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Archive for the ‘off road’ Category

PostHeaderIcon This Is It! Meet the 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor!

Ford has finally pulled the covers off its much-anticipated 2019 Ranger Raptor. This is the hard-core off-road version the world has waited for. It boasts many similar attributes to its big brother, the Ford F-150 Raptor, but benefits from a smaller size, a Watt’s link and coil spring rear suspension, and a twin-turbodiesel powerplant. The debut event took place in Bangkok, Thailand, where pickups are extremely popular. And while Ford hasn’t admitted it yet, the Ranger Raptor will arrive in the U.S. Keep reading to learn all about it.

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“Compared to the conventional Ranger, the new Raptor is wider and taller”

Compared to the conventional Ranger, the new Raptor is wider and taller. New fenders cover the 285/70R17 BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires. The fenders are composite, too, which Ford says will resist trail damage. And like the F-150 Raptor, the Ranger Raptor boasts a new grille with the F-O-R-D lettering and a steel bumper with a high approach angle of 24 degrees. The departure angle also measures 24 degrees thanks to the new rear bumper. Ground clearance measures in at an impressive 11.1 inches. Both front and rear bumpers have easy-access recovery points, just like the F-150 Raptor.

Naturally, the Ranger Raptor uses Fox Racing shocks. Both front and rear have 46.6mm pistons for ruggedness over terrible driving conditions. The front suspension uses a familiar aluminum upper and lower control arms while the rear suspension uses something not seen on American trucks – a Watt’s link. In a nutshell, the connection keeps the solid rear axle located in the same horizontal position regardless of its vertical travel. What’s more, Ford uses coil springs and control arms to both dampen and locate the axle, not to mention those Fox Shocks.

Most surprising is the Ranger Raptor’s new powerplant. Ford is debuting an all-new 2.0-liter bi-turbo four-cylinder turbodiesel. This high-tech engine is unlike anything currently found in the Ranger. The dual turbo setup includes both high-pressure and low-pressure turbos for a quick spool-up and massive airflow. The result is 210 horsepower and an impressive 369 pound-feet of torque. Comparatively, the Chevrolet Colorado’s 2.8-liter turbodiesel makes 181 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. Not surprising, however, is Ford’s use of its new 10-speed automatic transmission.


“Most surprising is the Ranger Raptor’s new powerplant. Ford is debuting an all-new 2.0-liter bi-turbo four-cylinder turbodiesel”

The Ranger Raptor inherits the F-150 Raptor’s drive modes, too. For on-road performance, there is Normal and Sport modes. When it comes to off-road, there is Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Sand, Rock, and Baja modes.

Inside the truck, the interior is updated with suede covered seats and steering wheel. The wheel features the familiar red, on-center marker and thick grips. The seats are heavily bolstered and have leather side accents that make getting in and out easier. The suede center section, combined with the thick bolsters, should do a fantastic job at holding the driver and front passenger in place.

While Ford hasn’t mentioned any details about a U.S.-spec Ranger Raptor, we know the time is coming. Mike Levine, Ford’s main man with Product Communications in North America, said on his Instagram that, “Today’s announcement is about the launch of the new Ranger Raptor in Asia Pacific markets. We’ll have more to share about [the] Ranger Raptor at a later date.”

Of course, pricing hasn’t been announced either, even in for the Asian Pacific markets. We’ll keep you updated as new information becomes available.

References

Ford Ranger


This Is It! Meet the 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor! - image 765831

Read our full review on the 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor.


2019 Ford Ranger - image 758142

Read our full review on the 2019 Ford Ranger.


2017 Ford F-150 Raptor - image 610255

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford F-150 Raptor.


maker logos - image 744958

Read more Ford news.

PostHeaderIcon This Is It! Meet the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Continuing the modern trend of sneak-peak reveals ahead of official debuts, Chevrolet dramatically introduced its all-new, 2019 Silverado 1500 pickup truck by airlifting the truck under a helicopter on December 16. The spectacle took place at the Texas Motor Speedway in view of the media and members of Chevy’s new Truck Legends owners club.

