We’ve all been awaiting the coming of the new Jeep Wrangler JL, and it’s finally here. The wraps are off, driving impressions are available, and the truth is now known. Simply put: The new Wrangler JL slays the old standby Jeep JK. That’s not to say that every JK will be put out to pasture, and surely plenty will be around for future upgrades and modifications. It was a great vehicle for the last 10 years, but its reign is over. Now you can see that the new Wrangler is the JK’s hotter, younger sibling, just waiting to hit the trails. We were lucky enough to test them last month, and we’ll be reporting soon in full detail.
Getting to this point wasn’t easy for the hard-core Jeep enthusiasts secreted throughout the FCA mega-company that controls the Jeep brand. The faithful scratched, clawed, and fought the good fight to retain the classic and enduring body-on-frame architecture with solid axles front and rear. Along with the convertible aspect and ever iconic design elements needed on a Jeep, the engineers and design teams drew a line in the sand and forced executive money grubbers to see that a Jeep needs to be a Jeep—not an independently suspended hardtop me-too mobile that would catapult the brand into a death spiral that no one could ever escape from.
And that brings us to the new King of 4x4-dom; The Jeep Wrangler JL. From the Sahara and Sport packages to the Rubicon, the four- and two-door models have been completely re-engineered to replace the old JK, not just refresh an old favorite. The Wrangler JL is a bit longer, but the Rubi now sports 33-inch BFGs, and 35s will fit in stock form. It’s also a tad wider on the axles, which reduces the turning radius, and the ramp breakover and approach and departure angles are better as well. The interior is revamped for a flat-ish dash with more space and room, and ergonomically placed control features. The new 2.2L Turbo 4 powerplant matches well with the improved Pentastar 3.6LV6, and we all know what other engines will be coming in later years. A choice of a full-time transfer case is also a welcome addition to the option list, and the new soft top is a one-handed marvel of modern engineering.
Next month we’ll have a complete write-up with more photos than you can shake a stick at. Let us know what you think!