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A pair of Jeep Wrangler powertrain mules caught testing this month show the extended chassis needed to convert the off-roader to an eight-speed automatic transmission from its five-speed gearbox.

Visible on the two-door Wrangler and four-door Wrangler Unlimited test vehicles are extensions of about 10 inches in front of the A-pillar to accommodate the longer eight-speed.

The mules also show changes in the Wrangler's suspension geometry, including a redesigned rear axle and rear differential, and excluding a rear track bar.

The next-generation Wrangler is expected in 2017 for the 2018 model year.
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