Chevy hasn’t released much information on the new 2019 Silverado, but we do know several key points. For starters, the new Silverado will come with a Trailboss trim. First seen on the Chevy Colorado, this trim takes the Z71 off-road package and adds a two-inch suspension lift and Goodyear DuraTrac tires. Chevy also says the new Silverado will come with more engine and transmission combinations, more technology and convenience features, and has a “significant reduction” in weight over the outgoing Silverado.

Continue reading for more on the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado.

What We Know


This Is It! Meet the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 - image 753281
“The new Silverado 1500 is lighter than before thanks to "mixed materials and advanced manufacturing."”

Chevy didn’t divulge too many details about its new 2019 Silverado – we’ll have to wait until its official debut at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show come January. For now, we know the new Silverado 1500 is lighter than before thanks to “mixed materials and advanced manufacturing.” While Chevy did not confirm the rumored carbon fiber cargo bed, it did reveal the bed’s floor is a higher-grade steel alloy that’s roll-formed for added strength and added lightness. Perhaps the bed walls will use carbon fiber. Either way, it seems Chevy smartly avoided using aluminum so it won’t have to backpedal on its “aluminum sucks” ad campaign that targeted the aluminum-bodied Ford F-150.

Chevy also dropped clues on the 2019 Silverado’s trim levels saying eight will be available. Currently, seven trim are available. These include the WT, LS, LT, LT Z71, LTZ, LTZ Z71, and High Country. Adding the Trailboss trim brings the count to eight. There is one catch, however. Chevy says the truck that debuted is an LT Trailboss; that suggests an LTZ Trailboss is possible. If that’s the case, other changes to the standard trim level lineup will be required.


This Is It! Meet the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 - image 753283
“As for the 2019 Silverado’s outward appearance, the truck is sleeker than before, with zero body panels shared from the outgoing truck”

As for the 2019 Silverado’s outward appearance, the truck is sleeker than before, with zero body panels shared from the outgoing truck. The grille is still flat and upright, but its details are completely new. Updated LED daytime running lights and projector beam headlights define the face, while lower fog lights sit next to the Trailboss’ red-colored tow hooks.

Gone are the squared-off fenders and replaced with a more rounded, sculpted design. The side mirrors are now separated from the door rather than attached next to the window. This will help reduce wind noise while cutting drag. The step bumper returns, but now features rectangular, chrome-tipped exhaust pipes tucked into its lower half. The trailer hitch receiver, trailer wiring connections, and access hole for the spare tire winch remain unchanged.

Last but certainly not least, the tailgate features a retro-style CHEVROLET stamping. The Silverado and trim level badges are set in chrome letter along the tailgate’s lower edge.

Thankfully, we won’t have long to wait before Chevy releases the full barrage of information on its new half-ton truck. The 2018 Detroit Auto Show is happening January 13 through 28, with all the reveals scheduled during the first two days. As always, stay tuned to TopSpeed.com for the latest in breaking news.

References

Chevrolet Silverado


2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition: Dissecting The Name - image 739865

2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71: An Overview


2016 Chevrolet Silverado - image 712066

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado.


maker logos - image 753286

Read more Detroit Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Jeep Wrangler JL – First Look

The time has finally come; we’ve gotten a chance to spend quality time behind the wheel of the all-new 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL. Jeep flew us out to the deserts of Arizona for our first view of the Wrangler since it debuted the week prior at the 2017 L.A. Auto Show.

We’ve coved the new Wrangler to death with nearly a dozen articles focused on various aspects of the Jeep, and most recently, our driving impressions, pricing information, and fuel economy. We can say the new Wrangler is wholly improved and in no way less capable off-road. In fact, Jeep designers and engineers worked tirelessly to retain (and in many areas improve) the Wrangler’s capabilities. So without further ado, here’s our take on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL

Continue reading for more on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL.

Exterior


2018 Jeep Wrangler JL - First Look - image 751434

While we’ve got a full review of the 2018 Jeep Wrangler already online, here’s our thoughts now that we’ve seen it in person.

It’s clear Jeep designers sweated the details on the new Wrangler. It might look too similar to the outgoing Wrangler JK in photos, but in person, the new JL has a completely different persona. Every body panel is different and that is very apparent the second you get close.

