It folds back smooth, with merely a touch, and without fumbling or worrying about latches and bow assemblies.
Jeep calls it their ‘Sky One-Touch Power Top’ and describes the thing as ‘allowing occupants to quickly and conveniently retract the fabric roof and experience open air freedom with a push of a button.’
Definitely interesting. And yet, will it be something embraced by the legions of Jeep enthusiasts?
It may. If they can stomach the price tag.
Jeep has released the top on its website configurator, where it checks in at a hefty $3,995 MSRP for JL Wrangler Unlimited Sahara and Rubicon vehicles only. While there is no time frame yet for the product, most expect an early to mid Summer arrival.
We had a chance to check out the new Sky One-Touch Power Top back in late November at the official JL reveal in Los Angeles and it definitely caught our eye. Since then, we’ve been waiting to hear a bit more on how much the product will cost as a reflection on how much interest people will actually have for the thing.
Now, at first glance the cost may indeed seem wild, but for those who were already planning on a dual top package with color-matched hard top, this would only be a small price jump for something much easier to use. On the other hand, it is quite the added expense for those wishing to upgrade from just a soft top. And, really, at that price point, it does not seem to be marketed for those already comfortable with their soft top.
What it does appear, though, is to be targeted towards those unable (or unwilling) to remove their hard top for whatever reason, or to those who struggle with bulky soft top framework.
As far as the canvas top itself, it operates on a track system powered by switches near the driver sun visor. One simple press opens the top, sliding it back where it stacks, accordion-style, above the rear quarter windows. Another press closes the top and latches it against the front windshield for a water-tight seal.
Sensors in the sliding mechanism can also detect anything in the way, such as little fingers or toys, and will automatically stop the top until the obstacle is removed.
Also, while the entire top is not removable from the Wrangler, the rear quarter windows can be taken off by just undoing a few latches – which further opens up that cabin area.
What remains to be seen, though, is how well the vehicle operates when the top is open and rear windows are out. Or how that slider mechanism will perform after a messy day of off-roading in the dirt and mud. Hopefully, designers thoroughly tested the amount of airflow against the rear (non-removable) window, as well as giving the electronic parts adequate protection against all things nature.
Currently, only the Wrangler JL Unlimited Sahara or Rubicon vehicles have this top option, and it is unclear if potential Sport buyers will have it available down the road.