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Still hardcore: Wrangler JL

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The ubiquitous Jeep Wrangler is getting a bit long in the tooth and we expect a significant update for 2018, with release of the right-hand drive version to SA in the last quarter of the year.

The next gen Wrangler JL will remain a hardcore body-on-frame, solid axle off-road toy with the existing Pentastar V6 in place, but expect a boosted 2.0 diesel engine and ZF’s eight- speed gearbox. A pick-up truck version as well as existing two- and four-door models will be on the table, with revised alloy panels featuring a sleeker design for improved aero.

Expect a choice of Dana axles (35s and 45s) as well as Jeep’s Rocktrac and Command Trac transfer cases. Optional front and rear locks are accessible through a rocker switch that engages first the rear, then the front and rear simultaneously. As before, sway bar disconnects help improve front axle articulation. The interior of the new JL has been massively modernised with a digital dash and large central screen with press pack images showing the thankful inclusion of a manual ‘donkey’ lever for engaging 4WD/low range.

A flop-down windscreen, like the post-war CJ2s is on the cards, and, like before, doors are removable as is the roof – a completely unique feature of the Wrangler.

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