The new 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL will debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show on November 29, but already there is a pretty fair body of information out there about what to expect – including some new power plant and transmission combinations, technology and functional features standard or available. Jeep is also playing with their color palette again, adding some nifty new colors including three with ‘vibrant’ names that suggest their hues – Nacho, Mojito and Punk’n Metallic.
So, with only about three weeks until we get all of the info on the 2018 lineup, here is what we know about the Wrangler JL at this time.
Lineup: Sport and Rubicon trims will be the only two-door models. The Unlimited four-door will be available in Sport, Sahara and Rubicon.
Powertrain: The legendary 3.6L V6 (285 horsepower/260 lb.-ft. of torque) carries over with a standard 6-speed manual gear box but now offers an optional new 8-speed FCA automatic transmission with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters.
A turbo charged 2.0L 4-cylinder, said to be similar to the power plant in the Alfa Romeo Giulia, will arrive later. It will also be mated to the new FCA 8-speed automatic. In the Giulia, this engine delivers 280 horsepower and 306 lb.-ft. of torque.
Also arriving later will be a diesel, said to be the 3.0L EcoDiesel from the earlier Grand Cherokee that produced 240 horsepower and 420 lb.-ft. of torque. It will be mated to a 6-speed manual or a ZF-built (heavier duty) 8-speed automatic transmission.
There is also a new five-position transfer case that enables full-time all-wheel-drive if desired. We also understand that the new JL Wrangler will use upgraded (lighter and stronger) ‘floating’ Dana AdvanTEK axles.
Fuel economy estimates are only available for the V6 at this time. Expect 17/23 mpg city/highway and 19 mpg combined on the manual gearbox and an improved 18/23 mpg city/highway and 20 mpg combined with the 8-speed automatic.
Technology: Look for pushbutton and remote start features. We like the integration of an auxiliary power switch module in the center stack for aftermarket equipment enhancements. The module and its positioning make installation and operation much easier.
Uconnect 8.4 infotainment with its 8-inch touchscreen finally makes it into Jeep complete with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto options. Look also for off-road performance and trail pages on the new screen. In addition there will be the 7-inch Driver Information Screen on the IP to give the driver more information than before.
Exterior: The new Jeep is a touch longer than earlier generations due to the longer 8-speed automatic transmissions. We also see subtle changes in the signature seven-slot grille, revamped headlights (still round) and new LED horizontal daytime running lamps. We note that a full LED lighting option is available on the Sahara and Rubicon.
Colors: The color palette for 2018 includes several Clear Coat finishes including Billet Silver Metallic, Firecracker Red, Granite Crystal Metallic, Bright White and Black along with the Jeep Basic Silver, Black, White and Red. Later in the year Jeep will add new excitement to the line with a Nacho Clear Coat, Mojito!, Punk’n Metallic, Ocean Blue and a Sting-Gray.
Other: The iconic signature fold-down windshield continues with a safety enhancement. It will now fold-forward on a sub-assembly to allow the A-Pillars to stay upright in place for roll-over protection. We see that the backup camera will be in the center of the spare tire carrier for better rear visibility and we hear that there is a power soft-top (not sure how they are working that) in the works for later in the year.
We will have staff from inwheeltime.com / SportsMap 94.1FM closely monitoring the reveal of the new 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL and will get you more details as soon as we have them.
Photos courtesy of the folks at JLWranglerForums.