2018 Jeep Wrangler Sheds Weight And Gains Tech Gear While Retaining Iconic Design

Jeep has let slip everything you might want to know about the new JL Wrangler ahead of its official launch. The new JL Wrangler looks much like the outgoing JK Wrangler it replaces, but it is heavily changed from that outgoing model. The key takeaway here is that the JL Wrangler is said to be vastly improved both on an off-road.

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One of the major changes to the new generation Wrangler comes inside the vehicle where it gets a much better and more upscale interior. The JL has a backup camera and new infotainment system. It looks almost like a finished car now; not something that appears to be missing trim panels with exposed ducts and wire inside as some past generation Wranglers.

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Before Wrangler off-road purists get worried, despite being better on road and more comfortable on a daily basis, the Wrangler still has all the off-road prowess expected from the Wrangler. The JL is 2.8-inches longer and 1.4-inches wider respectively for the two-door, and 3.8-inches longer and 2.4-inches wider for the four-door version.

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Changes to the fender flares and headlights are said to help hide that growth when parked next to the outgoing JK Wrangler. The JL weights less thanks to aluminum body panels and other tweaks to help it shed 200 pounds compared to its predecessor. That means better performance and fuel economy.

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The Sahara model is in the JL line and gets body-color fender flares and the Rubicon gets front fender flares that sit 2-inches higher than other models. Rubicon also gets steel front and rear bumpers with removable end-caps. That front bumper is ready for a Warn winch with no modifications. The Rubicon also gets 33-inch BFG T/A KO2 tires said to be the largest ever fitted to a Wrangler at the factory. A Mopar 2-inch lift is available allowing for the fitting of 35s without modifications.

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Jeep redesigned the canvas top and ditched all zippers and replaced them with tongue-in-groove sliders. Raising and lowering the roof a one-person job on the JL thanks to spring loading. The front portion of the soft top will slide back making a sunroof of sots. The doors are removable and half doors with a portal to see what's going on off-road are available.

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The roll cage ditches the canvas covering and is body color on all models with attached padding to protect your head. The windshield does fold down and that operations is much easier. All you need to do on the JL is remove the wiper arms and undo four bolts. Four-door Wrangler JLs with lots of options including a factory-first power soft top.

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The three-piece Freedom hardtop is still optional and has been lightened to make removal easier. Base power will be a 3.6L Pentastar V6 making 285hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, and is paired with a 6-speed manual or an 8-speed automatic. The optional engine is a 2.0L turbo four making 270hp and 295 lb-ft torque, and is only available with the 8-speed automatic. The EcoDiesel V6 will land in 2019 and will make 260hp and 442 lb-ft torque.