Is the next Jeep Wrangler getting a diesel? What about an air suspension? It’s looking that way, at least according to Automotive News.
Larry Vellequette, who covers Chrysler for the publication, looked at a number of job ads and theorized that based on the skills required and the upcoming product timeline, they are related to work on the next generation Jeep Wrangler.
Vellequette seems to think that the Wrangler, like the Ram, will get a big weight reduction thanks to high strength steel in its frame. A diesel engine, an air suspension and an 8-speed automatic transmission also seem to be in the cards.
Some of the Wrangler’s idiosyncratic trademarks are also being examined too
Engineers also will look at the Wrangler’s unique closure systems — the clip-down hood, for example, or its somewhat-inviting-to-thieves exterior door hinges.
What’s not clear is whether the next Wrangler might include a permanently fixed wind screen. Only a small percentage of Wrangler owners ever go through the trouble of dropping their wind screen, but eliminating the ability to do so would allow engineers to increase its rake and with it, the Wrangler’s fuel economy.
Vellequette notes that Jeep engineers have an unenviable task; balancing the need to maintain the Wrangler’s signature design cues and off-road capabilities with the realities of CAFE. In many ways it is Chrysler’s most important product launch, both from a marketing standpoint and from a sales one too (try finding a Wrangler Unlimited on a dealer lot – it’s not easy).