Pitting the company versus the buyers: From turbodiesel to pickup, your semi-comprehensive and somewhat speculative guide on the upcoming JL Wrangler
[This is Part 2 of a multi-entry installment about the 2018+ Jeep Wrangler. Stay tuned for further installments, and further breakdowns of what we want Jeep to do vs what Jeep will actually do.]
Part 2: 4WD & Off-Road Hardware
You know what must be a stressful job? Redesigning something as beloved as the Jeep Wrangler. I can’t imagine that being part of the team helping to prepare any other all-new vehicle is anything short of overwhelming, and, with so much riding on its success, it has to be a thousand times more so to be part of the crew working on Jeep’s four-wheel-drive convertible off-road legend. Even compared to the re-introduction of another treasured nameplate, a la Bronco (which we’re hoping Ford doesn’t screw up), contributing to a project with so much riding on the line must induce high-level stress. It’s one of the few vehicles that the general American public cares about, and one that everybody expects to live on forever. The Wrangler is, after all, an American icon.
As such, it’s absolutely crucial that Jeep gets the next generation of Wrangler right; not just to help the company meet sales projections, but to succeed with the buyers as well. Amidst an explosion in sales and no sign of slowing down, Jeep is at a crossroads: build a vehicle that will sell, or build a vehicle that’s true to the loyalists and hardcore off-roaders? In Part 1 we explored the JL’s exterior and what it will take to make it a success, so now let’s dive into the prospective upcoming Wrangler’s 4WD and off-road hardware/credentials, dissect what Jeep needs to do to please everybody, and hopefully paint a picture of a desirable future JL in which Jeep can hopefully please the consumers and the corporate heads alike. Now, if you will, jump with me…and don’t dream too much about a Rubicon pickup along the way.