The all-new Wrangler is an extremely competent 4×4, especially in Rubicon specification. We know this for a fact, as we drove it over a mountain in Austria a few months ago.
Still, Jeep wanted to confirm its status as an epic 4×4 by completing the famous Rubicon Trail in Nevada.
According to Jeep, the Rubicon was perfectly at ease on the extremely hard trail, which winds up rocks, slopes and plateaus, climbing over natural obstacles, courtesy of its unmatched off-road equipment. Each model was equipped with the Rock-Trac 4×4 system, featuring a two-speed transfer case with 4.0:1 low-range gear ratio, front and rear heavy-duty next-generation Dana 44 axles, Tru-Lok electric front- and rear-axle lockers to tackle the most extreme off-road sections and electronic sway-bar disconnect which allows drivers to disconnect the front sway bar to deliver additional wheel travel for traversing the toughest trails.
Powered by the new 2.0-litre petrol turbo and the powerful 3.6-litre petrol engine, the Rubicon models engaged in this unique adventure exploited their ground clearance of over 25 centimetres and leading angles, including a 36.4-degree approach angle, a 25.8-degree breakover angle and a 30.8-degree departure angle. In addition, they benefitted from a maximum crawl ratio of 77.2:1 (on petrol versions) and up to 76 cm of water fording.
The Rubicon Trail is a 35-kilometre route, part road and part 4×4 trail. The maintained portion of the route is called the McKinney-Rubicon Springs Road and begins in Georgetown, California, a hamlet in the state’s Gold Country. Operating from 1890 to 1920, the McKinney-Rubicon Springs Road was originally established for stagecoaches to access resort hotels at Wentworth Springs and Rubicon Springs. The trailhead for the unmaintained portion of the route (which is about 19 kilometres long) begins in a location adjacent to Loon Lake and passes in part through the El Dorado National Forest. Rambling over large boulders, rocky terrain and enormous granite slabs with steep inclines and sharp drops, the trail ends in South Lake Tahoe. The trail crosses a river at one point close to Lake Tahoe. Early settlers named the river “Rubicon” after its counterpart in Italy – a small river north of Rome that Julius Caesar fatefully crossed in 49 BC.
Since 1950, the Rubicon Trail has been used by off-road enthusiasts as the ideal location for exciting off-highway adventured in Jeep vehicles. Furthermore, for over four decades, the Rubicon Trail has also been used by Jeep engineering teams to improve the off-road capability of Jeep SUVs and to aid in the development of new models and technologies. Using trails like the Rubicon has led to developing important innovations, such as Rock-Trac 4:1 transfer case, Quadra-Drive II, Tru-Lok locking axle differentials, disconnecting front sway bar, underbody skid-plate protection, front Dana 44 axle, multi-link suspension, BLD (Brake Lock Differential on the new Wrangler generation) and steel front and rear bumpers on the Rubicon trim level.