Production of the 2018 JL Wrangler is ramping up just as manufacture of the 2017 JK Wrangler winds down, meaning you’ll soon be able to get this exciting new take on the time-tested Jeep out on the road or trail for fresh adventures! Here are some important 2018 Wrangler & 2019 Wrangler Truck production dates that give you a snapshot of this thrilling new era in the Jeeping world.
November 2017: The 2018 JL Wrangler Order Banks open – enabling you to go to your local dealership and put money down on a new Jeep, so that you can get it as soon as possible.
November 15th, 2017: On this date, the assembly lines in Toledo, Ohio started building the first JL Wranglers, getting mass production underway to prepare for early 2018 shipment.
January 2018: You should be able to turn the key in the ignition of your new JL Wrangler sometime in January 2018 when the vehicles arrive at dealerships for sale and pickup.
July 2018: 2018 model year production ends in July, allowing FCA to switch focus to building the 2019 JL Wrangler, developing its new features and improvements.
September 2018: In September 2018, FCA will start putting together the eagerly awaited 2019 JT Wrangler pickup truck for the 2019 model year, to be released early the next year.
Most Anticipated 2018 JL Wrangler Parts
One of the great things about any Jeep Wrangler is customizing and upgrading it with aftermarket parts, and everyone is already excited about how they’re going to mod their new 2018 JL Wrangler ride! The forums are filled with great ideas about how people want to tune and personalize their JL, and lots of enthusiasts already have their build lists prepared. While you’ll still need to wait until the near future to get your hands on these components, these are some of the most anticipated JL Wrangler parts:
2018 JL Wrangler Wheels & Tires
2018 JL Wrangler Lift Kits
2018 JL Wrangler Bumpers
2018 JL Wrangler Lighting
These items are just the beginning of all the possibilities you'll be able to choose from to make your Jeep work just like you want it to, but it does show you what other Jeepers have in mind for their machines. Head over to the ExtremeTerrain Blog to get the latest modding ideas and to let us know what you’re most excited about changing on your JL.
Winner of the 2 Upgraded 2018 JL Wranglers
ExtremeTerrain has named a winner of its two JL Wrangler give away! The contest launched in June 2017 with the grand prize announcement being presented in a 5-finalist countdown on Black Friday, November 24, 2017. Patrick G from Summerville, SC came out on top. He will receive his pair of fully modified 2018 JL Wranglers early in the New Year. His prize package includes one Jeep decked out in Deegan 38 Parts and the other outfitted in the latest JL Wrangler offerings from Barricade Off-Road.
2018 JL Jeep Wrangler Changes – What's different from the 2017 JK
Bringing fresh energy and futuristic, cutting edge design to the tried-and-true Jeep, the 2018 JL Jeep Wrangler keeps the best features of the JK, but takes this super-popular off-road vehicle in exciting new directions, too! Featuring weight-saving aluminum panels in the doors, tailgate, and other locations, the JL pares off about 200 lbs for modest fuel mileage gains – you can expect 18/23 mpg city/highway in some trims.
The removable top that gives you plenty of fresh air and sunshine on your safari has always been a key feature of the Wrangler, but with the 2018 JL, the top has gotten an upgrade, too, including choices for a 3-piece modular hard top, a zipperless soft top that can be put on or taken off in a jiffy, and a retractable power top on some trims. Continuing down from the roof, the windshield folds down like the 2017 JK’s, but only 4 bolts need to be loosened compared to the older generation’s 28.
Weak standard Jeep lighting is addressed by an LED light and headlight package, bringing brilliant “artificial daylight” to the overnight trail or highway right out of the showroom. “ParkView” backup cameras, standard in most trims and never before seen in a factory Jeep Wrangler, add to safety, whether it’s backing out of the driveway or reversing carefully over tricky ground off-road. With raised fenders, a reworked suspension, and careful off-road oriented design, the Rubicon can fit up to 35” tires without a lift kit installation.
