Jeep plans to unveil the next-generation Wrangler at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November this year, and the latest details about the new model come directly from Jeep boss Mike Manley. We have found out more about the 2018 Jeep Wrangler, which is going to be the first vehicle produced by the American automaker which comes with electric power.
Here is what CEO stated regarding this: “It really does move everything the Wrangler stands for forward significantly. You’ll be really surprised how far we’ve been able to move things in terms of capability, fuel economy, ride comfort, noise and all of those things. I’m very pleased with where it is.”
Even though the new vehicle will see some significant differences, the design will remain mostly unchanged. “It’s definitely going to move the game along, but you will absolutely know it’s a Wrangler – for sure! If we did anything that departed from the Wrangler formula I don’t think I’d be able to get out of the States,” said Manley. Some of the features which were spotted on concepts such as the Jeep Switchback will make it to the production version. Manley explained: “The concepts absolutely point to the new car – stuff you’ve seen at Moab you’ll be able to point to and see in the new car.”
Some of the parts that are going to remain the same are the new headlights and “doughnut” doors of the Switchback. However, many more concept’s elements such as the cab rearward treatment, extended wheel arches, upright seven bar grille and the emphasized hood are going to stay intact on the production model.
Manley also talked about the new platform: “This platform is future-proofed. Like everyone, we have clearly defined plans for electrification of our vehicles. As you get into the 20s it’s impossible to have a balanced fleet without a wide range of electrification – we have those plans and we have the technology. You’ll probably hear more about electrification towards the end of this year.”
He went on to confirm that the 2018 Jeep Wrangler will be presented in LA this year. “We’re going to see Wrangler this year,” he told us. “With the LA Show dates shifting back we’ve managed to coincide with that, so you’ll see new Wrangler on 28 or 29 November. It’ll be right on the cusp of production when it hits Los Angeles and Europe will probably be August or September 2018.”
According to Manley, the pickup should follow two years later, while the range-topper Grand Wagoneer will hit the market in 2023. Jeep is also considering a model which is going to sit just below the Renegade. Manley declared: “We’re still very much looking at a smaller entry level Jeep – we’ve still got to work our way through a strong, viable business plan for that.”
What about the hybrid?
The company has tried working on hybrids in the past, and even the Wrangler EV concept was released back in 2008. Manley stated before that brand was considering electrification for the 2015 Wrangler model and once again at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year. In an interview at Geneva, Manley stated that some form of hybridization will be used for the new vehicle. He directly affirmed that hybrid would be included in the new range.
“Yes. We have continued our studies on hybridization for the Wrangler, and it’s a balance for us. Obviously, there are loads of different hybrid technologies, from mild to 48v through to full battery-electric. For the Wrangler, you need to strike the right balance; we don’t want to do something that will leave you stranded on a hillside. So, for me, full battery EV is not a great fit. But hybridization works well with the brand because of the attributes that come with electric motors – not just the torque, but also the control,” explained Manley.
He also said that the new model would go through a weight reduction program, but despite that, the high-strength steel would still be used. Jeep has also focused on improving fuel economy. Follow us for more details about the 2018 Jeep Wrangler.