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For nearly 40 years, the Jeep Wrangler has proven itself as a vehicle that can handle anything a driver throws at it, no matter how harsh the terrain or how difficult the trail. With a legacy going back almost 100 years, the Wrangler is the quintessential Jeep that is perfect for going off-road and taking you to the most remote locations. Over the years, it has been revamped, improved, and updated numerous times, and the modern Jeep Wrangler is one of the finest vehicles on (or off) the road with incredible performance, impressive technology options, and safety features that ensure you stay in control in any conditions.
To fully appreciate the Jeep Wrangler of today, it is important to understand where it has come from and why it continues to be one of the most iconic vehicles available anywhere. Whether you are new to the Jeep brand, or a long-time fan looking for a new vehicle, the Wrangler has a legacy and pedigree that few other models can match. For anyone interested in feeling absolute freedom to take the road truly less traveled, there is nothing quite like the independence of a Jeep Wrangler. Come visit us at Orange Coast Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Fiat today to find out more and discover the power and precision of the modern Jeep lineup.
Although the modern Jeep Wrangler is technically a different model than the original military Jeep, most people would agree that there is at least a rough connection. If nothing else, the Wrangler carries on the spirit of the first Jeep: the Willys MB. So let us take a look at how it all started and where the MB came from.
In the years following World War I, the US military had a clear understanding that a new Army truck or similar vehicle was needed. During WWI, more than 200 different vehicles were used by US armed forces, which meant that many different types of supplies and parts were needed to keep them all running. The Army realized that future success would be easier if there was a single, standard Army Truck that mechanics could be trained on and for which parts could be readily supplied. And so a program was launched to develop such a vehicle.
After substantial testing and design, the US Army determined that it desired a vehicle that was sturdy and nimble enough to handle a wide range of different types of terrain. However, it also needed to be light-weight enough to be easily transported, lifted, and moved by soldiers if needed. By the start of World War II, the Army had narrowed this general goal down to a singular vision: a quarter-ton vehicle that could handle cross-country driving.
Early developments were made by two companies: American Bantam and Willys-Overland, though Ford joined in shortly after. Bantam received the initial contract to make the truck that the Army wanted, and after some work, they delivered on what would eventually become the Jeep. But there was a problem: Bantam did not actually have the resources to produce its vehicle in the kind of numbers the Army needed. That is when Willys and Ford re-entered the picture.
The Bantam design was provided to Willys and Ford by the War Department, and they used those blueprints to create their own test vehicles. The early Willys design had been named the "MA" to indicate "Military" model "A" – their revision of the Bantam design was designated MB since it was their second model. This Willys MB would soon become known as the "Jeep," and it was a constant, always-reliable companion throughout World War II for many soldiers. By the end of the war, Willys had made more than 360,000 Jeeps, and after the conflict had ended, many soldiers returned home and found they missed their Jeeps.
That brings us to the Jeep CJ or "Civilian Jeep," which was designed precisely due to demand for a civilian model of the vehicle that so many soldiers had come to rely upon. The first CJ prototypes were built by Willys-Overland in 1944, with about 40 models built and tested though there was no production of this first design. In 1945, however, the first production Jeep CJ became available, and it was primarily designed for farming and similar work.
More than 200,000 of these CJ-2A models were produced over the years, and it was quite popular. In 1949, the Willys-Overland CJ-3A was introduced, and more than 100,000 of them were produced. The Willys CJ-3B followed in 1953, and nearly 200,000 of them were produced through 1968. The Jeep CJ-5 went into production in 1954 (the CJ-4 was a 1950 prototype) and remained in production for nearly 30 years, even as other models such as the larger CJ-6 and CJ-7 were introduced and made available.
Over the years, the Jeep established itself as a reliable brand perfect for anyone who wanted a different type of vehicle. Although they were designed for civilian use, they were still made to be able to handle rough terrain and offer performance unlike anything else out there. But during the first half of the 1980s, the production of the various CJ models came to an end to be replaced by a brand-new model.
The Wrangler was introduced to the world in 1986 at the Chicago Auto Show. Although not advertised or designed as a direct follow-up to the CJ models, there is no doubt that the CJ heavily influenced it. The Jeep Wrangler was designed with a wider track than the previous CJ vehicles, with a wider suspension and anti-roll bars to help with stability and make it less likely to flip for inexperienced drivers.
Designed by American Motors Corporation, before its acquisition by Chrysler, the first generation Jeep Wrangler (also known as the YJ by enthusiasts) had rectangular head lights and a distinctive creased front grille. The second generation of the Wrangler (or TJ) was released for the 1997 model year and saw the return of the round headlamps that were iconic of the Jeep CJ models and have since become a part of the Wrangler identity. Starting with this generation, the Wrangler has been designed with a coil-spring suspension rather than the leaf-spring suspension that was a carry-over from the CJ vehicles.
The Jeep Wrangler's third generation (called the JK) was released for the 2007 model year and had a completely revamped design with an all-new body, frame, and suspension. This was the generation that introduced a larger four-door "Unlimited" model alongside the traditional two-door Wrangler. The Wrangler Unlimited became quite successful and now makes up the majority of Wrangler sales.
Revealed for the 2018 model year, the fourth generation of the Jeep Wrangler (called JL) included a number of upgrades, even if it was not quite as revolutionary as the redesign of the previous generation had been. New, powerful engines became available, along with an improved 8-speed automatic transmission and much more. The latest features include a turbo-diesel, a V8 HEMI, and even a plug-in hybrid, showcasing that the Wrangler's future looks to be just as impressive as its past.