The grille and optional LED headlights go a long way in making the Wrangler JL feel modern. The LED turn signals and daytime running lights in the front fenders also contribute. The longer, flatter hood brings better proportionality to the Wrangler Unlimited’s profile, while the newly lowered beltline and character line under the windows make it appear less top heavy.


2018 Jeep Wrangler JL - First Look - image 751462
“Around back, the new taillights and bumper are quickly identifiable against the older Wrangler JK”

Around back, the new taillights and bumper are quickly identifiable against the older Wrangler JK. The license plate was moved from the body to the bumper, as well, helping with aerodynamics. It also keeps the license plate from getting ripped off on the trail – a common occurrence with the JK. The tailgate’s hinges are now exposed rather than being covered in plastic and the spare tire is mounted lower for better visibility out of the rear window.

Other noticeable improvements are the new pull-style door handles. They are much easier to operate than the JK’s and even include passive entry. Push-button starting is standard across the board, too.

And speaking of aerodynamics, the Wrangler JL’s new shape is far better at managing air. Sport models have a new air dam that fits between the bumper and front fenders. Hard top models now have a mild spoiler lip above the rear window. The new windshield is slightly more raked but is still far more vertical than anything seen on a crossover or car. Only the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon can compete with the Wrangler’s tall windshield.


2018 Jeep Wrangler JL - First Look - image 751478

Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase 2-door 96.8 (2,460)
4-door 118.4 (3,008)
Overhang Front: 29.2 (741.6)
Rear: 40.8 (1,036.3)
Track Front: 62.9 (1,598)
Rear: 62.9 (1,598)
Overall Length (includes spare tire) 166.8 (4,237) – 2-door
188.4 (4,785) – 4-door
Overall Width 73.8 (1,875)
Overall Height 73.6 (1,868.4)
Liftover Height 29.7 (756.4)
Cargo Width at Swing-Gate Opening 41.1 (1,052)
Cargo Height at Swing-Gate Opening 36 (942.3)
Load Floor Height 30 (762.1)

The Tops

The Wrangler JL has three tops to choose from. The soft top, the Freedom hard top, and the Powertop. There are actually two versions of the soft top: a vinyl top on the base model and a thicker, more insulated canvas top as an extra-cost option. The Freedom top is similar to the JK’s Freedom top, but Jeep eliminated the hand screws that took forever to undo. Now, only eight latches secure the two panels. The panels are now lighter, too, making removable and replacement super easy. The Powertop is available on the Sahara and Rubicon trims only and offers a one-touch power operate that opens the canvas panel. What remains is a massive sunroof from the A-pillars back past the C-pillars. What’s more, the side windows easily remove with two latches. The Powertop is the right choice for anyone not up for heavy lifting or getting wet when it starts raining.

Interior


2018 Jeep Wrangler JL - First Look - image 751441
“In person, the JL’s interior feels nothing like the hard-plastic mess seen in the JK.”

We knew the Wrangler JL’s interior was miles better than the JK’s from the photos we’d seen, but that didn’t prepare us for reality. In person, the JL’s interior feels nothing like the hard-plastic mess seen in the JK. Everything is soft-touch or purposefully hard. If it looks like metal, it is. The screws on the dashboard are actually screws – even those around the HVAC system. The leather-wrapped steering wheel is a joy to hold and the gear shifters give a satisfying feedback. The seats are far more supportive and the driver seat now has an adjustable lumbar feature.

Still, the Wrangler isn’t too plush for its own good. The dash is still weather resistant and the carpet is still removable. Yep, the floor pan still has drain plugs and the seats are manually adjustable so there are no electric motors to fail. The seats in upper trims are heated, though, which is a big blessing on cold drives with the doors and top off.

Handy features in the interior include a bevy of USB and USB-C ports, a 110-volt household plug, longer and more padded armrests in the doors, more storage spots, a folding center armrest in four-door models, and a two-tier center console lid.


2018 Jeep Wrangler - image 751637
“The Wrangler comes with three Uconnect infotainment systems”

The Wrangler comes with three Uconnect infotainment systems: Uconnect 3 with a 5.0-inch display, Uconnect 4 with a 7.0-inch display, and Uconnect 4 with an 8.4-inch display with navigation. The 8.4 system comes standard in the four-door Sahara and Rubicon models.

