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Is the Wrangler ready yet?

by David Zatz on

Another Wrangler sighting brings up the question of whether the vehicle will be ready well before the plant is — and whether Ford will steal the thunder of a possible closed-roof Wrangler with its new Bronco.

2018 Jeep Wrangler in camo

These spy shots so a vehicle somewhat different from the one we photographed earlier, though it shares the large fender flares outboard of the headlights. There appear to be amber lights between the headlights, though these may be an illusion. The interior also looks different from what we’ve seen before.

2018 Wrangler spy shot?

The front bumper also appears be shaped differently, though this may be an illusion.

The Wrangler is to be built in Toledo, but the main plant will now be the nearby Cherokee factory; the Cherokee is moving to Belvidere, with transformation of the latter plant likely starting in early January. Once the Cherokee moves over, it’s time to make the front/all wheel drive, unibody production plant into a body-on-frame, four-wheel-drive-only facility.

Front and rear of 2018 Jeep Wrangler under camouflage

We have a good deal of advance information on the upcoming “real Jeep” on our 2018 Jeep Wrangler page.

2018 Wrangler in camo

There has been some demand from Wrangler owners for a closed-roof version — or for a “new XJ,” the original Cherokee, whose solid-axle setup made it relatively cheap and easy to customize for severe off-roading.  If this is indeed on its way, it would likely be made in relatively small numbers at the old plant, along with a pickup variant. At that point it might become a tug-of-war between two brands, one with a great deal of history, and one with just enough to get magazine writers interested.

See our 2018 Jeep Wrangler page.



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