By on May 18, 2016

2018 Jeep Wrangler Spy Shot Crop

The arrival of a new Jeep Wrangler is always something to get excited about, and today we have the special treat of seeing the newest iteration of the off-roader before its official debut sometime next year.

Granted, this Wrangler prototype is still shrouded by camo, but seeing its new angles and dimensions is handy.

As with all Wranglers, changes in design are more evolutionary than anything that happened in 1773. The windshield has more rake for better aerodynamics and fuel economy. Combine that with a new roof, mirrors, and LED lighting to modernize the look, and you get an idea of where Jeep is headed.

Buzz will always surround the lead-up to the unveiling of a new Wrangler, but the discussion this time surrounds possible power plants that could end up living beneath its strapped-down hood. Rumors of a turbo four-cylinder, diesel, and even a hybrid have been floating around. While I don’t understand the idea of a hybrid off-roader, I would love to give it a go.

Rock crawlin’ enthusiasts will be pleased the Jeep appears not to have independent front suspension; keep that for the Cherokee.

Our friends at Off-Road.com has a full gallery of photos for your perusal.

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82 Comments on “2018 Jeep Wrangler Poses For Some Spy Photography...”


  • avatar
    anti121hero

    Square headlights

  • avatar

    Some MADMAN at FCA decided he was gonna put the 7-hundred-and-7 Horsepower 6.2-Liter Supercharged HELLCAT engine in the Wrangler…

    Pinch me because I think I’m dreamin’.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      That much power in a solid front axle vehicle with that short a wheelbase? It will rotate and roll into a fiery ball of death the moment you even look at the accelerator. Even you cannot handle it, bigtrucks.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        They need a V8, hellcat is probably too much, but the tiny 5.7L would be a perfect fit for rumble and fuel economy. Just give it 3:56 – 3:73 highway gears and that will take care of some of the excess power.

        • 0 avatar
          Mandalorian

          A 5.7L Wrangler would be perfect. Not really a good application for the Hellcat, a Wrangler would have trouble putting down all that power. Hellcat Grand Cherokee/Wagoneer- Now we’re talking…

          • 0 avatar
            mikeg216

            Aev will build you a four door wrangler unlimited pickup with the 5.7 or 6.4 if you have the $

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Not for the cost that FCA could do it for from the factory.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            A question for the off-roaders:

            Do you truly want a 400hp engine in a Wrangler? Because as I recall, when they first started putting 6 cylinder engines in the Wrangler, the buff books were advising on sticking with the I-4, because it had a broader power range that was easier to manage for rock climbing.

            I’d appreciate your thoughts.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            “because it had a broader power range that was easier to manage for rock climbing.”

            A Naturally Aspirated V8 doesn’t take away from that, about the 400HP I don’t really care either way, but the Torque and the wonderful sound, yes absolutely. The pickup version of the wrangler only gives consumers more reason to want a V8. It’s something you have to experience to understand, I never knew how wonderful the combination was until I experienced it myself.
            Most of my rock crawling experience is from V8 Scouts and a little in a turbo diesel H1, so I prefer V8s in general, going back to a modern V6 even if it’s more powerful then the old 8-cylinders is disheartening. Jeeps old 360 V8 and inline 6 were wonderful engines for this purpose.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Hummer,
            A V8 in a Wrangler is the worse engine compared to a in line 4.

            The reason is weight.

            Some of you little penis guys should realise that a V8 isn’t the best for everything.

            Even a diesel is better due to its endurance and more tractable power delivery.

            I do believe the best gasoline engine for the Wrangler is the Pentastar, non turbo. Why? Because most dirt a Wrangler ever sees is the dirt on the shoulder.

            Overall the best engine would be the VM 2.8 in line 4.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – It’s wind resistance more than anything, and if a small diesel can be an answer, a small V8 can do it better/cheaper/simpler/etc/.

            And why is *penis* always the first thing out of your mouth???

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Big Al I realize Australlia has high taxes on vehicles that tend to have V8s which prevents you from experiencing the majority of V8s Americans enjoy. But you don’t need to experience them to know that the difference in weight of a Strengthened DOHC turbo 4- cylinder and the weight of a OHV N/A V8 is close enough to be considered negligible in the grand scheme.

            And we’re not even talking about an extremely heavy diesel, an aluminum OHV V8 will win a weight comparison battle against a diesel almost every time.

            Seems to me you need to get your mind off male anatomy and into researching your engine specs.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Hummer,
            Can you provide a link showing that V8s in Australia are highly taxed???

            What tax?

