JL Wrangler MIGHT Be Bigger
The JL Wrangler could possibly get a longer wheelbase thanks to a new transmission, specifically the TorqueFlite 8-speed transmission. This may or may not be the case, but as you`ll soon find out, there`s reasons to justify why:
_______________________________Allpar published an interesting piece earlier this week wondering if the JL Wranglers will be forced to grow length wise. They had help from a former Jeep engineer.
The new to JL 8 speed transmission is going to force Jeeps hand one way or another. Because the TorqueFlite 8 speed transmission is longer they're either forced to shorten the driveline or lengthen the truck.
Former Jeep Engineer Bob Sheaves writes: “The problem in the short-wheelbase Wrangler is the assembled length of the drivetrain, and suspension travel not allowing a propshaft to fit.”
It's suggested that Jeep could potentially shorten the transfer case instead and leave the JL's wheelbase unchanged from JK. They could also do both...
Crew Cab Wrangler Pickup?
With the idea of a JL Wrangler pickup going around, you likely dreamed of the idea of a crew cab joining the line up along the regular cab (much like other truck brands). While the idea was once off the table, we could be hearing more about it coming to market.
_______________________________When we detailed the Wrangler pickup last week it was under the assumption that Jeep was constrained by the production carriers at Toledo and thus unable to build the JL as a Crew Cab pickup truck, but what if that might not be the case?
When Jeep confirmed that Wrangler production would be staying in Toledo early in September, it was also noted that the Cherokee would be leaving. Significant because Toledo comprised of two facilities, one for body-on-frame vehicles (Wrangler) and the other for uni-body construction (Cherokee). The uni-body side of the compound will now be converted to body-on-frame production as well.
This is an interesting strategic move for FCA as it allows them to go above and beyond Toledos original planned capacity increase and expand the production line to handle more then the 116-inch wheelbase that the current carriers constrain them to. Not only would this open the door for a Crew Cab Wrangler, but also allow FCA some flexibility with RAM 1500 production.
What do you think, should Jeep build the JL Pickup in both Crew and Regular Cab layouts?
Hybrid May Be Coming
A growing need for better fuel efficiency along with other reasons Jeep boss Mike Manley has, all quoted throughout below, are all pointing towards a first for the Wrangler… hybrid.
_______________________________New Jeep Wrangler could get hybrid tech | Auto Express
Jeep boss says all-new 2017 Wrangler off-roader could feature hybrid powertrain
Jeep has admitted that it is considering hybrid technology as it prepares an all-new Wrangler for 2017.
The US off-road brand faces a similar task to Land Rover, which is readying a new Defender, in that it has to update its most famous model without threatening its iconic status.
Jeep boss Mike Manley told Auto Express that preserving the look, improving the on-road dynamics and achieving better fuel efficiency were his three priorities for the new version of the off-road legend.
“You have the potential for hybrid powertrains in the future,” he admitted.
“For those people who use the Wrangler, the most important thing is the initial torque and the crawl ratio.
“With an electric motor you have the most torque available and with the right combination of transmission and gear ratios you can create incredible crawl ratios.”
But the eco tech wouldn’t be without its problems if Jeep does go down that route. Continued Manley: “Where you have to be careful with the Wrangler is range.
“If you are eight hours and four miles into a trail, there is not a hybrid that we could do which could provide the battery support.
“The way that combination is calibrated would be more unique for a Wrangler than it would, for example, a Grand Cherokee.”
Other solutions being considered for the new Wrangler are diesel power for US models, lighter materials and aerodynamic upgrades.
Confirmed Manley: “The use of aluminium and high-strength steel is huge for us. There is opportunity for carbon fibre as well.
“You will see more advanced technologies used than on the current vehicle, as it needs to be more capable than the previous one.
“And from styling point of view we have to be very careful – if we styled a Wrangler that didn’t look like a Wrangler, I would have to have eight security guards!”
