What sets this design concept apart from any other Wrangler Unlimited is the dragon motif that dominates throughout. Jeep started with a Rubicon Unlimited, blacked out everything from the fenders and bumpers to the wheels and roof and applied bronze-gold dragon decals to the hood and left flank, the spare tire cover, the unique carbon-fiber engine cover and the interior. Bronze-gold trim complements throughout, with a gold and black leather interior with gold snakeskin bolsters to top it all off.
More than a simple decal job, the Wrangler Dragon design concept looks pretty convincing, and if demand in China is high enough, Jeep might even build it. Just don't count on it showing up in your local dealership on this side of the Pacific, though – you'll just have to scope it out in the high-res image gallery above and scroll down for further details in the official press release.
Jeep® Wrangler "Dragon" Design Concept Debuts at 2012 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition
• Jeep Wrangler "Dragon"design concept blends two powerful icons
• Jeep brand portfolio on display reflects presence in three core SUV segments for China market
Today, the Jeep® brand introduced the Jeep Wrangler "Dragon" design concept at the 2012 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition. The concept integrates two icons together in one: the Wrangler, as the off-road icon of the Jeep brand, and the honored Chinese dragon. Belief holds that both possess incredible capabilities, making them a perfect combination.
According to the Chinese Zodiac, this is the Year of the Dragon, which is held with high regard in Chinese culture. The dragon symbolizes strength and power and is an aspirational character normally associated with royalty and good fortune. It was these characteristics that inspired the upscale design of the Jeep Wrangler Dragon concept.
"The Jeep brand is committed to China and therefore we must design and tailor our vehicles to the specific tastes and preferences of Chinese consumers," said Mike Manley, Chief Operating Officer for Asia and President and CEO – Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. "The Wrangler Dragon design concept is the first Jeep vehicle designed specifically with Chinese elements in mind and showcases the opportunity for special editions that might be available for China in the near future."
Jeep Wrangler Dragon Design Concept
The Jeep Wrangler Dragon design concept is based on a China-market Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon painted black with a black body-color three-piece hard top. From there, the designers incorporated numerous bronze-gold details – a color associated with the dragon. These bronze-gold details can be found inside the front grille slats, headlamp surrounds and Jeep badging front and rear.
The unique 18-inch five-spoke alloy wheels are matte black with a bronze-gold high-gloss outer edge and feature 35-inch off-road tires. Other bronze-gold touches include a pad-printed engine cover, bolts for the fuel-filler door and the taillamp assembly, a Chinese dragon character side badge and wheel center caps.
The exterior also has black highlights such as painted fenders, a gloss-black applique on the front bumper, and a tone-on-tone dragon decal that starts on the hood and runs down the driver's side of the vehicle. There is also a dragon motif on a unique carbon-fiber insulator mounted under the hood and on the gloss-black spare tire cover. Final exterior touches include a Mopar® fuel-filler door and a black-finish LED exterior lighting package that features aftermarket projector headlamps, fog lamps, turn lamps and taillamps.
Moving to the interior, the black and bronze-gold theme continues with black leather seating surfaces with bronze-gold accent piping and stitching. Magic Wand metallic leather is on the side bolsters and the sides of the head restraints, while a laser-etched dragon pattern is on the face of the head restraints. Dragon-scale patterned bronze-gold leather covers the outside edges of the seats and front center arm rest.
Other interior touches include high-gloss piano black instrument panel bezels, bronze-gold accent trim on the steering wheel spokes, instrument cluster, passenger-side dashboard grab handle and door handles,and gold accent stitching on the leather-wrapped door bolsters. Finishing the interior modifications are dragon tags on the front and rear floor mats.
Chinese dragons symbolize potent and auspicious powers, particularly control over water, rain and winds and their more severe weather phenomena. Dragons are symbols of the natural world, adaptability and transformation – divine creatures capable of doing anything.
While debuting as a design concept at the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition, the Jeep Wrangler Dragon could become a production model if demand is great enough.
Jeep Wrangler for 2012 in China
Jeep Wrangler – the most capable and recognized vehicle in the world – becomes even more capable both on- and off-road for 2012, courtesy of an all-new, more fuel-efficient and more powerful 3.6-liter V-6 engine, as well as a new automatic transmission – both of which it shares with the award-winning Jeep Grand Cherokee (In Europe, Jeep Wrangler is also powered by a 2.8-liter turbo diesel engine).
Chrysler Group's 3.6-liter Pentastar® V-6 engine – winner of the prestigious Ward's 10 Best Engines award in the U.S. – delivers 284 horsepower DIN (209 kW)and 347 N•m (256 lb.-ft.) of torque. The improvement, when compared to the previous 3.8-liter V-6 engine, is over 40 percent in horsepower and 10 percent in torque.
2012 Jeep Wrangler interior highlights include a recently redesigned instrument panel and storage areas with improved ergonomics and upgraded materials. A lockable console and upgraded door armrest areas boast comfortable touch points, while a redesigned center stack is easier to reach and operate. Heated power mirrors are available, and drivers and passengers enjoy enhanced visibility courtesy of larger rear windows.
Jeep Brand in China
The Jeep brand lineup in China currently includes the Grand Cherokee, Compass, Patriot and Wrangler – a portfolio that has been well suited to the brand's Chinese customers. Jeep brand sales in China in 2011 increased 81 percent over the prior year, and China is the Chrysler Group's most important market outside North America.
Last year, more Jeep vehicles were sold in China than in any other country besides the U.S. and Canada, and Jeep sales have been steadily growing in this critical market over the past five years.
Jeep Brand Globally
Built on more than 70 years of legendary heritage, Jeep is the authentic SUV brand with class-leading capability, craftsmanship and versatility for people who seek extraordinary journeys. The Jeep brand delivers an open invitation to live life to the fullest by offering a full line of vehicles that continue to provide owners with a sense of security to handle any journey with confidence.
For 2011, Jeep brand's worldwide sales increased by 41 percentversus 2010. Jeep was the Chrysler Group's top-selling brand outside North America, rising by 46 percent versus the prior year and comprising 63 percent of Chrysler Group's total international sales.
Chrysler Group LLC manages vehicle marketing, sales and service – together with alliance partner Fiat Group – in more than 120 countries around the world.
Turin, April 23d 2012