Rear seat comfort is upgraded, too. Along with that center folding armrest on four-door models, every Wrangler JL has rear HVAC vents. The four-door offers an inch more legroom than before and more supportive seats with a more reclined seatback. More USB ports and that 110-volt household plug reside at the back of the center console.

Unlimited models can be had with Jeep’s new TrailRail system – an integrated aluminum rail with adjustable hooks for securing cargo. Another rail is integrated onto the tailgate. And in an effort to maximize utility, the tailgate even has a flat spot above the latch for holding a drink.


2018 Jeep Wrangler JL - First Look - image 751490

Interior Dimensions

Seating Capacity (front/rear) 2/2 – 2-door, 2/3 – 4-door
SAE Total Interior Passenger Volume, (cu. ft. / cu. m) 103.7 (2.94)
Front: Headroom: 40.7 (1,036) hardtop / 42.6 (1,083) soft top
Legroom: 41.2 (1,038)
Shoulder Room: 55.7 (1,417)
Hip Room: 53.9 (1,370)
Seat Travel: 8.1 (206)
EPA Front Volume Index: 53.8 (1.52)
Rear: Headroom: 40.2 (1,023) hardtop, 41.7 (1,059) soft top
Legroom: 35.7 (904.2) – 2-door, 38.3 (974) – 4-door
Knee Clearance: 61.6 (1,565.9)
Shoulder Room: 57.7 (1,458) – 2-door, 55.7 (1,417) – 4-door
Hip Room: 45 (1,143) – 2-door, 56.7 (1,440) – 4-door
EPA Rear Seat Volume Index (cu. ft. / cu. m): 49.9 (1.40)
Liftover Height 29.7 (756.4)
Maximum Cargo Width at Liftgate Opening 47.9 (1,218.7)
Minimum Cargo Width at Liftgate Opening 41.1 (1,052)
Maximum Cargo Height at Liftgate Opening 36.0 (942.3)
Minimum Cargo Height at Liftgate Opening 35.7 (907.8)
Distance between Wheelhouse Interior Trim 45.0 (1143)
SAE Cargo Volume: Rear Seat Folded: 72.4 cu. ft. (2.05)
Rear Seat Upright: 31.7 cu. ft. (0.89)
Total Passenger plus Cargo Volume, (cu. ft. / cu. m): 150.4 cu. ft.

Drivetrain


2018 Jeep Wrangler - image 748526
“The standard engine is the familiar but improved 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 with 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque”

For 2018, the Wrangler finally has more than one engine to choose from. Jeeps of the past have had at least two available engines, so the JL harks back to those bygone days. The engine choices a bit more modern, however.

The standard engine is the familiar but improved 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 with 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. It’s improvement centers on the new automatic start/stop system it employs to save on fuel consumption. The V-6 is available with the new six-speed manual transmission and the new-to-the-Wrangler ZF eight-speed automatic transmission.

The optional engine is an all-new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 270 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. it comes mated exclusively with the eight-speed automatic. Its impressive torque rating comes by way of a mild hybrid system. A belt-starter-generator uses electricity to help turn the engine’s crankshaft at lower revs. This helps with low-end torque and added smoothness when low-speed crawling. An automatic start/stop system is used here, too.

Three 4WD transfer cases are available: the standard Command-Trac for all but the Rubicon, the Rock-Trac that’s exclusive to the Rubicon, and the new Select-Trac transfer case with a full-time 4WD mode that’s an exclusive option on the Sahara. You can read all the details on these transfer case in our full review here.


