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Revised Front and Rear End Design

Overall design changes from the JK to JL will be incremental, don't expect any major changes here. Although everything you'll hear currently is all speculation, spy shots speak volumes. Some expected changes are the tail lights (X design similar to the Renegade), grille, front and rear bumpers.

On the Pickup variant (JT) expect larger proportions, a 7-slot grille and different tail lights just to name a few.

So far, from what we can see in the test mule spy shots, the windshield seems to have a steeper rake to improve the Wrangler’s aerodynamics so we’ve incorporated that into the render along with an elongated front end in order to fit FCA's 8-speed automatic transmission. Something else that has been stretched is the wheelbase, just a couple of inches for a roomier interior.

As for the JL’s front, its grille may be getting a bend near the top and the turns signals have been relocated to the outer fenders instead of their traditional location on either side of the grille.

The tail-lights are likely to change to Renegade-style ones, and the headlights, while sticking to round shapes, should gain an LED or HID option.
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Pickup Truck Variant

Knowing that design isn't set to deviate much away from the JK, with shots of the upcoming pickup like the above, its easy to connect the dots. Some of the most noticeable and significant to potential buyers is how much bigger it seems than the regular Wrangler. Bed dimensions should appeal to individuals in the mainstream truck segments.

These photos show a very-long-wheelbase Wrangler with a decent-size pickup bed. It looks to be about the same overall size as the AEV Brute Double Cab Wrangler pickup conversion, which itself is about the length of a Suburban. The bed appears to be in the five-foot range, maybe slightly shorter than the standard box of a half-ton truck. And those taillights, or at lest the covers on them, recall the shape of the lights on a Ram.

These overhead shots also give a better look at the next Wrangler's evolved seven-slot grille. We see bigger spacing between thinner ribs, which would seem antithetical to the goal of improving the Wrangler's traditionally poor aerodynamics. It's possible FCA is using an air shutter to manage airflow, as it does on the Ram pickups and some other products.
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Features To Be Dropped

Although overall design isn't changing much (thankfully), we will be losing some things. Mentions of no fold-down windshield and no soft-top can be consistently found regardless of where you look. Factoring the increased level of safety that comes with just these changes, its easy to see why Jeep would go that route.

Most expect Jeep to make the Wrangler more aerodynamic, with a slightly larger slant to the windshield. The fold-down windshield may be dropped; it is unique for Jeep in North America, but few seem to care about it. Removable doors are likely to remain; the grille is reportedly to get a bend near the top. (See the Jeep Shortcut concept below for a preview of how these changes may look.)
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Aluminum Throughout The Body

Rumors of Jeeps use of aluminum throughout the JL stretched as far as the entire tub being made out of the light weight metal, but that's yet to be proved. With aluminum use growing in the industry, don't be surprised if this happens, Ford's all-new F150 is a good example.

Rumor had the Wrangler switching to an aluminum tub, but in May 2015, Sergio Marchionne said, “I think we can do almost as well without doing it all-aluminum.” The Wrangler will likely use a tough hydroformed steel frame to save weight and increase rigidity

We knew the Wrangler would be lighter than the prior generation. Just read an article from Left Lane News that pretty much outlines where you'll find the weight savings.

In a nutshell, aluminum inner doors while the exterior may be out of steel still, the hood will be completely aluminum however. That may not be all, so we may hear more about other weight saving areas.
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Improved Fuel Efficiency

Aside from subtle exterior design changes, little is known about what Jeep has planned to improve MPG's. One big game changer will be through offering a diesel power plant, much like what RAM has done along with other major players in the truck market.

"You have to be very careful with the aero of Wrangler, because at the end of the day, it needs to be recognizable as a Wrangler," Manley told AN. "To some extent that restricts you on some of the aero that you can do." Spy photos show a more rakish windshield and fascia, both key moves to lessen the aerodynamic impact of the Jeep's traditionally brick-like design.

"But with weight and a number of the changes that we've made, you're going to see that we've really pushed that vehicle forward in terms of its fuel economy."

The context of that last sentence points to a weight savings, something Automotive News backs up. While the Wrangler won't go all-aluminum, its frame is going to be lighter and stronger, and it will use aluminum for certain "hang-on" body parts. But this push for weight savings won't extend to the Wrangler's intangibles. It'll still ride on a body-on-frame architecture and feature solid axles at both ends, for example.

Combine Manley's comments and AN's reports with news that the Wrangler will use an eight-speed automatic and offer diesel and four-cylinder turbo power in its next generation, and it's clear Jeep is trying to make the biggest strides in decades without alienating its die-hard fans.
 

