Until now, most of the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL spyshots we’ve seen have been of the long-wheelbase Unlimited four-door. But today, we got the best look yet at the latest in a series of nimble off-roaders, as the 2018 JL was spotted in short-wheelbase form with limited camouflage.
The front clip is still relatively obscured, but the front doors and side windows look similar to what we’ve already seen (in both spy-photo and rendering form) on the 2018 Wrangler Unlimited. Evident on the doors is the downward-slanting bodyline, recalling the cut-down half-doors from previous versions of the Wrangler and CJ. The grille’s slight rearward lean is evident on each of the prototypes if you squint a little bit, a move that modernizes the legendary off-roader somewhat, and the windshield’s rake is a bit steeper for better aerodynamics.
The two-door was spotted in soft top and hardtop form, each offering upgrades over their Wrangler JK equivalents. The soft top on one of the prototypes (a high-spec Rubicon, by the looks of its knobby tires and attractive wheels) uses a twill-style fabric for a rich appearance. Furthermore, the top appears to be more tightly drawn over its frame, helping improve comfort and reduce noise at higher speeds.
The hardtop will retain the outgoing Wrangler’s three-piece design, with independently removable panels above the driver and front passenger, ideal for quick sun worshipping without removing the entire roof. It also appears to be better integrated into the bodysides, improving appearance. Under either roof will be a modern, stylish interior with plenty of functionality and ruggedness.
We’ve heard the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL will be formally revealed sometime this summer, with production to begin at the Toledo, Ohio, manufacturing facility in fall. Final technical specifications are still forthcoming, but we expect the Wrangler to offer a turbocharged I-4, naturally aspirated V-6, and turbodiesel engine, with the possibility of a future hybrid powertrain.
Source: Chris Doane Automotive