Marchionne: Aluminium Better Used In Wrangler Over Ram 1500

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne may be watching Ford experiment aluminium-bodied pickups from afar, but as far as the 2018 Jeep Wrangler is concerned, the lightweight metal may wind up on the iconic vehicle before the Ram 1500 considers taking the plunge.

Automotive News reports Jeep’s engineers and designers are already at work finalizing design work for the next-gen Wrangler, set to enter production in 2017. Based on recent job postings, the brand as an eye on dropping weight for the vehicle as part of its plan to meet ever-tightening CAFE goals. The current Wrangler holds an average of 17 city/21 highway while weighing anywhere from 3,785 to 4,340 pounds depending on trim, while the new Cherokee 4×4 — based on a lighter foundation — pulls 19 city/25 highway at a weight of 4,044 pounds.

Other key components of the plan on the table include an eight-speed automatic and an expanded lineup of fuel-efficient gasoline and diesel powerplants.

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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  • Zerofoo Zerofoo on May 13, 2014

    OK - since we are going with wild speculation I predict: 1. The body on frame will go away in 2017 - the next Wrangler will have a unitized aluminum tub and will keep its solid axles. (I remember reading recently that solid axles will remain for 2017). 2. The folding windshield is gone - the new one will have a steeper rake for better fuel economy. 3. The 8-speed ZF licensed unit will be used - the old 5 speed is gone. 4. The 2.4 Tigershark will be the base engine, a Pentastar V6 will be a step up, and a 4-cylinder diesel will also be offered. 5. Removable roof and doors will remain. Remember.....this is all just wild a$$ speculation on my part.

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    • Vulpine Vulpine on May 13, 2014

      @gtrslngr So you're saying the Jeep Wrangler will be the Jeep Renegade, right? The Renegade is on the same platform as the 500L/SX4 platform. Now, why would the Wrangler go into such direct competition with another BRAND NEW stablemate? You may be right, but... It's not logical. I expect the Wrangler will keep much of its size, which means it CAN'T be a direct offshoot of the platform you describe. Related maybe. A scaled-up version, maybe. but the SAME platform? Not likely. They could maybe downsize it a bit to the old TJ proportions without hurting it too much, though. Sure would help trim some weight off of it.

  • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on May 13, 2014

    With a smallish footprint the Wrangler is the better out of itself and the Ram for some weight reduction. CAFE you have to love it! I can see the Wrangler increasing in price considerably. I just hope the manufacturers aren't over estimating the allure of the adaptation of aluminium. Will they exceed what could be deemed as a tolerable price for the Wrangler, F-150, and Silverado?? I wouldn't pay more for a Wrangler than what they currently are selling for if they were made of aluminium. You'd expect quality.

  • Fishiftstick Fishiftstick on May 13, 2014

    Aluminum prices may fluctuate as demand ramps up, but there is lots of bauxite in the ground, not to mention recycling. If demand increases so will production, and then prices will return to normal. I'd be more worried about the price of gas. Buyers of big trucks and SUVs are moved by fuel prices. Ford has gone to aluminum. GM is said to be planning the same. When they can claim a 3-5 mpg advantage over Dodge or Ram or whatever Fiat decides to call its truck division, the decision to stick with steel will hurt sales and CAFE ratings.

  • Gtrslngr Gtrslngr on May 13, 2014

    Cheese & Rice ! Don't any of you guys READ ? I mean .. looking over the responses to my comment one would think I was looking at a Home & Gardens or worse yet Vogue UK site ! Not a goram automotive site whos title is The Truth About Cars ! Sometimes the overall ignorance of folks pretending to know or even wanting to know the Truth about cars simply astonishes me Yeah .. you betcha ... buy a Wrangler ... any model .... I dare you . Then just hope it doesn't either die on you - kill you - become a CarBQ - the rear axel doesn't fall off - the tranny doesn't give up the ghost despite never having been taken off road - the interior doesn't fall apart in your lap - or worse ... all while your friendly local JEEP dealer is counting the profits and laughing his/her fool head off that you were stupid enough to of bought a Wrangler

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    • Isthatmybanana Isthatmybanana on May 16, 2014

      @Old Man Pants LOL Oh, you are funny! :) I agree with you. Gtrslngr is either impossibly ignorant and hateful, or a brilliant troll. What a gas. But then, I've come across this forum name in the past and he's been no less angry.