At the Los Angeles Auto Show, Jeep unveiled the 2018 Wrangler, with new mild hybrid (eTorque) and diesel options to be available. The 2018 Jeep Wrangler 2-door model is available in three different trim configurations: Sport, Sport S and Rubicon. Wrangler 4-door models are available in four different trim configurations: Sport, Sport S, Sahara and Rubicon.
At the reveal, Mike Manley, Head of Jeep Brand, FCA Global, said that a full plug-in hybrid electric Jeep Wrangler will be available in 2020. No further details were given, but the coming PHEV will likely utilize elements of the plug-in hybrid system in the Pacifica. (Earlier post.)
Engines. The 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 and 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engines join the Wrangler lineup, while the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine is upgraded for 2018. The 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine with eTorque technology is rated a best-in-class 270 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque and mated to a new eight-speed automatic transmission. The 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder (I-4) engine’s torque output surpasses that of the V-6 engine offered in Wrangler. The eTorque system improves fuel economy, launch performance, and driver comfort during start/stop operations.
The eTorque system’s hybrid functions include auto stop/start, electric power assist, extended fuel shut-off, transmission shift management, intelligent battery charging and regenerative braking. Both the engine and fuel flow may be turned off during stops, coasting or when the engine is decelerating.
The 2.0-liter I-4 engine features a twin-scroll, low-inertia turbocharger with an electronically actuated waste gate for exceptional responsiveness and performance, even while traversing over difficult terrain. The turbo is mounted directly to the cylinder head to improve durability. A dedicated cooling circuit lowers the temperature of the intake air, throttle body and turbocharger.
The 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 engine is part of the Global Medium Engine architecture family and features Double Overhead Camshafts (DOHC), dual independent camshaft timing, and a cooled exhaust gas recirculation (C-EGR) system. This is the first time that the combined use of a twin-scroll turbocharger, C-EGR system, Central Direct Injection and the independent liquid cooling intake of air, throttle body and turbo have been employed together. This combination of technologies enables the high levels of performance and reduces fuel consumption.
Direct injection, coupled with turbocharging, enables more efficient combustion and increased performance. The 2.0-liter I-4 engine’s fuel pump supplies the engine’s 2,900-psi high-pressure common-rail injection system. These high pressures produce better fuel atomization and allow for more precise fuel delivery than port fuel-injection systems, which in turn improves both performance and efficiency.
A variable displacement two-stage oil pump provides high oil pressure under high speed and load, but switches to a low-pressure mode for improved fuel economy during typical driving conditions. The piston cooling jet operation is managed by the two-stage oil pump to enhance fuel economy under normal driving conditions while improving durability under demanding, high-load engine operation. A large capacity oil cooler extends the oil change interval and ensures engine durability.
The cast aluminum alloy cylinder head features a central injector and high tumble intake ports. This combination provides increased charge motion and balanced airflow for improved fuel efficiency and performance. Cast-aluminum pistons with a 10:1 compression ratio have four valve pockets to accommodate the dual Variable Valve Timing (VVT) system. Each cylinder bore is fitted with gallery-mounted piston oil squirters to limit piston temperatures, reduce spark knock and increase piston durability.
The 2.0-liter I-4 engine features a low-pressure, sand cast-aluminum block with cast-in iron liners. The bore diameter is 84 mm and the stroke is 90 mm. Total displacement is 1,995 cc.
A water-cooled, integrated exhaust manifold helps reduce turbo inlet temperatures while providing increased engine reliability.
An inverted tooth primary chain drives both the intake and exhaust camshafts and minimizes noise. Camshafts are robotically assembled using hollow shafts and have polished cam journals to reduce weight and improve durability for start-stop engine operation. The use of hollow shafts provides a 3.5 lbs. weight reduction when compared to an equivalent solid shaft.
Select-fit main and rod bearings enable reduced clearances to help lower system oil demand and oil pumping effort. In addition, floating piston pins utilize Diamond Like Coating (DLC) for reduced friction.
The ignition system includes a high-energy ignition coil for better fuel efficiency and precious-metal spark plugs with iridium and platinum provide lasting durability. Located in the center of the cam cover, the spark plugs are easily accessible when service is required. Sodium-filled exhaust valves and plasma-coated piston rings also help extend the engine’s life and bolster durability.
The FCA US 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine delivers 285 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque and now features Engine Stop-Start (ESS) as standard equipment. It is engineered to provide a broad torque band with a focus on low-end torque—an essential trait needed for extreme off-roading.
An six-speed manual transmission is standard on all Wrangler models equipped with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6, and a new-to-Wrangler eight-speed automatic transmission is optional.
The 3.0-liter EcoDiesel engine will be available starting in 2019. Wrangler 4-door models will offer the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 engine, rated at 260 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque, with Engine Stop-Start (ESS) standard. A new eight-speed automatic transmission is standard and is designed to handle the increased torque output.
FCA US engineers adapted the engine—manufactured by FCA-owned V.M. Motori—to meet the NAFTA region’s regulatory requirements.
Starting in 2019, the EcoDiesel V-6 engine implements new turbocharger technology with a low-friction bearing designed for low end and transient performance. The upgraded EcoDiesel V-6 engine now also features low-friction pistons to improve fuel economy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide an enhanced combustion system—new injector nozzle, piston bowl, and glow plug with integrated combustion pressure sensor to optimize combustion.