2018 Jeep Wrangler JL - First Look - image 751502

Drivetrain Specifications

ENGINE 3.6-­LITER PENTASTAR V-­6 2.0-LITER TURBO I-4
Availability Standard — all models Available — all models
Type and Description 60-­degree, V-­type, liquid-­cooled I-4 16-valve with direct injection, turbo charging, with throttled, cooled EGR
Displacement (cu. in. / cc) 220 cu. in. (3604 cu. cm) 121 cu. in. (1995 cu. cm)
Bore x Stroke 3.78 x 3.27 (96 x 83) 3.31 x 3.54 (84 x 90)
Valve System Chain-­driven DOHC, 24 valves and hydraulic end-­pivot roller rockers Chain-driven DOHC, 16 valves
Fuel Injection Sequential, multiport, electronic, returnless Direct Injection
Construction Aluminum deep-­skirt block, aluminum alloy heads Aluminum block, aluminum alloy heads
Compression Ratio 10.2:1 10:01
Power 285 HP @ 6,400 RPM 270 HP @ 5,250 RPM
Torque 260 LB-FT @ 4,800 RPM 295 LB-FT @ 3,000 RPM
Max. Engine Speed (rpm) 6,600 rpm (electronically limited) 5,800 rpm (electronically limited)
Fuel Requirement Unleaded regular, 87 octane (R + M)/2 Minimum unleaded regular, 87 octane (R + M)/2, 91 octane or higher recommended for optimum fuel economy and performance
Fuel Tank Capacity (gallons) 22.5 18.5 (2-door), 21.5 (4-door)
Oil Capacity 6.0 quarts (5.7 liters) 5 quarts (4.7 liters)
Coolant Capacity 14 quarts (13.25 liters) 9.9 quarts (9.4 liters)
Emission Controls Dual three-­way catalytic converters, heated oxygen sensors and internal engine features GPEC4 engine-management system with close-coupled catalyst; and wide range O2 sensor
EPA Fuel Economy mpg (city/hwy/combined) 18/23/20 (automatic); 17/23/19 (manual) TBD — automatic (2-door); TBD — automatic (4-door)

Final Thoughts


2018 Jeep Wrangler JL - First Look - image 751477

Jeep has most definitely improved the Wrangler. From its appearance and interior refinement to its drivetrain and efficiency, everything is better than before. It takes sitting behind the wheel and getting up close to the new JL to really appreciate the changes. Thankfully, the new Wrangler JL’s improvements shouldn’t alienate Jeep’s loyal fan base of hard-core off-roaders. It might be more refined, but the Wrangler is still a Wrangler. Even better for Jeep’s pockets, the JL will be more appealing to the everyday customer whose only off-roading happens in the wet grass at the local soccer field complex.

Read here for our detailed driving impressions of both on-road and off-road conditions.

  • Leave it
    • * More expensive
    • * Turbodiesel & hybrid not available at launch
    • * Still compromized on pavement

References

Jeep Wrangler.


2018 Jeep Wrangler JL - First Look - image 751501

Driving the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL


2018 Jeep Wrangler - image 742104

Read our full review on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler.


2017 Jeep Wrangler - image 687100

Read our full review on the JK-gen 2017 Jeep Wrangler


Watch the 2018 Jeep Wrangler's Powertop Top in Action - image 752259

Watch the 2018 Jeep Wrangler’s Powertop Top in Action


Watch the 2018 Jeep Wrangler's Freedom Top in Action - image 752258

Watch the 2018 Jeep Wrangler’s Freedom Top in Action


Watch the 2018 Jeep Wrangler's Soft Top & Windshield in Action - image 752131

Watch the 2018 Jeep Wrangler’s Soft Top & Windshield in Action


A Detailed Look At the 2018 Jeep Wrangler's Dashboard - image 752115

A Detailed Look At the 2018 Jeep Wrangler’s Dashboard


The 2018 Jeep Wrangler's Three Infotainment Systems - image 752000

The 2018 Jeep Wrangler’s Three Infotainment Systems


The 2018 Jeep Wrangler Come With its Own Tool Kit - image 751893

The 2018 Jeep Wrangler Come With its Own Tool Kit


What Separates the Rubicon from the Wrangler's Other Trims - image 751706

What Separates the Rubicon from the Wrangler’s Other Trims


The 2018 Wrangler's Cargo Area is Ready For Anything - image 751679

The 2018 Wrangler’s Cargo Area is Ready For Anything

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Jeep Wrangler Priced at $26,995

Jeep has announced pricing for the all-new, 2018 Wrangler JL. As expected, the costs have risen for each trim level. The base Sport two-door starts at $26,995 – a full $3,000 more than the equivalent outgoing Wrangler JK. The price hike continues throughout the lineup, with the two-door Wrangler JL Rubicon costing $3,350 more at $36,995. The four-door 2018 Wrangler JL Sahara starts at $37,345, which is $3,100 more than the JK version.

