Keep on Truckin’: Updates on What’s New for Jeep

Jeep Truck to be Built in Toledo

On Monday, Jan. 11, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ (FCA) CEO, Sergio Marchionne, confirmed that the new Jeep truck model will be built at the company’s Toledo Assembly Complex. Production will begin shortly after the redesigned 2018 Jeep Wrangler model begins production.

Jeep has teased a pickup truck variant for years with the previous Gladiator and J-12 concepts, but never pushed the button. At this year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Mike Manley, president of FCA’s Jeep brand, confirmed that the Jeep pickup truck will be available prior to 2019.

No specific details were given, other than the vehicle will be assembled in Toledo. In September, FCA announced they would keep production of the JK Wrangler in Toledo while moving production of the Jeep Cherokee elsewhere.

 

Speaking of the JK Wrangler

Since the Jeep community got word that new regulations would force the automaker to redesign the revered off-roader, speculations on the 2017 model have been plentiful.

Starting with the 2017 Jeep Wrangler, the automaker needs to find new and inventive ways to reduce weight and fuel economy to meet stiff MPG regulations without weakening capability. All automakers are tasked with boosting fuel economy to meet the mandated corporate average of 54.5 MPG by 2025. By 2017, they must meet an interim standard of 37 MPG (New York Times).

The 2016 Jeep Wrangler 4WD, which runs a 6 cyl, 3.6 L, Automatic (5-spd) or Manual (6-spd) gets about 17 MPG city and 21 highway using regular gasoline, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

If FCA has any definitive information on the 2017 Jeep Wrangler, they’re keeping it close to the vest. As of press time any information on release date or changes are purely speculative, but seem to be pretty consistent across the blogosphere. Here’s what we’ve seen:

  • Specifics on the 2017 Jeep Wrangler will likely be made public sometime in mid 2016; the vehicle should be ready for sale in early 2017.
  • According to FCA’s Manley, the redesigned Wrangler will have its own platform, and will not be developed on a Fiat platform.
  • Most of the changes seem to be its exterior, including a body-on-frame construction with an aluminum body, making the vehicle lighter. This would improve fuel consumption and increase performance.
  • The old engine will be discontinued and replaced with two models: a base 3.0 L twin-turbocharged Pentastar V6 with up to 300 horsepower and more than 350 lb-ft of torque, and a 3.0 L twin-turbo V6 diesel with up to 240 horsepower and more than 400 lb-ft of torque. (We talked a bit about the diesel engine in March 2015.)
  • There will also likely be some interior changes, though there has been very little speculation in that regard.

The Toledo Blade reported Wednesday that FCA’s Manley wouldn’t divulge production numbers, but that the next generation Jeep would build an increased customer demand. Last year, Jeep sold a record 255,000 Wranglers globally, but

“We have to make sure that the hard-core guys, the weekend warriors, the people that are out on the trails all the time, feel we’ve been true to the Wrangler almost as a sub-brand,” Manley said. “That’s why I stress I’m absolutely more than comfortable they’re going to be very pleased with what they see.”

The Jeep Wrangler is currently built at the Toledo Assembly Complex.