Other improvements are less obvious but also provide benefits – a taller windshield creates a better field of view, while improved steering and cruise control sharply rein in the Wrangler’s tendency to wander. And there are plenty more adjustments that help make the 2018 JL Wrangler a major leap forward from the 2017 JK in terms of comfort, features, and off-road mobility, making this the most versatile Jeep to wrangle a trail to date.
2018 Jeep Wrangler Axles
Built hardy to stand up to the heavy-duty torquing forces and rugged work of rolling over rutted trails or crawling agilely across boulders, 3rd generation Dana solid front and rear axles come standard on the Sport, Sport S, and Sahara trims of the 2018 JL Wrangler. Outfitted with a conventional differential, these models have a 3.45 axle gear ratio, with the option to upgrade to an anti-spin differential 3rd generation Dana 44 HD rear axle. The Rubicon, on the other hand, comes standard with 3rd-gen Dana 44 HD wide front and rear axles. Its 4.10 axle gear ratio gets maximum amounts of torque into play. Both the front and rear axles come with the Tru-Lok differential system, enabling push-button axle locking and unlocking for more traction options during low-speed crawling. These axles feature heftier tubes and forgings so they can successfully overcome any challenge or stress that the trail throws at them – plus offering improved long-term durability.
2018 Jeep Wrangler Engine Options
Cranking out the power you need to conquer most trails and wheeling or crawling adventures, the standard engine across all trims of 2018 JL Jeep Wrangler remains the staunchly effective 3.6L Pentastar V6 24V VVT engine. This motor develops 285 horsepower and 260 ft-lbs of torque, and comes with efficiency-boosting ESS that you can switch on or off as desired. A second, brand-new engine choice is the 2.0L eTorque I-4 Turbo engine, which hits the road with 265 horsepower and 295 ft-lbs of torque at your command. A third option, the 3.0L EcoDiesel V6, has electrified the Jeeping community with the new possibilities it offers, but looks to have been delayed – possibly until April 2018, or more likely until the 2019 model year, by trouble with meeting emission standards. This engine offers a fairly standard 262 horsepower, but also generates a whopping 442 ft-lbs of torque, which will turn your JL Wrangler into a towing juggernaut.
2018 Jeep Wrangler Transmission
The 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL keeps the familiar manual transmission option as the standard for all trims fitted with the 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine. This 6-speed manual transmission has been fine-tuned and improved, offering a crawl ratio of 84.2:1. The 2018 JL also features an 8-speed automatic transmission, which is optional with the 3.6L Pentastar V6 and is fitted standard to Wranglers powered by the 2.0L eTorque I-4 or 3.0L EcoDiesel (with no option for manual transmissions for these engine choices). The 8-speed automatic has a crawl ratio of 77.2:1 and works smoothly and strongly on-road or off.
2018 Jeep Wrangler Top
The 2018 JL Wrangler takes a significant jump into the modern era with both its soft and hard top configurations. The removable top is a signature part of any Jeep and lets you enjoy the summer breeze streaming through the cab, as well as giving you a huge field of view of when you’re negotiating a tricky, technical area of trail. The 2018 Jeep JL features three different tops in all. The Sunrider soft top, available on all trims, frees you from wrestling with zippers that can wear out or get stuck. Locking together with a system of interlocking channel edges and a spring-assisted design, it can be attached or removed with great speed and handiness. Separately removable windows give you the option to drive with roof section of the top still in place but the sides open, or to remove everything. A Premium version of the Sunrider is quieter and more stylish than the basic version, coming in black or tan for the Sport S, Sahara, and Rubicon trims. Cutting 20% off the weight compared to the older hard top, the Freedom Top 3-piece Hard Top provides easy handling and plenty of different coverage options depending on which panels you remove. The Freedom Top comes in both black and body-color variants to match your aesthetic preference, with body color tops available on the Sahara and Rubicon. Finally, the 2018 JL Wrangler adds the first ever power top to the Jeep lineup – the Sky One-Touch Power Top that folds back even at highway speeds at the push of a button, optional on the Sahara and Rubicon. The Sky Power Top includes a rear window defroster and a rear window washer/wiper setup, offering even more all-season convenience.