While the increase is steep, the hike can be explained by Jeep’s development costs, the Wrangler’s new aluminum components and strong steel frame, the new drivetrain options, the new hard and soft tops, and the vastly improved interior. Add to that Jeep’s need of relocating the Wrangler’s assembly to make room for the upcoming Wrangler-based pickup while continuing the Wrangler JK’s production into the first few months of 2018.

Continue reading for a full list of prices for the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL.

Prices for the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL


2018 Jeep Wrangler Priced at $26,995 - image 751433
“The base Sport two-door starts at $26,995 – a full $3,000 more than the equivalent outgoing Wrangler JK.”
2018 Jeep Wrangler Price
Wrangler Sport (two-door) $26,995
Wrangler Sport S (two-door) $30,195
Wrangler Rubicon (two-door) $36,995
Wrangler Unlimited Sport (four-door) $30,495
Wrangler Unlimited Sport S (four-door) $33,695
Wrangler Unlimited Sahara (four-door) $37,345
Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon (four-door) $40,495

These prices do not include the $1,195 destination and delivery fee Jeep charges for transporting the vehicles from the Toledo, Ohio factory to dealerships nationwide. Of course, taxes, license tags, and other fees are not included either. Adding options increases the price as well.


2018 Jeep Wrangler Priced at $26,995 - image 751442
“Jeep expects the 2018 Wrangler JLs to begin arriving in showrooms sometime during the first quarter of 2018”

Jeep expects the 2018 Wrangler JLs to begin arriving in showrooms sometime during the first quarter of 2018. Four-door models will likely continue out-selling two-door models by a four-to-one ratio, just as with the outgoing Wrangler JK. And due to the big improvements, Jeep is hoping to improve the Wrangler’s global annual sales beyond the current figure of 250,000. Here in the U.S., Jeep sold nearly 203,000 Wrangler JKs in 2015, with another 20,880 going to Canada. The remainder is sold overseas.

References

Jeep Wrangler


2018 Jeep Wrangler - image 742104

Read our full review on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler.


2017 Jeep Wrangler - image 687100

Read our full review on the JK-gen 2017 Jeep Wrangler

PostHeaderIcon Driving the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL

Much hoopla has been made over the new 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL. Enthusiasts around the world and the massive aftermarket scene have been hanging on every word written about the first new Wrangler in a decade – and for good reason. The JL represents the first reworking of the Wrangler since it exploded in popularity thanks to the addition of four doors with the 2007 Wrangler Unlimited JK. Everybody from the hard-core rock crawler to the average soccer mom wants to know how this new Wrangler drives.

Thankfully, the wait is over.

Jeep flew us out to Tucson, Arizona in early December for the Wrangler JL’s first U.S.-based media event. The southwestern territory offers an interesting mix of smooth, flat roads through valleys and bumpy, twisty roads through the rock-strewn hills north of town. And of course, off the pavement lies nothing but inhospitable terrain filled with cactuses, scorpions, venomous snakes, and rocks after rocks with more rocks piled on top. It was the perfect place to test the new Wrangler’s mettle.

Continue reading for our driving impressions.

Behind The Wheel


Driving the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL - image 751435
“The JL rides much better with more suspension soak on bumps while somehow feeling more planted.”

The Wrangler’s recipe hasn’t changed despite it being completely new. It rides on a ladder frame, uses solid axles, and rides on a multi-link coil spring suspension. As such, there was only so much Jeep engineers could do to improve the ride. However, it is certainly a marked improvement.

Having driven several JKs over the years, I can say the JL rides much better with more suspension soak on bumps while somehow feeling more planted. The 200-pound weight reduction achieved through a lighter body and stronger frame likely have something to do with that. Small bumps and high-frequency washboards don’t send near as much vibration into the cabin and road noise is dramatically reduced in both the Sahara with its all-season tires and especially on the Rubicon with its new all-terrain tires rather than the mud-terrains on the JK Rubicon. Around town, comfort is drastically better.


Driving the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL - image 751474
“The rear spare tire has been moved down and the hard top’s wiper motor is moved to behind the spare – both of which increase rear vision”

Outward visibility is improved, too. Jeep increased the size of every pane of glass for a more open cabin. The rear spare tire has been moved down and the hard top’s wiper motor is moved to behind the spare – both of which increase rear vision. Better still, the Wrangler finally has a backup camera. It also comes standard, regardless of trim. The camera’s resolution, especially on the Uconnect 8.4-inch system, is very clear. That should come in very handy when backup up on the trail.

