Benefits of Diesel and Aluminum: The Future of the Jeep Wrangler
The Jeep Wrangler has been a fixture on Jeep dealerships since it was introduced in 1987, but in a sense, it has always been a part of the Jeep line. The Wrangler was inspired by the earliest Jeep designs. When you look at it, you can almost see the first models that Willys-Overland created for the U.S. military in World War II.
As times have changed, so has the Wrangler, but it has never strayed too far from its roots. Its look has always been recognizable, and its engine has remained powerful.
The new Jeep Wrangler is expected to get two major changes that will improve the driver experience without straying too far from the Wrangler vision: It will be built using aluminum panels, and it will have a diesel engine. The 2016 model will get the diesel engine, and the aluminum panels may not be introduced until 2017 or 2018.
Benefits of Diesel
In the past, diesel fuel cost much lower than gasoline. Those trends have reversed in recent years, and diesel has been consistently outperforming unleaded at the pumps.
However, diesel continues to be an economic choice because engines that are powered by it are more fuel-efficient. When you’re talking about a powerful vehicle like a Jeep Wrangler, those fuel savings could be significant.
The Wrangler isn’t known for its fuel efficiency, primarily because of its strength. After all, an engine that can manage rough terrains and haul heavy loads needs a lot of fuel to power it.
The choice of engine will have a big impact on the final fuel economy of the new Wrangler, as well as how much power it gets. Industry insiders say the Wrangler could get the 3.6-liter V6 that’s currently used by the Wrangler or could downgrade to a four-cylinder model. Others say that it could get the 3.0-liter V6 that’s currently used in the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500.
A smaller engine will have slightly less power, but it shouldn’t significantly change the driving experience for the Wrangler. It will, however, significantly change the fuel efficiency of the vehicle.
The new Wrangler is also expected to get an eight-speed automatic transmission, which will also help bring down the fuel consumption. The combination of the transmission, the smaller engine, and diesel power means that the new Jeep Wrangler could deliver superior fuel efficiency and save drivers a lot of money in the long run.
Not only are these changes better for pocketbooks, but they are also better for the environment. Diesel is considered a cleaner technology, and it does not create as many emissions as regular unleaded engines.
Benefits of Aluminum
Steel and fiberglass have been the materials of choice for building automobiles for a long time now. Though steel is quite strong and offers excellent protection, it is also quite heavy. The combination of a heavy, steel body and a powerful engine has made the Wrangler a fuel guzzler.
Jeep hopes to change all that by replacing some or all of the panels in the new Jeep Wrangler with aluminum.
Aluminum panels still provide strength and protection, but the material will take off hundreds of pounds of weight from the new Wrangler. With the lighter weight, the Wrangler’s engine won’t have to work as hard and won’t consume as much fuel. That means more savings at the pump, which can add up to a lot of savings over time.
The cost of aluminum is a little higher than steel, which may mean a higher sticker price for the new Wrangler, as well as higher costs for repairs. However, the fuel savings over the life of the vehicle may be more than enough to offset those costs.
Some vehicles are already using aluminum in their construction, such as the Ford F-150. Some reports of bubbling or peeling paint have surfaced as a result of contamination in the aluminum production process that leads to corrosion.
With Jeep’s commitment to high quality in the manufacturing process, we feel confident that the brand has a strategy for preventing these issues by ensuring the purity of the production process. As Ford has already done, Jeep can also start a training and certification process for preferred body shops and dealerships around the country to repair aluminum so that the costs do not exceed those for steel.
Aluminum is a relatively new material for use in vehicles, so there are bound to be a few kinks to work out. But since other automakers have already shown Jeep the potential issues, we’re certain that the company will have a plan in place for eliminating them.
Drivers will be able to enjoy the fuel savings and enhanced performance that aluminum offers by lowering the weight of the Wrangler and other vehicles.
When Will the Aluminum Body Arrive
Currently, Jeep plans to start adding aluminum to the Wrangler for the 2017 or 2018 model year, but no details have been confirmed.
We’re excited about the changes that Jeep has in store for its iconic Wrangler. This powerful vehicle has been delivering superior performance and design for nearly 30 years, and we are confident that the next evolution will only improve on the benefits it offers.
We’re especially excited to see that the changes planned for the Wrangler are moving in a more eco-friendly direction. Besides the improved performance that diesel and aluminum will offer to the driver, they will also reduce the environmental impact of the Wrangler by reducing its overall fuel consumption and emissions. What’s good for your pocketbook ends up being good for everyone by protecting our natural resources and our environment.
We can’t wait for the 2016 Wrangler to start arriving at local Jeep dealerships. We encourage you to visit us at Kendall Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram to take a test drive of the 2016 Wrangler when it arrives so that you can experience the improved handling for yourself. We’re sure you’ll agree that change can be a great thing.