Despite being able to trace its origins back to the military Jeep of the second world war, 213g/km emissions from its 2.8-litre engine and poor fuel economy, the Wrangler has never been more popular.
Sales have risen from 140,000 in 2009 to 246,000 in 2014 and Manley knows there is massive interest in what he has planned next. And he admits it is not guaranteed that he will follow Land Rover’s route of testing its ideas out for the Defender with concepts.
“You may see concepts before then to shift perception, or we may do it a different way,” he said.
“We are a social brand. I already have a community of 2,000 advocates that I use regularly to get feedback - whether it’s a name or a feature or a function. It’s proven to be relatively reliable.”
Observing what`s going on over at FCA with its current Hellcat vehicles and future predictions, a Hellcat-powered Wrangler becomes not all that far off from reality…
_______________________________Ok, I know this is just a bit of fantasy, but with FCA shoehorning the Hellcat motor into the Charger, Challenger, Grand Cherokee (upcoming), Dodge Durango (upcoming Durango SRT), and other rumored vehicles, maybe we could one day see a Hellcat-powered JL?
I think it would be too much power for the chassis, but still, it would be bada$$!
Powertrain talk is vital as we know changes are coming but not exactly what just yet, all to support what Jeep has envisioned for the Wranglers new direction in the market. VM Motori`s 2.8L 4 cylinder turbo diesel seems most likely, but there`s more:
_______________________________We've talked about the JL's body, chassis and potential for a pickup but now lets talk power.
First up, its safe to assume the JL will continue to offer the Pentastar V6, in all likelyhood it will remain the Wranglers standard engine. The Pentastar has undergone a rework for the 2016 Model Year with most of the work going into reducing pumping loses and internal friction. FCA claims the new V6 offers 15% better torque below 3,000 RPM, fuel economy improves 6%.
Sticking to gasoline there are also rumours that the JL could make use of oft rumoured Hurricane Turbo 4 cylinder. Its thought that the Hurricane could be built in 2 flavours 2.0 and 2.4, the 2.4 could potentially reach 300 hp and be a suitable replacement for the V6. Jeep could offer the Hurricane 2.4T as an upgrade engine over the Pentastar for those interested in fuel economy.
On the diesel front its thought that Jeep could offer up the Wrangler with an oil burner for the first time in America. The most likely candidate is the VM Motori 2.8L 4 cylinder turbo diesel. Jeep engineers would already be familiar with this engine as its offered as an option on European Wranglers. There is also potential for it to use the 2.0 MultiJet diesel from the Renegade, however that might be too underpowered for American tastes, making 103 hp and 258 lb-ft of twist. The last option could come from the UK Cherokee, the 2.2L MultiJet II makes 200 hp and 324 lb-ft of torque.
There has also been talk of Jeep considering a mild hybrid model, but few details are available from Jeep outside of a few coments about instant torque delivery. "You have the potential for hybrid powertrains in the future. For those people who use the Wrangler, the most important thing is the initial torque and the crawl ratio.”
ZF's 8-Speed Automatic Transmission?
Joining other efforts to better fuel economy, ZF`s 8-Speed Automatic Transmission (which FCA already uses) is seeming likely to make its way to the Wrangler
_______________________________Do we know if the JL will have the ubiquitous (and excellent) ZF 8-speed automatic transmission, currently fitted to the Grand Cherokee, Charger, and several other FCA products?
ZF’s 8-Speed Automatic Transmission - Tech Dept. - Car and Driver
What is interesting is this transmission was specifically designed for use with start-stop systems. This could be the first Wrangler with a start-stop feature to save fuel.
'X' Design Taillight Design
The all-new Renegade presented a great opportunity to see what Jeep has in sort for the brands new design language expected to spread throughout the line-up. Included in the new design language, `X`design tail lights. Could the JL Wrangler get a version of these?
With the Renegade showing Jeeps latest design language, featuring an "x" design tail light setup, what are the chances we could expect the 2018 Wrangler JL to get something similar?