2018 Jeep Wrangler Interior
Extra room to stretch your legs or stow cargo is added by the lengthened wheelbase of the 2018 JL Wrangler – though that doesn’t come at the cost of maneuverability, since the reworked suspension geometry cuts the turning circle by 12” compared to the 2017 JK. The reworked interior looks better and offers better views out the windshield, which can be a major help during tight-space wheeling on the trail. Instead of slippery hard plastic, most interior surfaces now feature a grippy rubberized coating that turns the whole interior into a series of grab handles so that passengers can brace themselves in most positions when you’re bouncing over rough terrain. There’s also an array of modern electronics, including 5” touchscreen U-Connect infotainment on the Sport and Sport S, and a 7” standard touchscreen in the Sahara and Rubicon. All trims include power windows, 12-volt front and rear power outlets, and four USB ports, two in the front and in the back seat. You’ll also get some luxurious leather wrapping in the Sahara and Rubicon models, whether optionally (park brake handle, shift knob, instrument panel) or standard (a leather-wrapped steering wheel, which is also standard on the 2018 Sport S).
2019 JT Wrangler Pickup Truck
Scheduled for a triumphant return in 2019, the JT Wrangler “Scrambler” pickup truck is an off-road and on-road vehicle that’s eagerly awaited by the many Jeep enthusiasts who also want some extra cargo capacity. The JT’s rear suspension, revealed in recent photos, closely matches the Ram 1500’s, showing that it’ll have the full cargo and towing potential of other pickups in its weight class. At the same time, its Wrangler pedigree shows through in the choice of a minimum of three convertible top options – a 3-piece hard top, a body-color 3-piece hard top, and a black Sunrider soft top. Order banks for the 2019 JT Wrangler will open in August 2018, while physical production starts in October 2018 at the South Toledo plant.
There’s already plenty of excitement and discussion about the best parts for the first aftermarket upgrades of the 2019 JT pickup. Some favorites include:
2019 JT Wrangler Bed Cargo Racks
2019 JT Wrangler Winches & Accessories
2019 JT Wrangler Lift Kits
2019 JT Wrangler Wheels & Tires
2019 JT Wrangler Tonneau Covers
You’ll be able to follow the latest news about Jeep JT pickup components on the ExtremeTerrain blog, along with your favorite forums. There’ll be tons of possibilities for customizing your JT by the time it rolls off the production line regardless of whether you’re planning to use it for work, fun, or a mix of both!
JL Wrangler Predictions from the Spring and Summer of 2016
Aluminum & Axles, Oh My
Chrysler is not standing still in terms of keeping up with the Joneses. The company is moving forward with the popular automobile industry trends of stronger, lighter, and better. Although the frame is being boxed by adding a fourth side to the traditional C-channel design, weight savings are coming with the replacement of steel body panels by lighter aluminum ones. No specific panels were mentioned however indicates it will be “a healthy dose”. Other noticeable changes are in the drive train as the traditional Dana 44 differential shape has been replaced by an unrecognized new design. Perhaps this is a lighter version of the 44. Speculation is that the axle is still a Dana model although no tags were present to indicate such.
Don’t Break What’s Not Broken
As much as things change, they stay the same. Chrysler recognizes this by keeping the main desires of the Wrangler; body on frame and solid axles. As the world transitions to unibody and independent suspension, the Wrangler maintains its original design. As popular as the Wrangler is (supposedly every one that is produced is sold) for its utilitarian looks, underneath it still features the same Jeep ruggedness for those who desire more than aesthetics. This has resulted in the popularity of the Rubicon models that enable an even more capable off-road machine straight from the factory. No doubt the new models will also generate a number of follow on products in that secondary market that is also seeing huge growth.
