Would dropping the “Wrangler” name dilute the reputation of Jeep’s halo vehicle?
Despite pushback from enthusiasts clamoring for real, fun, actual names, we’re living in an age of ever-increasing reliance on numbers and letters to stand as a vehicle’s name. And yet, the Wrangler name holds strong. Jeep has always been upfront about its internal codes though, from CJ all the way up through JL, and even including it’s non-Wrangler vehicles.
Even Porsche has gone retro-alphanumeric with the addition of 718 attached to the front of its Boxster/Cayman’s nomenclature, and the reliance on short, letter/number-indicating nameplates becomes ever-stronger as each year passes. And, just to drive the point home, enthusiasts regularly refer to models by their internal engine/chassis codes with increasing frequency, and many Jeep fans do so when talking about the Wrangler models they love so dearly. But, as even Jeep has begun referring to its newest Wrangler, it seems that they have even begun to acknowledge the helpfulness of internal/external codes being what buyers and enthusiasts alike recognize the model by.
Would Jeep calling the JL just “JL” and not “Wrangler” harm it in the eyes of the enthusiasts, and consumers alike? Does Jeep even need the “Wrangler” name going forward? Is it time for the company to embrace alphanumerics?
(Let the record show that I am no way in favor of automakers moving to alphanumerics; I’d rather see real names, even bad ones, before number/letter combos)