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Would the diesel Wrangler be sold in North America? I heard that some manufacturers leave it out as an option but still sell diesel in Europe as it's not as popular in SUV sized vehicles in the States.
 

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Well with the diesel market in America growing so much that now we can buy a RAM 1500 Diesel then that's already a good indication of what to expect.
Then you have other truck makers getting into the game, Ford being another one.

Following that car makers getting into it as well, Chevy, BMW, the list goes on.
 

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Diesel vehicles are more fuel efficient than petrol and with the increasingly strict emission regulations, I can see more and more manufacturers offering it to the North American market.

Won't be surprised if Jeep offers it and a 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 is already in one of their models.
 

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As more information comes out we should be able to see confirmation of that happening.
They always want to look for a way to diversify where engines are going and there's just nothing better than the JT, following that the JL.

JL Diesel will do a lot for scooping up a lot of the SUV market, checks off a lot of boxes.
 

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Maybe at the Bantam Jeep Festival? I think they set a world record for the largest parade of Jeeps, what better place to show off the new JL to enthusiasts than there?
 

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That is one serious event. 3 days, a heck of a ton of different things to do. A little historical part on Jeeps, training guides, etc. That would be the best place to do it.
 

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Jeep can hijack the event by having the festival be focused all around the new Wrangler. So many ways for them to go about it. Probably the best will be getting first impression quick takes from the people attending the event.

It beats hearing some first impression from a journalist that never owned anything aside from a Vespa, Prius and Bus Pass.
 

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The event still won't be focused around the new Wrangler, but it'll probably just have a presentation that people will be open to come and watch, and possibly... possibly some test drives, but I doubt that part.
 

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The current Jeep Wrangler with a 3.6L Pentastar engine average around 20 mpg in the city and around 25mpg on the highway. Think Jeep can hit the 30 mpg highway mark with the JL?
 

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With the 2.0L turbo engine, I'm sure they can hit that 30mph highway mark no problem at all. The JL is going to be lighter and the engine is guaranteed to be more fuel efficient than the 3.6L Pentastar
 

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The current Jeep Wrangler with a 3.6L Pentastar engine average around 20 mpg in the city and around 25mpg on the highway. Think Jeep can hit the 30 mpg highway mark with the JL?
There's a lot going on that will contribute to them achieving that goal. Starting from the top is the hurricane engine + use of light weight materials + new 8 speed transmission.

Then following that are all the unknowns about what else will influence.
 

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I don't think a 5 mpg increase is out of reach for Jeep maybe we'll see the new Wrangler surpass the 30 mark, or am I being too optimistic?
 

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At worst that should be what they're able to accomplish.

Somewhere I read they also want to go hybrid so if that is really the case, it makes sense for the JL to be developed in a way that complements all the planned powertrains and streamline the whole process. Cost cutting is always a concern so that's also something we have to look at when speculating.
 

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They'll definitely be going hybrid without question. A 5mpg increase really isn't that hard to achieve. Like posted before - lighter in weight contributes to better mpg. A smaller engine going from 3.6 to 2.0 4 banger with the aid of a turbo contributes to better mpg. This shouldn't even be questionable.

The mpg race that's currently going on, I would be surprised if it's not more than 5mpg gain.
 

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Something else I expect to see are optional or standard 35-inch tires as it's already a popular upgrade among JK enthusiasts. Why not just give that to us?
 

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Doubt that happening as their more intended for off-road use tires and won't provide optimal road-performance for it. They'll have two different rim options but nothing that we would consider buying aftermarket.
 

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Perhaps I'm being too optimistic seeing as how the Rubicon Recon can accommodate up to 35-inch tires. I'm hoping the same would apply to the Wrangler JL and Jeep would give us optional 35 inch tires.
 

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Perhaps I'm being too optimistic seeing as how the Rubicon Recon can accommodate up to 35-inch tires. I'm hoping the same would apply to the Wrangler JL and Jeep would give us optional 35 inch tires.
There's little change in buyers if any from the JK to JL so that's where you can find your answer on what to expect. I'll be surprised if they make it harder to follow the path many have been used to on the JK.

The Wrangler is a recipe that works and that changing could do more harm than good, treading carefully is what they need to do.
 

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A set of 35 inches will definitely fit into the new Wrangler JL, what's different are the rock rails but if your set if too long you can easily cut it down to size. If you're going to get the Recon, may as well go for the Unlimited for just $3,800 as it comes with more leg room and trunk space. Just better bang for your buck compared to the two door in this case.
 
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