The current-generation Jeep Wrangler was unveiled back in 2006 and the vehicle is still going strong, even after ten years, which is rarely seen in the world of automobiles. Hence, we can safely say that a new variant of the Wrangler has been long overdue.
The emission standards around the world have tightened ever since and so has the safety standards. As a result, it was time for Jeep to think about the successor to the Wrangler. Jeep’s primary rival, Land Rover, has been consistently upgrading their age-old designs and technology, which has put them in a whole different league as far as Jeep is concerned.
However, we cannot compare the Wrangler with any other vehicle at the moment, since, it is a soft top with the primary focus on tackling any road condition. Even though Land Rover has been doing the same in the past, with the Defender nearing the end of the line, none of their current-generation vehicles have the same potential.
As a result, all eyes are currently on the 2017 Jeep Wrangler. So what can we expect from the successor? For now, it is evident that Jeep is in no mood to diminish the off-road potential of the Wrangler, although, they might have to add a few safety features to make the soft top a little safer.
Jeep also needs to retain the solid axle on the Wrangler, since a lot of the loyalists would hate to see it go. Another reason for the addition of a solid axle is it allows the suspension to be increased while adding larger tires. Hence, the absence of a solid axle will not be taken lightly by the Jeep Wrangler community, if they are unable to modify their vehicles to that extent.
Rumors claim that Jeep is working on a four-door variant of the Wrangler, which is expected to be showcased alongside the three-door variant in 2017, although, we are not sure about the design, performance or price of the vehicle.
Jeep is also working on a hybrid variant of the Wrangler, which the company claim shall be ready for mass production by 2019. Hence, it is safe to assume that the next few years will be quite eventful for Jeep.
According to Mike Manley, CEO, Jeep, the hybrid powertrain has a lot of scope in the off-roading industry, since, the vehicles are able to generate instant torque, which is one of the most important features required in rock crawling.
With the right combination of gear ratios and torque, it is incredible how the right crawl ratio is attained. Initially, Jeep plans on using a small battery, similar to the one currently used in the Land Rover Sports Hybrid. Although, the company could shift to a larger power source, if needed.
The upcoming powertrain could also include an on-demand function where the vehicle is front-wheel-driven on most accounts, but can also engage rear-wheel drive when required. However, that is a mere speculation at the moment, since Jeep has revealed nothing about a ‘next-generation powertrain’ so far.
Another piece of speculation suggests that Jeep is also working on ‘future white-board’ vehicles such as the Jeep Pickup truck and the Jeep Grand Wagoneer. However, these can neither be confirmed nor denied at the moment since we have insufficient information on the subject.