            Why don’t you research sh!t? You do have potential for a “conversation” if you just knew what the fnck you are talking about.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            https://www.ato.gov.au/Business/Luxury-car-tax/

            As I said, vehicles with V8s tend to be taxed very high in AU. Since some countries tend to view V8s as “luxurious”, why I can’t explain.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – Try to think more worldly. “Modern” diesels in OZ, SE Asia and Africa still have the *pre emissions*, pre “urea injection” advantage over gas engines. You’ll think differently of them soon enough.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Hummer,
            That link has nothing to do with a V8.

            So, how much is a SS Commodore? No where’s near the threshold for the Luxury Car tax.

            Use some commonsense please.

            Sort of like stating in the US there’s a small car tax, then posting a link for State Taxes.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            How many vehicles are made in Australlia with a V8, How many vehicles will be made in Australlia with V8s after 2020?

            How many V8 choices that Americans have access to in our trucks/SUVs do you have for less than $75,000? We’re not talking performance oriented vehicles, we’re talking about vehicles optimized for work.

            But all of this is aside the point, modern V8s have exceeded expectations for performance, durability, and physical specs.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            “And why is *penis* always the first thing out of your mouth???”

            He mumbles if he leaves the penis in.

            The irony of his reply to a guy named “Hummer”.

      • 0 avatar

        Seems to me that a company that produces production cars would test their design to ensure that bad stuff doesn’t happen – or at least not within the warranty period.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          bigtrucks,
          Judging by the reliability issues with FCA products this is a process that is taken lightly at Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep. etc.

          • 0 avatar
            87 Morgan

            A good friend of mine stuffed a 6.2 L GM V8 and trans into his Wrangler. Works great for off road. Way better than the six (2004 Wrangler) did. Lots of torque for rock crawling and what not.

            pass on a NA gas 4 mil up here in the Rockies.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            So, you believe the V8 makes it better at rock climbing?

            What about tyres? Gearing? Suspension?

            Learn about off roading please. Your friend will be better off modifying the suspension with better tyres than using a V8.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

            Big al, so how do you know the suspension wasn’t modified? The topic was V-8 in a Wranger, so he related on how a V-8 in a Wrangler worked out. He didn’t feel the need to list every single modification the Jeep has had, because it didn’t relate to the topic at hand.

            Before you go off telling people they don’t know what they’re talking about, take time to consider that maybe there is more to the story that simply didn’t apply to this discussion. I know how much you enjoy telling us stupid Americans how wrong we are, but if you had the decency to just shut the hell up once in a while, you’d learn a thing or two yourself.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            Big Al is always trolling you guys (or “writing to solicit a reaction”) and you all have been giving him the satisfaction of responses for years.

            thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/02/no-fixed-abode-high-low-high-low-off-work-go/#comment-7369922

            Dude knows exactly what he’s doing.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            JohnTaurus and ajla,
            I do know a little about off roading.

            I do read many comments on these sites that are just pure fantasy or they “know someone” stories.

            If a V8 made his vehicle a much better off roader, then it must not be much of an off roader to start with.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            “I do know a little about off roading”

            Heavy on the little.

            He scratched the paint on his BT50 once so that makes him an expert.

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    Same as it ever was?

    • 0 avatar
      Hovercar

      It can’t get any worse. I know, an 8-slat grille.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I don’t see any differences. Must be a Jeep thing that only Jeep people get.

      • 0 avatar

        I see a few changes.

        – Nose is significantly longer than before. They probably moved the engine forward quite a bit in order to accommodate the length of the 8-speed in the 2-door version. It wasn’t a problem in WK2 GC because of its independent suspension: its rear differential is fixed and thus the transmission extend all the way to the rear axle is necessary.

        – The rear suspension is somewhat reconfigured for some reason. This mule matches the configuration of an old one that had JK body with an insert.

        – The windshield is not as upright.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      And you may find yourself / Behind the wheel of an off-road automobile…

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Was camo even needed? They’re going to need to start branding the model year onto the tailgate because these things never change visually. Let me guess, it has circle headlights and external hood latches and 7 vertical bars on the grill.

    • 0 avatar
      Hovercar

      True.
      I think we have it all wrong.
      These aren’t spy photos at all.
      These are just photos from the JC Whitney catalog for the new all-off-road bra cover. So urbanites can protect their paint when they visit someone with a dirt driveway.

      BTW, Hello everyone. New here, name’s Ron, love cars, love their design, might chime in pro or con from time to time… long time lurker. ;)

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Well they didn’t destroy the approach angle with useless air dams, that’s a positive, however the windshield looks much too raked from the tiny sliver I see. Say hello to headaches, eyes aren’t meant to look through glass at a near horizontal level.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      unfortunately, with as many as they sell, they need to worry about CAFE.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Didn’t I hear that they were going to continue selling the old model alongside the new model for a short period of time?
        That would be interesting to watch.

        Edit: Yep
        http://blog.caranddriver.com/jeep-to-continue-churning-out-old-wrangler-as-it-starts-building-new-ones/

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Luckily they didn’t bend (over) for CAFE.

