Next Jeep Wrangler Will Be Turbo'ed, But Maybe Not Steel Or Made In Ohio

Illustration for article titled Next Jeep Wrangler Will Be Turboed, But Maybe Not Steel Or Made In Ohio
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Fiat-Chrysler Boss Sergio Marchionne has given the "strongest clues yet" that the next Jeep Wrangler, due to drop in 2017, will be a significant departure from the body-on-frame beast we know and love in some comments at the Paris Auto Show.

Automotive News heard Marchionne talk about building the SUV out of aluminum, moving production from Toledo, Ohio, and repowering it with smaller, turbo engines.

"We firmly believe that we have to downsize the engines that are going into the Wrangler, just in terms of displacements, and then increase the capabilities by putting turbos in and doing other things to that engine. This requires a complete rethink of the architecture."

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Sounds like none of the vehicle's longstanding construction characteristics are sacred. We all want to know will it still wheel, and while Jeep CEO Mike Manley has acknowledged the fact that Wrangler is basically the backbone of the whole brand's "off-road" attitude, the future seems murky.

Marchionne went on to say:

"One of the things we are debating is whether this thing requires going into a material other than steel.

If the solution is aluminum, then I think unfortunately that Toledo is the wrong place, the wrong setup to try and build a Wrangler, because it requires a complete reconfiguring of the assets that would be cost-prohibitive. It would be so outrageously expensive that it would be impossible to try and work out of that facility."

As reporter Larry Vellequette reminds us, this is the same guy who said:

"One of the commitments we've made is never to produce a Wrangler outside of Toledo. So whatever Wranglers are going to be made are going to be made there as long as I'm the CEO. They'll not be built anywhere else."

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...not that long ago.

Hat tip to Carscoops!

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DISCUSSION

The Wrangler is a piece of unadulterated shit. I bought my first TJ, the 4 liter 2.5L with a stickshift in 2004. I remember the balljoints went within 10,000 miles of city driving. I thought it was weird, but when the lease was up upgraded to a 2006 4 liter I6 Wrangler Sport. It was way quicker and felt better, but again the shitty build quality reared its ugly head when the balljoints went again within a year of city driving. When 2008 came around and the JK Unlimited came out, I picked that up thinking it was a redesign and they had worked out the shoddy underpinnings that weren't fit for potholes, let alone offroading. Nope, again the balljoints and also the shifter would pop out of first with a loud BANG everytime. The dealer refused to fix under warranty. Now they want $50k for a loaded Sahara.

The Jeep faithful are morons, as blindly devoted as ISIS followers to their shitty cheap piece of fragile crap. My wife's old Mazda3 was way tougher. Jeep = fragile like a fucking eggshell. If you don't modify the living SHIT out of them they disintegrate on a any starter trail.