The EcoDiesel’s fuel pump supplies the engine’s 2,000-bar (29,000-psi) high-pressure common-rail injection system.
The engine also benefits from MultiJet 2 technology, which enables Injection Rate-Shaping—fuel injection that is modulated to mitigate noise and improve low-speed throttle response, while reducing fuel consumption.
The system’s high-dispersion nozzles and advanced-technology servovalve can accommodate up to seven fuel-injection events per cylinder cycle.
Transmissions. The new 2018 Jeep Wrangler offers an eight-speed automatic transmission, enabling the vehicle to optimize engine output while on the trails or enjoying smooth, efficient power delivery at highway speeds. The eight-speed automatic is available on all Jeep Wrangler models.
Wrangler’s eight-speed automatic transmission offers a responsive driving experience. Whether commuting during the week or rock crawling on the weekend, customers will enjoy a smooth, linear power delivery and improved fuel efficiency.
A unique set of two overdrive ratios improve highway fuel economy and reduce overall noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels.
Uniquely suited to the requirements of the Wrangler Rubicon model, the eight-speed automatic transmission delivers a 77.2:1 crawl ratio. The improved 4x4 performance benefits from a 4.7:1 first gear ratio coupled with a 4.1:1 final drive delivers unmatched capability.
2018 Jeep Wrangler models are equipped with the new standard six-speed manual transmission. This transmission features a unique design that employs new gear ratios for improved crawl ratio performance, a new gear pattern, and a cable-operated design, which eliminates shifter vibration and improves sound isolation.
The revised shift pattern features improved shift accuracy, a more comfortable shifting position and 50% shorter shifter throws than that of the outgoing Wrangler model.
A 4.41 ratio spread offers improved fuel efficiency at faster speeds and delivers quick acceleration with smooth, precise shift quality.
4x4. The 2018 Jeep Wrangler offers two 4x4 systems. For the first time, a two-speed transfer case with full-time four-wheel drive and a 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio is available on Sahara models. This new Selec-Trac full-time two-speed transfer case is intuitive and allows the driver to set it and forget it, while constantly sending power to the front and rear wheels.
The Command-Trac 4x4 system features a two-speed transfer case with a 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio, and next-generation solid Dana front and rear axles with a 3.45 rear axle ratio.
On Wrangler Rubicon, a Rock-Trac 4x4 system features heavy duty next-generation Dana 44 front and rear axles with a “4LO” ratio of 4:1. A 4.10 front and rear axle ratio is standard as are Tru-Lok locking differentials.
Wrangler Rubicon models offer improved articulation and total suspension travel versus the previous generation with help from an electronic sway-bar disconnect. With the standard six-speed manual transmission, Wrangler Rubicon has an improved crawl ratio of 84.2:1, and 77.2:1 on Rubicon models equipped with the new eight-speed automatic transmission—both of which make scaling trail obstacles easier.
Both Command-Trac and Rock-Trac systems offer full-time torque management, enabling optimal grip in low-traction conditions.
An available Trac-Lok limited-slip rear differential provides extra torque and grip during slippery, low-traction situations, such as driving over sand, gravel, snow or ice.
Chassis and suspension. The 2018 Jeep Wrangler receives a multitude of improvements to optimize ride, handling and sound characteristics, while reducing weight and improving fuel economy. Utilizing a body-on-frame design, and featuring a five-link suspension system, Wrangler delivers more capability, with improved on-road driving dynamics and passenger safety.
To protect critical vehicle components while on the trail—including the fuel tank, transfer case and automatic transmission oil pan—Wrangler employs four skid plates and bars. Rubicon models benefit from the use of heavy gauge tubular steel rock rails to curtail potential body damage inflicted while out on the trail.
The use of lightweight, high-strength aluminum closures, including the doors, door hinges, hood, fender flares, windshield frame and magnesium swing gate, help reduce weight and boost fuel economy. Other ways the Jeep engineering team looked to reduce weight included using hollow track and stabilizer bars, aluminum engine mounts and steering gear, and a larger, lighter master cylinder.
For 2018, Wrangler continues to utilize the proven five-link coil suspension configuration. Wrangler’s front suspension features a lateral control arm and four longitudinal control arms. Full-width track bars made of forged steel control lateral movement of the axle with minimal angle change during suspension travel. The roll center height has been raised and the spring rates have been retuned to provide a comfortable ride when traveling around town.
The five-link rear suspension features two upper and two lower forged steel control arms for longitudinal control, and a track bar for lateral axle control. The control arms are located outside of the frame rails while the rear shocks are splayed (angled inboard at the top) to provide consistent damping.
The shocks have been retuned and demonstrate optimum balance between on-road handling and legendary off-road capability. Ride comfort, body-roll control, and handling is significantly improved with new shock tuning, hard points, and body mount strategy.
On Wrangler Rubicon models, an electronic front sway-bar disconnect is featured to provide additional wheel travel when the terrain calls for it.
Fourth-generation Uconnect system. The 2018 Jeep Wrangler offers three new Uconnect systems—Uconnect 5-, 7- and 8.4NAV—delivering communication, entertainment and navigation features drivers and passengers desire, including a full-color LED instrument cluster. 2018 marks the first-time Wrangler offers the new, fourth-generation Uconnect systems.
The Uconnect 7.0 or 8.4NAV systems include the new Apple CarPlay and Android Auto features.