        • 0 avatar
          golden2husky

          …Luckily they didn’t bend (over) for CAFE…

          They already did. By making footprint part of the mileage calculation, small footprint inefficient vehicles get hit hard. All this to spare Detroit’s cash cow. Mileage standards should not have stupidity added to the calculation. But, more proof that money gets priority over everything else.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            wut? I’m talking about the Wrangler. It’s a big *middle finger* to CAFE on wheels. Look at it again.

          • 0 avatar

            That actually explains why they moved the axles to increase the wheelbase. It’s already as wide as practical, so this increases the footprint. The break-over (ramp) angle is going to get damaged, but one can claw it back with a lift.

    • 0 avatar
      SlowMyke

      Surely that’s less raked than most sports cars. Do people get headaches driving corvettes?

  • avatar

    I viewed every one of the pictures in that gallery and I don’t see any evidence of 4WD on the depicted Wrangler. Are they bringing back the 2WD model?

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      You can see the trailing arm for the front axle in one picture, unless it’s a beam in place of a SFA, then it’s definately in place for a driven solid front axle.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Hummer,
        How can you possibly have a trailing arm on a front axle? Especially on a FWD that is searching for approach angle???

        Again know what you are discussing.

        Do you know what Quadra Link is??

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          Trailing arms, control arms whatever, they both create the same image under this context, realize I didn’t use the correct term “control arm” because I couldn’t think of it at that moment.

          Btw a Jeep Wrangler is not Fwd (Front wheel drive) if we’re going to get into semantics.

    • 0 avatar

      You can make out the front pumpkin from some of the rear left quarter shots. The drop like is still on the driver’s side.

  • avatar
    johnhowington

    Build the original Jeep and color me excited. A Pentastar Jeep isnt a Jeep, its a compromised minivan.

  • avatar
    LIKE TTAC.COM ON FACEBOOK

    Driving around with all that floppy vinyl and wrinkly plastic windows must be a chore, and noisy as well.
    Is there a TTAC B&B member with any experience driving in this situation? It would make an interesting article. I wonder how much they are supposed to try to avoid the amateur paparazzi.

    • 0 avatar
      SlowMyke

      Avoid amateur paparazzi? That’s some of the best marketing for a new model right there. The average public probably had no idea what’s going on with that jeep with all the plastic stuff on it, but it gets the enthusiasts riled up taking pictures of the latest and greatest in hopes of getting their pics on the news pages. The car sites run the best ones and eventually the major network sites start running “is this the new Jeep Wrangler that will save Chrysler?” articles, and then you’ve got a marketing campaign for the price of cammo’ing a test mule.

      If companies wanted to sneak by under the radar, they’d just keep the current model body over the mules and drive around in the open. Very few people would ever notice.

      • 0 avatar
        mikeg216

        That’s exactly what ford did with the aluminum f-150 they were testing them with mining companies for years before they announced the switchover. Not one person noticed.

  • avatar
    Pinzgauer

    I recall some of the early S550 Mustang test mules were driving around with the body style of the S197, makes me wonder if thats the same thing here. But then again, they probably wouldnt cover it up so much if that was the case. Plus that windshield rake is definetely different than a JK.

    Either way, doesn’t appear to be a very radical change based on the profile.

  • avatar
    mcs

    >> While I don’t understand the idea of a hybrid off-roader, I would love to give it a go.

    Stick an individual 100+ hp electric motor at each wheel with torque vectoring and it could get interesting. The motors could be mounted to increase ground clearance as well.

  • avatar
    IAhawkeye

    Well, the mirrors look exactly the same as the JK I drive. Thank goodness they close up of those!

    As for the rest.. it’s hard to tell, kinda looks the front(bumper to end of front door) are definitely stretched just a bit, most likely to make more room for the extended windshield rake. Also, the front doors look more rectangular then the ones on my JK, although that could be a combo of the plastic and me owning a two-door so I unless I’m staring down a four door Wrangler I never see just how different sized the JK doors are.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    “While I don’t understand the idea of a hybrid off-roader, I would love to give it a go.”

    Torque from 0 rpm. ‘Nuff said.

    • 0 avatar
      IAhawkeye

      But how much? Most hybrids are given fairly small electric motors, even if that torque is available from 0 RPM if it’s not going to be enough to get it going off-road it’s not worth the effort. In addition, how do you plan to store/protect the batteries in what’s supposed to be a trail ready Jeep?

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Then you have to add the capability for the motors to not overheat when the tire size it upped as it tends to be. 37s are the bare minimum to not get stuck when going through deep mud around me since the rest of the off-roaders are running 35-38 on average. Too much torque at once and you risk flipping the vehicle.

