The often-fruitful JL Wrangler Forums has gotten its hands on what sure look like screenshots of a Jeep dealership’s internal computer system. If they’re real, the images reveal a whole lot about what options and configurations the new-body-style 2018 Jeep Wrangler will be getting.
Jeep Wrangler updates are a big deal because the car is an enthusiast favorite. Actually it’s almost everyone’s favorite, if you believe Jeep-parent company Fiat Chrysler’s sales reports. The Wrangler has been with us in its current iteration since 2012, in its current bodystyle since 2007, yet the company is still selling a whopping 18,000 machines a month.
The Wrangler’s so beloved because its capability and unrefined purity give it earnest personality... something so many cars are lacking in 2017.
Now hardcore Jeep fans are already polishing pitchforks to decry the outgoing (“JK” platform) Wrangler as “the last true Jeep” and the incoming (“JL” platform) vehicle as yuppie poser bullshit, as is tradition. And of course, some of us will come up with excuses to defend that take when the vehicle’s finally revealed at the LA Auto Show in November.
But the reality is, it is most likely that the JL Jeep will be objectively superior to the JK in every practically appreciable respects. One of those, according to this latest leak, is a Selec-Trac Full Time 4WD system.
With the exception of a few weird limited-run trims, Jeep Wranglers have always had 4WD. That functionality has been the centerpiece of the machine’s off-road capability. These vehicles drive in RWD by default, and can only be switched into 4WD manually with a big transfer case lever next to the shifter.
That same lever can also put the vehicle into low-range for huge torque multiplication and crawling abilities.
A full-time system like Jeep’s Selec-Trac would also run in RWD under regular road conditions, but instead of having to be manually jammed into 4WD, the transfer case would distribute power to the wheels with the most traction automatically without an active driver input.
This would effectively make the JL Wrangler easier to drive in bad weather and on rough-terrain, taking one more decision out of the driver’s hands into the charge of the vehicle’s wheel speed sensors and traction control computers.
It would also deprive drivers of the joy of pulling a big beefy transfer case lever.
The JL Wrangler Forums finding indicate that this automatic transfer case would be a luxury option available exclusively on the four-door Sahara trim. That makes me think the hardcore Rubicon and basic Sport trims would still run a “traditional” manual ’box.
Other interesting tentative confirmations from this leak include further discussion of the new Wrangler’s engine options: an updated 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo and a 3.0-liter turbo diesel V6 coming out in late 2019. A six-speed manual transmission and two eight-speed automatics also appear to be on the options list for transmissions, along with a power soft top(!) and a color called “Nacho Clear Coat.”
Don’t forget to take this information with a grain of salt, since even if it’s legit, Jeep might decide to make changes before production and sales are green-lit.
But you can peep the screen shots in question and see if there are any other details JL Wrangler Forums missed, or check out the breakdown list the forum complied right here: