Wrangler to be Replaced Next?

Date 2001/2/12 0:00:00 | Topic: Wrangler

We've heard from several readers who saw the same article at AutoExpress regarding a complete makeover for the Jeep Wrangler. We've heard that this is a major redesign for the Wrangler and that a name change might also be in the works. Here's a snippet from the article:

Organise a collection and buy a gold watch Jeep's Wrangler is finally going into retirement. But the firm is training up a youngster to take its place, and while the newcomer is based on the recently launched Liberty, it takes its cues from the 1997 Icon concept.


Insiders say the new Wrangler is codenamed VJ and will share most of its major components with the Liberty, which made its debut in January at the Detroit Motor Show. Parts carried over include the Liberty's independent front suspension and the all-new 210bhp 3.7-litre Powertech V6 which is lighter and more compact and fuel-efficient than the current Wrangler's 4.0 straight-six. A 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with 154bhp plus a 2.5 turbodiesel will be offered in Europe.

Jeep bosses know the benefits of the Wrangler's butch looks, and will keep the old car's visual appeal. The final production VJ is said to closely resemble a toned-down version of the Icon, which combines the classic Jeep grille, flared wheelarches and flat windscreen with more modern curves. Current Wrangler owners will be pleased to hear the antiquated roof system has been binned. Instead of the separate canvas and fibreglass tops, the VJ will use a lightweight recycled-plastic hard-top with six removable panels. And although the car is said to be more refined, fans needn't worry about it losing any of the outgoing model's legendary off-roading skills. The suspension system is said to offer extra spring travel, while a new gearbox and electronic traction control will boost handling.

For the entire article, go to the AutoExpress website and look in the "news" section (free registration required). For those of you who don't remember the Jeep Icon concept car - check out this story from the news archive.

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