2018 Wrangler Engine & Transmission
As evidenced by the Detroit Auto Show introductions and buying trends in general, drivetrain and engine are major selling points. The Wrangler is adapting to in order to keep pace with the competition. Although the engine will most likely remain the Pentastar V-6, the new design is speculated to possess the eight speed ZF-sourced automatic. The additional speeds will spread the power more evenly and combined with the lighter weight could push the fuel mileage up a notch. More speculation surrounds the engine in terms of a possible diesel option to provide the torque often associated with four wheel drive vehicles that are geared towards low speed operation such as ‘wheeling as well as highway use.
Upgrades in the looks of the Wrangler will come in the form of an adjusted distribution of body panels as well as some interior improvements. A first look at the 2018 Wrangler shows more length in the panel between the back of the hood and the windshield. This however may be a proportionate change only as the wheelbase appears to be the same. Perhaps a stretch of the body was needed to accommodate the eight speed transmission. Another possibility is the redistribution of proportions may be due to the aluminum body panels.
Topping Off The New Wrangler
There has been a huge amount of speculation around the roof of the new Wrangler. Multiple reports have pointed to the possibility of a modular hard top, effectively replacing and eliminating the classic Jeep soft top. Looking to give the 2018 Wrangler improved chassis rigidity, it appears as though there will a solid top that can be removed in sections, allowing you to have an open roof while benefiting from an improved and stiffened design. However, this remains one of the most highly debated aspects of the new Wrangler, as the classic soft top has been a key design component for generations.
A New Interior
Interior improvements were speculated to feature upgraded seat covers. Many of the speculation in April 2015 including the rumor for independent suspension have proven to not happen in the later articles from September 2015 and January 2016.
A Wrangler Pickup Truck for 2018
The Wrangler pickup is a concept that was taken from the successful CJ8 Jeep Scrambler. Whereas the Scrambler was a utility oriented vehicle, the Jeep Wrangler Pickup will focus more on lifestyle. What does that mean? In terms of the latest trends in vehicles it means the design will be oriented towards play more than work. And who can blame Chrysler for that? With the number of four wheel drive vehicles available today, the company that sought the ultimate name in four wheel drive is maintaining the niche established when the Wrangler returned to round headlights.
The new pickup was flashed around in prototype photos with association to the original Jeep Gladiator full sized pickup that ran from the 1960’s through the 1980’s. Even the tailgate on the prototype vehicle had the traditional Jeep lettering styled like the old Gladiators. This original design was made in the millions and well ingrained in many a boy who owned Gladiator Tonka trucks. Depending on the attitude of older brothers, the logo may have been ingrained in skin based on how hard the truck was launched. The Wrangler will not inherit the Gladiator name according to the available information. Nor will it combine the Wrangler and Scrambler names either. That’s a good thing for those who remember the Rambler, one of AMC’s ugliest cars.
Keeping the Jeep Tradition
Regardless of whether rumors are true or not, Jeep will maintain its success with the 2018 Wrangler by keeping with traditional elements while expanding to the long awaited pickup version. One more Jeep tradition will be maintained. The new Wrangler pickup will be produced alongside the current models in the Toledo, Ohio plant. This will keep an American based success story in America where it has been for decades. Chrysler speculates the Jeep Wrangler pickup will be available in late September of 2018. Other news indicates that entry level prices for the Wrangler will be $25,000 which when considering the demand and ability to retain value, may be a price low enough to appeal to a large number of potential buyers.
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Ryan E, 2002 Jeep Wrangler TJWeb Producer I have been into Wranglers since I was young. My dad has owned quite a few over the years and if I wasn’t in a lifted wrangler I was in something lifted. When I was old enough to drive I bought a Cherokee and went through 3 of them before deciding I wanted a Wrangler. So I sold my Cherokee and sat o...