According to Autonews, the next-gen Jeep Wrangler – which should arrive in 2016 – might not sport the solid front and rear axles that the vehicle has always boasted. A big reason why the Wrangler is so beloved among 4×4 fans is that it has remained an old-school hardcore off-roader, despite other SUVs, including those within the Jeep stable, becoming softer and more road-biased.
Of course, the argument can be made that not a lot of owners truly utilise the Wrangler’s off-road capability, so creating a more road-biased version makes sense. However, hardcore Wrangler fans will undoubtedly be very unhappy if Jeep decides to ditch the solid axles.
No official statement has been made, but the company apparently wants to lighten and modernise the Wrangler, and replacing the solid axles will be a big step in that direction. That said, it is clear that Jeep is aware of how controversial this step will be. But the economic and legislative demands being placed on vehicles, especially those made and sold in the US, might force the company to compromise on the design of the next-gen Wrangler.
“We’re already in an environment where it’s a challenge to produce a vehicle in that way, and it’s going to get harder,” Jeep brand boss Mike Manley said. “What I can tell you is that the vehicle is absolutely fundamental to our DNA, and it’s going to become progressively harder to make sure that the vehicle meets all of the standards that are required for it.”