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TeraFlex: Jeep JL

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Published on Jan 8, 2018

Although its gained additional creature comforts, the all-new 2-door 2018 JL Wrangler and 4-door JLU Wrangler Unlimited haven’t lost any of their hardcore off-road capability.

In addition to the outgoing model’s 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine, the new models will be available with an all-new 2.0-liter turbocharged Hurricane I-4. JL Wrangler Unlimited models will also be offered with a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6. All three engines will be mated to a new 8-speed automatic transmission with auto stop/start. (A 6-speed manual is standard on the Pentastar engine.)

Three different 4-wheel-drive systems are available. Sport and Sahara models feature Dana 30 front axle an Dana 35 rear axle with a 3.75:1 axle ratio. A limited-slip differential is optional. While all models feature a manual transfer case, Sahara models feature a new transfer case with a 4Auto mode aka an automatic all-wheel-drive mode. 4Auto features an electronically-controlled clutch pack that can send up to 50% of torque to the front wheels if needed.

Rubicon models feature front and rear Dana 44 axles with electronically locking differentials and electronically disconnecting sway bars. With its 4.10:1 axle ratio, the Rubicon features an 84:1 and a 77:1 crawl ratio for the manual and automatic, respectively.

Though the front and rear 5-link, coil spring suspensions carry over, the geometry has been revised and the mounting points have been beefed up. The steering and braking systems have also been improved.

The 2018 JL Wrangler and JLU Wrangler Unlimited also feature a more aerodynamic shape with lighter aluminum body panels. And the removable body panels are also easier to remove than before. Exterior and interior LED lighting is now available. Other new interior features include an available heated steering wheel and a standard rearview camera.

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