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8 things to look for in the new Jeep Wrangler

There may be a new engine, a pickup and even a diesel

Mike Manley, the head of Jeep, recently sat down to talk to Automotive News about the Wrangler, which is scheduled to get a reboot for 2018. Here is a list of what is to look for in the off-road vehicle.

Photo: Jeep grille and headlamps

Jeep fans love signature Wrangler features like the round headlamps and classic grille.PHOTO BY JEEP

1. You’ll recognize it as a Jeep

Manley told Automotive News he has one clear mission and that is, “Don’t screw it up.” The basic visual elements of the Wrangler have stayed pretty consistent over 75 years, and Jeep knows it can’t afford to screw it up.

Photo: Jeep Wrangler manual transmission

Jeep Wrangler manual transmissionPHOTO BY JEEP

2. Manual is still an option

Currently, we have a long-term 2016 Jeep Wrangler in our fleet. We ordered it with a stick and when it arrived at the office with an automatic, we sent it back. We think–and some disagree–that manual transmissions on a Jeep are simply more fun, on and off road.

Photo: Automatic transmission

2016 Jeep Wrangler Backcountry interiorPHOTO BY JEEP

3. New Automatic

The Wrangler will be available with an eight-speed automatic transmission and gain an updated version of the Pentastar V6.

Photo: Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

Jeep Wrangler RubiconPHOTO BY JEEP

4. Looking to lose some weight

Steel will makeup the frame of the Wrangler, but back in 2015 Manley said Jeep is considering using aluminum for the Wrangler’s new bodywork, carbon fiber could also be an unlikely option.

Photo: Jeep Wrangler Sport

Jeep Wrangler SportPHOTO BY JEEP

5. Possible I4 engine

Jeep gave Automotive News information about a new 300-hp turbocharged I4 in May. With a four-cylinder under the hood, the fuel economy would likely improve.

Photo: Wrangler goes green

6. Wrangler could go green

In 2015, Jeep suggested that the 2018 Wrangler could get a plug-in hybrid option. Manley said installing an electric motor would be a good idea since it provides immediate torque for climbing rocks and other obstacles.

Photo: Jeep pickup

Jeep Gladiator pickupPHOTO BY JEEP

7. Wrangler pickup

Jeep has teased the concept of a Wrangler pickup for years. Manley expressed in 2011 that it was not the right time for a pickup, but perhaps maybe at a later refresh. Now would be the time. Jeep fans are waiting.

Photo: 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel engine

2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel enginePHOTO BY RAM

8. Jeep Wrangler EcoDiesel

FCA has seen the benefits of diesel in its Ram pickups, and Jeep enthusiasts would likely line up for more torque and fuel efficiency, we know we would.

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