly anticipated Jeep Wrangler JL, not without some heavy camouflage. Some clues to its appearance that we have gathered so far are that it will have a wider stance with extended fender flares, a sloped windshield and grill, and a longer front-end. Beyond that it’s up to imagination (rest assured, it still looks like a Jeep).

What we do know for certain are some of the performance aspects of the next generation Wrangler. First off, the 3.6L Pentastar V6 will continue to power the Wrangler as the standard engine option in 2018. An alternative 300HP 4-cylinder dubbed the “Hurricane” will be available, but what excites us the most is the new 3.0L diesel option that’s rated to get up to 30 mpg.

The JL will come with either an all-new 8-speed automatic or 6-speed manual transmission. FCA scared enthusiasts a couple months ago when they started asking customers how they would feel if there wasn’t a manual option for the 2018 Jeep, but they are indeed keeping the same 6-speed manual you would find in the 2016 JK. The three extra gears in the new automatic will greatly increase fuel economy, which is apparently a high priority in FCA’s design for the JL.

The steel body panels are being replaced with much lighter aluminum ones that should still be strong enough to handle trail riding. The Dana 44 axle is being replaced with… another Dana 44 axle, one that’s been re-engineered to be lighter. And a new “hydroformed steel frame” will also shave off a lot of weight to make this one of the lightest, factory standard Jeeps ever.

Below are some renderings that the guys at Wrangler JL Forum came up with. In their mockup, they included the rumored glass roof option that definitely looks interesting.

If you could have the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL, what would you want to go on it?

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