        It’s certainly interesting to think about, and a wrangler that can get 25+ MPG would also be appealing to a large number of people.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          An ICE is not a motor. What does the “E” stand for.

          Also using larger tyres will not overheat a vehicle.

          The reason is the vehicle, which is most likely an auto will determine what ratio is best.

          Also, 37″ tyres are best?

          I would think tread pattern will have more impact.

          25mpg out of a Wrangler??? Only the 2.8 VM diesel Wranglers we have ………… maybe.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            What the hell are you talking about, I was clearly talking about electric motors, not ICE.

            And No, tread pattern has no impact when your resting a wrangler on its frame because the tires can’t reach solid ground due to previous off-roaders digging ruts out with 37″ swampers.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Hummer,
            I am targeting you today to hopefully guide you to making comments of value.

            Rolling diameter is good in any off road situation, not just mud.

            A big inhibitor to driving through deep mud is a live axle setup. IFS with a front locker is a better option if driving through deeper mud.

            Live axles and the front diffs tend to hang up on the tracks in the bottom of the mud. IFS has less to hang up on. The live axle and diff acts like a bulldozer, meaning you are required to push and plough through the mud.

            Look at the Mog in the other article. Portal drive gives you better clearance than larger diameter tyres.

            The bottom of your vehicle is the biggest detractor when driving in deep mud.

            The best thing to have when driving through deep mud is another vehicle and a winch.

            Also, you’ll find a front locker and rear locker will better enable your vehicle to navigate through mud.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Hummer – don’t you feel blessed by BARFO’s guidance?

            Other than mounting portal axles on one’s 4×4 the only way you are going to gain ground clearance is with bigger tires.

            I’m not surprised that the off road expert from Oz is struggling with that concept.

            Another advantage to large tires is footprint especially aired down. The truck’s weight is spread over a greater area and if you are in bottomless gumbo you stand a better chance of “floating” on the tires instead of your “belly”.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        As far as motor capability, it depends on the hybrid. Some have motors that can provide 200 lb-ft or more of torque at very low speed. I could imagine those motors giving drivers very fine-grained control off road.

        Batteries are the real question. I expect they’ll be stored in the cargo area like with most hybrids. How much effect that will have on ground clearance, and whether it will leave any cargo space at all, is a very good question.

        A wild card (but well beyond anything that will happen in 2017) would be an off-roader with in-hub motors. Such a thing could pull off some amazing feats.

        • 0 avatar
          IAhawkeye

          Now that would be cool. I think we’re still a generation away from anything hybrid Wrangler. Mostly for the reasons already stated. Tbh, I know nothing about batteries-but definitely getting them small enough that you could fit them in the Wranglers small cargo area while still giving any kind of cargo/passenger space being the big hang up. It’s not like the Chevy truck’s where there’s space to just throw the batteries under the rear seats.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          dal20402 – I just read about that exact concept for transport trucks. A new company was planning on building a truck with electric motors at each wheel. It is supposed to have a gas turbine engine that powers a generator. In some respects it sounds like a diesel electric locomotive. https://nikolamotor.com/one#NikolaMotor

          The only real problem with a battery hybrid off-roader is extra weight and range.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        Hybrids are no longer limited to econo-hybrids like the Prius. There are now performance hybrids, like the Regera, the 918, with large motors. The Regera’s 3 electric motors total 697 hp.

        Cooling isn’t an issue. While it’s not a hybrid, I have liquid cooling on my Leaf for both the motor and the electronics feeding it. Some electrics like the Rimac use oil cooled motors.

        With an electric motor at each wheel, not only do you get precise control over the torque to each wheel, you can use regen to provide precise braking to each individual wheel along with keeping your friction brakes cool.

        Protecting a battery isn’t difficult at all. Hybrid batteries aren’t as big as EV batteries. They don’t take up a lot of space. The Regera’s 9.27 kWh battery only takes up 2.4 cubic feet – and that’s for a 1,489 hp and 1,475 pound-feet of torque monster.

  • avatar
    Joss

    Wonder if it’ll make it in time for the next dinosaur flick?

  • avatar
    kmars2009

    Meh!

  • avatar
    karonetwentyc

    Solid axles? Excellent.

    Possible diesel? Even better.

    But until the Wrangler has a 2-door, medium-wheelbase variant a la the CJ-6, CJ-8, and TJ Unlimited, I’m not interested.

    Here’s the problem: the 2-door is a useful size, but has no cargo space unless the rear seat is removed. The 4-door is much better in this regard, but is too long to turn around on some trails.

    There needs to be a good in-between option that doesn’t involve finding a decent XJ, because those are thin on the ground these days.

  • avatar
    laserwizard

    Jeep has proved that you can sell ugly as long as it has Jeep on it. Several small jeeps cause visual rabies, but people buy the garbage. This thing looks like it is going to be another Jeep dog pile.

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