We expect it to arrive for the 2018 model year and be aluminum-intensive for purposes of weight savings, which will improve fuel economy. The platform is expected to remain a traditional body-on-frame setup, and manufacturing will remain at its longtime Toledo, OH, factory. The design appears true to the Wrangler's heritage, though the windshield is raked back more to make it less brick-like when cutting through the air. From some angles, the front end appears longer if you squint properly, and the front fenders seem wider and squatter than the current model's. There's probably more in store for the new Jeep, but this prototype is under such heavy cladding it's impossible to tell what. Kudos to the folks who make those vinyl coverings.
Look for the powertrain to again include a Pentastar V6, this time paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission – again for fuel economy, but also to improve the powertrain's flexibility. A V6 turbo diesel and a mild-hybrid variant are also expected. Even with all these departures from the long-running Wrangler playbook, the off-road capability will remain the vehicle's calling card.
The current Wrangler will also be built concurrently with this next-gen model for a time in Toledo, Automotive News reports, giving enthusiasts and traditionalists the best of both worlds. Jeep will also add a pickup based on the Wrangler's underpinnings to its portfolio in a move to capitalize on the resurgence of smaller trucks.
The Wrangler is both the halo and centerpiece of the remade Jeep lineup, which quickly is becoming one of Fiat Chrysler's pillars for sales and prestige around the world. Jeep hopes to sell 2 million vehicles globally by 2018.