The 2021 Wrangler offers drivers a choice of six standard trims and six different special editions (not including the 4xe and Rubicon 392), with a choice of the Limited two-door or Unlimited four-door models. With so many options to choose from, you are sure to find a Wrangler that has everything you are looking for in a Jeep.
The base Jeep Wrangler trim is the Sport, followed by the Willys Sport (named in honor of the Jeep company's original name). Next, you have the Sport S, Willys, Sahara, and finally, the highly coveted Rubicon. The six special edition trims are the Islander, Freedom, 80th Anniversary, Altitude, Sahara Altitude, and the High Altitude.
The base MSRP on a two-door Jeep Sport is a very reasonable $28,315. This makes getting behind the wheel of a Jeep affordable for most drivers. However, with the choice of so many different trims and special editions, you'll be able to find something that works for you and your budget.
Under the hood of the 2021 Jeep Wrangler will be one of six incredible engines. That said, if you are going for a traditional Wrangler (not the 4xe or Rubicon 392), you will have the choice of four different engines. Each of these engines is equipped with an 8-speed automatic transmission, but you have the option of a 6-speed manual transmission with one of the available engines.
The Wrangler can be equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 engine. This engine provides 270 horsepower and can generate up to 295 lb-ft of torque. There are also two different versions of a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 gas engine available. Both produce 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. The one with added eTorque has a better fuel economy rating, while Jeep offers an optional 6-speed manual transmission on the standard V6. Both this engine and the 2.0-liter I-4 feature automatic Engine Stop/Start technology to improve fuel economy by automatically stopping the engine at red lights and then restarting it when you take your foot off the brake. Finally, there is an available 3.0-liter Ecodiesel V6 engine offered on the 2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited model. This provides drivers up to 260 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque.
All 2021 Jeep Wrangler models are 4X4 standard, so you don’t have to pay extra for a vehicle with the traction you desire. This is a Command-Trac 4X4 system that is designed to deliver traction to all four wheels independent of each other. It is even designed to provide added capability for your Jeep Wrangler for rock crawling. Selec-Trac 4X4 and Rock-Trac 4X4 are available as well.
Jeep shows its commitment to the future with its first hybrid model, the 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe. This has all the capabilities of your favorite Jeep Wrangler, with the added benefits of better fuel economy and lower emissions because of a new hybrid powertrain. The Wrangler 4xe pairs an efficient 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 gas engine with a powerful electric motor driven by a 16 kWh battery. Since this is a plug-in hybrid, you can recharge your Wrangler 4xe’s battery as conveniently as just plugging it in.
The gas engine on the Wrangler 4xe is the same standard one on the 2021 Jeep Wrangler, but with a twist: the addition of the electric motor boosts its performance considerably. This engine now provides 375 horsepower and generates an astounding 470 lb-ft of torque. This is sure going to come in handy when you utilize the Jeep Wrangler 4xe’s standard 4X4 drivetrain, as you are going to get all of the power you need to take on the toughest trails.
Jeep has paired the Wrangler 4xe’s engine with an 8-speed automatic transmission to put you in command of the road. The Wrangler 4xe also features E-Selec driving modes, so you can choose between full Electric Mode, eSave Mode, which only uses the gas engine, and Hybrid Mode, which provides an efficient mix of both engines to maximize performance.
When it comes time to charge the Jeep Wrangler 4xe’s battery, you can use an in-home Level II charger or a public charging station for fast 240-volt charging. If neither is available, you can always use the Level I charger that comes with each model for 120-volt charging.
The 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe has a base MSRP of $47,995 for the Sahara model. There is also a Rubicon trim available for an MSRP of $51,940 and a High Altitude model with an MSRP of $53,815. The Wrangler 4xe is the next wave in Jeeps.
For those of you with a need for speed and a love of incredible performance, Jeep is premiering the all-new 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392. That 392 stands for the 6.4-liter 392 HEMI V8 gas engine that powers the Wrangler Rubicon 392. This is the most powerful engine ever on a Wrangler model, and it is designed to give you the ride of your life, with 470 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. This is basically a sports car HEMI V8 engine in a Wrangler’s body, so you can take full advantage of all that horsepower when crossing rugged terrain, riding through desert dunes, and just driving on the highway. The 8-speed automatic transmission features paddle shifters located on the steering wheel to maximize both control and convenience.
This is one exceptionally fast Jeep Wrangler, able to go 0 to 60 miles per hour in only 4.5 seconds. The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 has been clocked at 13 seconds on the ¼ mile. Yes, those are sports car numbers. But a sports car doesn’t have a chance when you go off-road.
The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 has a standard 4X4 drivetrain with a suspension to take on the toughest trails. This includes an electronic sway bar disconnect for better articulation, getting you up and over boulders, logs, and other obstacles—the Wrangler Rubicon 392 features 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels with 33-inch mud-terrain tires that are exceptional for off-roading. However, unlike many other off-road SUVs, the Wrangler Rubicon 392 will give you and your passengers a really smooth ride with branded FOX aluminum-bodied 2-inch diameter shocks providing exceptional dampening, so you can all enjoy the ride.
The Rubicon 392’s exclusive interior features black leather-trimmed seats with Rubicon 392 decals with seat bolsters to provide added comfort and protection. The interior also comes with a Uconnect 4C NAV infotainment system on an 8.4-inch color touchscreen featuring an Alpine Premium Audio System. This will give you unrivaled stereo performance as well as the convenience of a built-in navigation system.
With all of these features, the 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 promises to be the most advanced Jeep Wrangler in the brand’s history. Jeep will truly cross the Rubicon with the unrivaled performance of this model.