Nothing has screamed ”icon” over the last seventy years like the Jeep Wrangler. It is the first vehicle that comes to mind when Americans think of off-road action. No other vehicle has carried heavy artillery across battlefields and civilians across rivers and mountains. The 2012 Jeep Wrangler is set to put its personal stamp on the American psyche.
The 2012 Jeep JK Wrangler has the eternal soul of its bygone brethren, but has been updated for modern tastes. The biggest improvement is the available 3.6L VVT Pentastar V-6 engine that comes straight out of the 2011 Grand Cherokee. This engine is a logical replacement for the lackluster 3.8L of recent years. The 2012 was designed with specific outcomes in mind: capability, refinement, fuel economy, and enhanced performance.
How were those goals accomplished? First, with the V6. The engine is 90lbs lighter and the alternator has been moved back to the top of the motor to allow for water fording. The lighter engine helps the new Wrangler add 13% to its fuel efficiency, while adding another 40% in horsepower. That is a jump from 202 hp to a top end of 285hp. Horsepower alone is meaningless if you do not increase torque. How about another 10% over the 2011? Add the right transmission to the added power and torque and you get a winning formula. The 2012 Jeep Wrangler slaps an A580 five speed automatic to the power plant. This is a transmission that shifts like silk, further improves fuel efficiency, and controls noise levels in the cabin at highway speeds.
Off-road enthusiasts have a few other ideas about what makes a good Wrangler. The 2012 has seen the addition of skid plates and steel rock rails. The approach and departure angles have been improved to allow better clearance. With all of these improvements, it is easy to see that Jeep may be around for another 70 years.