Next Jeep Wrangler spotted with 8-speed and EcoDiesel
The spy photos below show a Wrangler mule with the current interior and an eight-speed automatic shifter fitted in place of the old five-speed unit. (There's a comparison photo in the gallery.) The shifter design matches that of the refreshed Dodge Charger and Challenger; the final Jeep version is likely to differ, but this clearly indicates what kind of transmission is underneath. Chrysler builds eight-speed automatics from a ZF design and also uses some transmissions built by ZF.
While it's not visible in the photos, the unmistakable sound of a diesel was heard coming from this Jeep. The EcoDiesel V6 is expected to be available alongside a new turbocharged four-cylinder engine that is rumored to have the code name "Hurricane." The turbo four may completely replace the current gas V6 or be offered in addition. There's a good chance the eight-speed will also be paired with the Hurricane engine, since improved fuel economy is a goal for the new model across the board. We don't yet know whether a manual transmission will be offered again, but it's a pretty good bet for one of the gas engines since many diehard off-roaders prefer the ultimate control.
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