By: Matt Konkle
Alright, alright - we know it's not that big a deal. It's a Wrangler, it's supposed to have off-road functionality. However, this is the first time we've seen a shot of the 2018 Wrangler JL (albeit still heavily camo'd) testing off pavement. So, yeah, not a huge deal, but certainly a bit reassuring. After all, admit it, even though we all heard Fiat Chrysler say they didn't want to diminish the Wrangler's capability, deep down you probably had a few worries too when FCA announced it would use more aluminum in this edition.
This JL pic was snapped by a Facebook user back in mid-August while enjoying the red rocks of beautiful Moab, Utah.
As far as plans for the new JL Wrangler, besides integrating more aluminum to reduce vehicle weight and increase fuel economy, FCA also changed the windshield angle to improve aerodynamics, kept (thankfully) the traditional solid axles, added powerful LED lighting, installed an eight-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission, and redesigned its six-cylinder workhorse Pentastar engine while also adding a 3.0-liter eco-diesel and 300-hp turbo four-cylinder as options.
In addition, rumors are the vehicle will no longer utilize a soft top. Instead, removable soft panels would provide that open air option for riders. Gone, too, may be the sport bar in preparation for a possible fixed roof edition.
FCA, currently entering into production of the 2017 JK Wrangler, hasn't offered much on what the '18s will or won't have, but is on the record its 2018 redesign should be unveiled in January 2017 - most likely during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan.