2018 will be a big year for the car world. On the way is a new BMW M5, Porsche Cayenne, Lexus LS, Jaguar I-Pace, Chevy Silverado, Aston Martin Vantage, BMW X7, Audi A8, and much more. As eagerly as we anticipate each of these cars, though, one new model might steal the year’s spotlight: Jeep’s 2018 Wrangler JL.
It’s been over a decade since Jeep last introduced a Wrangler generation. Let that sink in a moment: The defining 4×4 vehicle has looked pretty much the same since 2007. As you can imagine, fans are foaming at the mouth, wringing their hands, and doing whatever else it is people do when they’re at wit’s end in wait. Bits and pieces of information have been teased out over the past few years, but this is our first meaty chunk of news: Jeep has revealed official photos of the JL generation Wrangler.
Thanks to spy shots of test vehicles, we expected the new Wrangler to look a lot like the current one (JK generation), but it’s really not easy to pick out the differences. Making matters more frustrating is that Jeep has yet to release any other information about the 4×4 model. From these images, we can see new headlights, re-sculpted front fenders, an updated grille, new wheel designs, more rounded window frames, and a ventilated hood. Apart from these touches, the JL has the same boxy shape we know and love.
Much more significant changes supposedly take place in the Wrangler’s cabin, but we’re still awaiting photographic evidence. We do know Chrysler’s latest UConnect 3 infotaiment system will be available, along with improved creature comforts and reshaped seats.
Other details that have leaked prior to this photo reveal include a new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder as the base engine, a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 as the upgraded motor, available six-speed manual and eight-speed automatic transmissions, and two transfer cases (one with low and high ranges, and the other with 4H Auto and 4H part-time modes). Down the road, Jeep may also offer a diesel-powered version and a (gasp) hybrid. Also confirmed is a Wrangler pickup version to be called the Scrambler.
If we don’t hear more about the new Wrangler in the coming weeks, we’ll get the full scoop at the Los Angeles auto show on November 29.