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Wrangler JL, Scrambler JT: closer focus

by David Zatz on

The Jeep Wrangler “JL” and a related pickup are still on the way, according to sources, with dates and options firming up.

As Automotive News predicted, one engine option will be a 2.0 liter “Hurricane Four,” which may debut on the Cherokee first. This is likely to be around 240-280 horsepower, depending on application, with SRT trying to get their version to hit 300 (the Pentastar V6 is rated at 292-305 hp in cars). The Wrangler has already been photographed with this engine.

Jeep Wrangler JL

Jeep purists can be mollified by the appearance, at long last, of a diesel, now believed to be the 3.0 VM V6. This isn’t especially surprising, since dealers already have training, tools, and replacement parts for that engine. The four-cylinder VM or FPT diesel thought to be viable for the Wrangler may have been dropped due to its length, expense of certifying for US emissions, or power.

A new 850RE transmission will debut for the Wrangler; we believe this is not just a minor change to the 845RE, but is based on the second generation ZF eight-speed automatic.  There will also be new axles, likely more efficient than the current ones.

The other options discussed for the last year or two on Allpar — a power soft top, three-piece hardtop, glass-panel roof option, new UConnect 8.4 navigation, and upgraded Pentastar V6 — have all been confirmed.

The new Jeeps will likely be launched sometime in summer/fall 2017, with ordering and production by the end of the year. The pickup will follow around a year after the main Wrangler.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304


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