An eagle-eyed reader managed to snap some undercarriage photos of a Jeep Wrangler JL test mule parked in a public lot! This is the first time we’ve been able to peer under the JL’s skirt. So, what’s new? While the pictures aren’t great, they do tell us some things. At first glace, not much seems to have changed, and that’s okay. The JK has experienced a very successful run and in general been a fantastic vehicle. We’re all hoping they don’t stray too far from the path while Jeep improves it for the next generation. A close inspection leads us to infer that while Jeep is sticking to the tried and true formula of the JK, it has been paying attention to feedback from Jeep enthusiasts and industry professionals.
While the four-link, track bar, coil-spring suspension is sticking around, front and rear control arms appear to have hit the gym, with the rear control arms changed to a beefier, boxed design. As well, it looks like the control arm mounts have also been revised, and the control arm angles sit very flat.
In the front shot, we see a pretty robust tie rod; and we get a look at the new Dana front axle. In the rear, the Rzeppa-style driveshaft remains, although it also appears to have been revised. The new Dana rear axle looks to be a pretty stout unit as well. Our accidental spy photographer is an avid JK enthusiast, and noticed that the shocks seem to have been moved slightly outboard, and that everything underneath looked a bit more burley than the outgoing JK.
The takeaway from this is that Jeep has taken everything good about the JK and made it a little better, and to Jeep’s credit, it looks like they have taken real steps to address things that it lacked. We really look forward to finally seeing the Jeep Wrangler JL during its unveiling at the L.A. Auto Show in November.