By Amanda Gubbins
FCA debuted the highly anticipated ’18 Jeep Wrangler on Wednesday. The two-door model is available in three different trim configurations: Sport, Sport S and Rubicon. Wrangler four-door models are available in four different trim configurations: Sport, Sport S, Sahara and Rubicon.
Every Wrangler model receives a Trail Rated badge and includes Command-Trac 4x4 system with 2.72:1 crawl ratio standard on Sport and Sahara models, aRock-Trac 4x4 system with a “4LO” ratio of 4:1, and Tru-Lok locking differentials standard on Rubicon models. Wrangler is rated for up to 30 in. of water fording and up to a 3,500-lb. towing capacity. It has an approach angle of 44 degrees, breakover angle of 27.8 degrees, departure angle of 37 degrees and a 10.9-in. ground clearance.
The 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 and all-new 2.0L turbocharged inline four-cylinder engines join the Wrangler lineup, while the 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine is upgraded for 2018. An eight-speed automatic transmission is available on all Jeep Wrangler models and delivers a 77.2:1 crawl ratio. The improved 4x4 performance benefits from a 4.7:1 first gear ratio coupled with a 4.1:1 final drive delivers unmatched capability. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on all models. A 4.41 ratio spread offers improved fuel efficiency at faster speeds and delivers quick acceleration with smooth, precise shift quality.
The Wrangler’s exterior design stays true to its roots, features a wider stance and lowered beltline with larger windows for better visibility. The seven-slot grille shows both of the outer grille slats intersecting with the headlights, paying homage to the Jeep CJ.
The windshield’s rake was optimized for improved aerodynamics and features a new four-bolt design at the top of the windshield’s frame for quick folding. A new header bar now connects the A-pillars and stays in place even when the windshield is folded down so the rearview mirror can stay in place.
Inside, a push-button starter, featuring a weather-proof surround, makes its debut. The instrument cluster features a 3.5- or an available 7-in. thin-film transistor (TFT) information LED display. Integrated buttons on the steering wheel control audio, voice and speed functions. A 7.0- or an available 8.4-in. touchscreen houses the fourth-generation Uconnect system and sits prominently atop the center stack. A 5.0-in. touchscreen is standard on the Wrangler Sport.
The new Wrangler also offers more than 75 available active and passive safety and security features, including blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-path detection, ParkView rear backup camera with dynamic grid lines, electronic stability control (ESC) with electronic roll mitigation and four standard air bags.