Evolution Of The Wrangler
History And Evolution Of The Wrangler
The Wrangler is a compact, mid-sized off-road vehicle that has been a member of the Jeep family since its release in 1986. Currently, the fourth generation of the two-door Wrangler and 4-door Wrangler Unlimited are produced at Jeep’s Toledo, Ohio complex. The Wrangler is very true to Jeep history and its use in military applications, with solid axles, an open-top, and a separate body and frame.
First Gen Wrangler
The Wrangler debuted in 1986 after the CJ series was discontinued. That first iteration of the Wrangler was tagged as the YJ. The claims to fame for the newly released Jeep were a wider track and slightly less ground clearance to facilitate improved safety and handling. In addition, there were many upgrades and added focus on comfort and ride than the previous CJ model. While the Wrangler still offered the same general look as other Jeeps with the open-air capability and the well-recognized seven-slot grille. The oddity of the Wrangler was that it has rectangular headlamps, making it very distinctive.
The Second Generation Of The Wrangler
Gen two was revealed in 1996 and released in 1997. The first thing that everyone noticed was that the gen two had reverted to the round headlights to achieve the classic Jeep look. The TJ, as it was known, offered an AMC 242 4.0L inline 6 and had coil-springs rather than the old-style leaf-spring suspension. In 2004, the TJ introduced a longer wheelbase Unlimited model.
The Third Wave Of The Wrangler
Released in 2006 for the 2007 model year, the JK offered significant advances over the previous version. This model was the first to offer a four-door Unlimited version as well as many added creature comforts. Power windows, remote power door locks, a navigation system, and electronically detachable sway bars took the JK to a new level. A decade after the four-door Wrangler was released, it accounted for over 70% of all Wranglers purchased. The JK was also the first Jeep used in the Jeep and Activision partnership that created special editions like the Modern Warfare 3 Jeep built on the Wrangler Rubicon Jeep.
The Wrangler We Know Today
The most recent Wrangler, the JL, was revealed in 2017 for the 2018 model year. This model also made huge strides past its predecessor. Additional powertrains, a redesigned 8-speed automatic transmission, a flat fold windshield, zipper-less soft top, backup camera, and lusher interior were some of the landmark improvements on the JL. In 2021, the Wrangler made history again with the Wrangler 4xe that delivers an estimated 25-mile range while being powered in an all-electric model. This feature provided a way for Jeep owners to quietly become a part of their natural surroundings to witness the creatures that it had once chased away.
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