Jeep lovers across the country have waited on baited breath for their first glimpse of the highly-amped ’18 Jeep Wrangler JL. With the 2017 Jeep JK on its way out, the JL appears very much to be the performance Jeep of the future, available in three different models — the base Sport, the Sahara with more luxury features, and the rugged Rubicon. For most of 2017, the powers that be kept Jeep enthusiasts in the dark. In fact, the only glimpses anyone has had of the forthcoming rock-crawler have been fleeting, often in medium-resolution, and restricted to the efforts of eagle-eyed fans like you.
The Jeep JL made its official debut at the L.A. Auto Show this November, followed up by the San Diego International Auto Show in late December, where the awesome Camp Jeep experience allowed attendees to actually test-drive the new model. Projections have the Jeep coming out between June and September of 2018, but there is currently no fixed date for its off-road-focused truck counterpart, the 2019 JT. As of December 28, 2017, however, you can walk into your local dealer and start custom-ordering your JL.
In the meantime, this article will break down a few of the new Jeep’s most exciting revisions and updates. If you haven’t caught wind of them before, we’re sure you’ll love them.
COSMETIC & FUNCTIONAL CHANGES
- The Jeep JL Wrangler will employ aluminum body panels, making the change from steel. This was done to save weight without compromising durability and to enhance fuel efficiency.
- The grille has likewise been redesigned, more condensed and simpler-looking than the JK’s without sacrificing style. How does it differ?
- There are slight bends in each slat of the grille’s widened 7-slot design.
- Recessed headlights crowd in on the exterior slots, bowing them in about a quarter of the way down for a unique look.
- There’s no “Jeep” brand or badge anywhere on the grille.
- The turn-signals have been moved from the grille down to the fender.
- The headlights will keep their round shape, and bright LEDs will lead the way for you nighttime navigators, but here’s the good part — two LED strip lights have been added to the wheel arches.
- According to the FCA US, the LED lights have been added to “generate [a] high-beam light output that is 90 percent greater than the halogen lamps in prior models; low-beam output also jumps 63 percent,” while drawing “67 percent” less power, which means you can run even more lights and accessories, like the Rigid E Series Light Bars.
- The side mirrors will now include blind spot indicators for optimum security when backing up.
- The JL’s hood will be slightly raised, slightly longer and less angular in appearance than its predecessor.
- There are hinges near the bottom corners of the windshield, and that there seems to be a clear split between the windshield frame and the JL body. Furthermore, there are two nubs located just above the bulge of the hood. These features would seem to indicate that the Jeep’s windshield may be foldable and all signs point to it being user-friendly. This is great news, and should make for a more fun, breathtaking experience behind-the-wheel — but you might need to invest in a pair of driving goggles!
- Wrangler JKs do currently allow for windshield folding, but it’s not an easy job, as the JK’s windshield is curved for maximum aerodynamics.
- Furthermore, once the front glass has been folded down, the current-gen is left looking a bit bizarre.
- The scuttlebutt on sites like JLWranglerForums.com is that the MySky roof will also be featured, and offered with a 3-piece hardtop which can be interchanged between hard- and soft-top options. It’s possible that a glass-insert option may be available, too.
- Other features include a push-button start, backup camera, halogen headlamps (LEDs available in certain packages), fog lamps, skid plates for the transfer case and the fuel tank, tow hooks (two in the front, one in the rear), cruise control capability, five USB outlets, side airbags and hill-start assist.
- The JL line is making the change from a Dana 44 axle in favor of an entirely new assembly. At writing time, the specifics are nonexistent, but many believe it’s going to be a lighter, redesigned version of the existing 44, which has been in use — in one form or another — since the 1940s. The unrecognizable differential shape, however, has a lot of people asking questions. Despite this uncertainty, we have no reason to believe that the next-gen’s axles will be any less stable.
- The engine that drives your JL Wrangler will stay the same in the form of the reliable Pentastar V6, but rumor has it that its new design will possess the eight-speed, ZF-sourced automatic. Despite initial reports that there would be no manual transmission for the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL, we can now say with confidence that there will be. It will be offered with every engine and trim option, and the additional gearing should boost your fuel-mileage and four-wheel-drive torque.
- As far as towing goes, the JL comes with electronic trailer-sway control, and an optional towing package brings with it a Class-II hitch receiver, four-pin and seven-pin adapters, a 700-amp battery, a 240-amp alternator and auxiliary switches. Two-door Jeeps boast a maximum tow rating of 2,000 lbs, while the four-door has a 3,500-lb tow rating.
2018 JEEP WRANGLER UNLIMITED RUBICON FEATURES
The Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon is the off-road-ready JL model, standing out from the Sport and Sahara, and is also expected to turn heads, offering its own impressive slew of updates and variations. Here’s what we know the Rubicon will include to set it apart from its brothers:
- Removable roof and doors (of which it will have four)
- Additional turn-signals on the side mirrors
- Larger, more aggressive front bumper design
- Front fenders containing new LED strips
- Fog lights moved to edges of front bumper
- Hood is slightly longer and appears less angular
- New pull-door handles without the button
- Lack of push-button-style door handles may mean a keyless entry
- Full-length drip rails encompass the entire length of the JL
- Tail lights now have a wraparound design
- Slightly larger trunk/cargo area
TOP PRODUCTS FOR THE 2018 JEEP WRANGLER JL
The best-selling items for the new JL are pretty much the same as they were for the JK. Take a closer look by following each of the links below for the best wheels, lift kits and body armor available, or feel free to search for variants elsewhere on our site.
- Ballistic Off Road 814 Jester Wheels
- ICON Lift Kits
- Fab Fours Vengeance Front Bumper
- Poison Spyder Rocker Knockers
- K&N Air Filters
- S&B Cold Air Intake Kit
- Go Rhino RB20 Running Boards
- Rubicon Express Steering Stabilizer
If you like what you heard here, or have any further questions for us on this next generation of Jeep Wranglers, let us know in the comment section below! Or, if you want to explore what else is available, follow the link.