Jeep to Increase Future Wrangler Fuel Economy

By | July 07, 2014
To better compete with its rivals, Jeep will be increasing the fuel economy of future Wrangler models through the use of lightweight materials, more gears, and potentially smaller engines. The current heavy body-on-frame SUV will have to meet more strict fuel economy standards in the coming years, and the redesign scheduled for 2017 can't come soon enough. The 2014 Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited are currently rated at 18 mpg combined when paired with either the five-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission, but with the implementation of Chrysler's eight-speed automatic, that number could increase. However, that transmission doesn't fit under the hood of the Wrangler. But if Jeep engineers can figure out a way to shed enough of the Wrangler's weight, with the help of a smaller engine, that transmission could find a new home. Even if that doesn't happen, a smaller engine or even a diesel engine could help to improve efficiency enough to meet the upcoming fuel economy standards.
Even though fuel economy has become a major buying factor for many vehicles, when it comes to the Wrangler, many customers are looking for true off-road capability. And while the Wrangler is capable of handling the toughest terrain, it must also be able to be driven around town. Jeep brand head Mike Manley knows what the target market is for the Wrangler, and he's committed to keeping future models true to its heritage. "One thing we will not do is dilute what Wrangler stands for. I killed the two-wheel-drive Wrangler when I took over the brand, and I’m not bringing the two-wheel-drive Wrangler back," said Manley in a recent interview with Automotive News. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)