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The meaning of “Aluminum Wranglers”

by David Zatz on

Respected automotive engineer Bob Sheaves has looked into Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne’s statements that the 2017 Jeep Wrangler would likely be the first Jeep to use aluminum extensively.

While Chrysler produced the aluminum-bodied Plymouth Prowler in the 1990s, both to learn about working with the metal and to establish a new Plymouth look, most of the people on that project (including its leader) were hired away by Ford shortly after the Daimler takeover.

In his analysis, Mr. Sheaves considers advantages and disadvantages of aluminum, including the difficulty of converting factories to produce it, and looks at which parts of the Wrangler might move from steel.  In future segments, he will consider the question of independent suspensions, where Wrangler will be built, other ways to increase fuel economy, and related future-Wrangler topics.

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