But the Wrangler JL won’t have too much backing up to do off-road. The steering has been improved for a tighter turning radius. Jeep engineers were telling stories of JKs needed to do three-point turns on tight trails while JL development mules were sailing right around the corner.


Driving the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL - image 751501
“The Jeep development team decided early on that the JL would not lose any of its off-road capability, no matter what the cost.”

Of course, everybody wants to know how the Jeep Wrangler JL performs off-road. Not surprisingly, the thing is awe-inspiring. The Jeep development team decided early on that the JL would not lose any of its off-road capability, no matter what the cost. As such, the on-road feel is still more compromised than all other mid-size SUVs and crossovers. But point the Wrangler’s new seven-slotted grille toward the dirt, and prepare to be impressed.


Driving the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL - image 751576
“The Sahara’s suspension does a commendable job at soaking up large, low-speed bumps, but not as well as the Rubicon’s, which is also aided by larger tires with more flexible sidewalls.”

My first taste off the beaten path was in an Unlimited Sahara. That model comes with laughably street-biased Bridgestone Dueler H/T 685 all-season tires, yet with 4WD high engaged, the Sahara easily scaled steep inclines of lose dirt and rock, all without any wheel slip. Naturally, the Bridgestones do a great job on the street and produce zero road noise. The Sahara’s suspension does a commendable job at soaking up large, low-speed bumps, but not as well as the Rubicon’s, which is also aided by larger tires with more flexible sidewalls.

As for the Rubicon, the thing feels unstoppable. I sampled the Rubicon Unlimited with the new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and eight-speed automatic and the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 with the new six-speed manual transmission. Both engines provide plenty of low-end torque and the Rock-Trac transfer case and 4.10:1 axle ratios multiply that torque exponentially.

On the Rocks


Driving the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL - image 751507
“Put the part-time transfer case into 4WD low range, and the Wrangler Rubicon crawls forward with unstoppable might.”

I piloted an Unlimited Rubicon with the 2.0-liter for my time on the rock course. Its 295 pound-feet of low-end torque comes at just 3,000 rpm, with some credit due to the new mild hybrid system. The belt-driven starter generator receives power from a battery bank in order to help turn the crankshaft.

Put the part-time transfer case into 4WD low range, and the Wrangler Rubicon crawls forward with unstoppable might. The eight-speed automatic transmission has plenty of ratios to allow for higher speeds in low range, though it’s definitely not indented for on-road use. The large boulders mixed with smaller rocks provided a challenging course, but the BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO2 tires (even at full pressure) provided outstanding levels of grip. At only one point did the tires struggle for traction, and that was at a nearly 45-degree incline over slick rocks.


Driving the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL - image 751468
“The large boulders mixed with smaller rocks provided a challenging course, but the BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO2 tires provided outstanding levels of grip”

The Jeep’s tight turning radius came into play at the hillclimb’s peak. A nearly 90-degree right-hand turn awaited and the Wrangler Unlimited had only inches to spare for a three-point turn. The JK would have needed more than three points to make the turn.

Being a Rubicon, the underside comes with skid plates and the rocker panels are protected with steel sliders. These were certainly put to the test on the course, where large boulders would have dented the body and punctured the fuel tank.

Rubicons equipped with the automatic transmission have a respectable 77.2:1 crawl ratio, which proved more than enough for the course Jeep provided. However, Rubicons with the V-6 and six-speed manual combination have an ultra-low 84.2:1 crawl ratio – nearly double the torque multiplication on the automatic-equipped Sport and Sahara models. That means first gear and low range in the manual Rubicon is insanely powerful. At idle, the Jeep crawls at 1.0 mph and feels like it could bull the Eiffel Tower off its base. You’ll need to shift into third gear in order to go anywhere fast.


Driving the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL - image 751541
“The gearbox is much more refined than the JK’s old six-speed.”

As speaking of the new six-speed manual, the gearbox is much more refined than the JK’s old six-speed. The throws are shorter and gates more pronounced, leading to a more satisfying driving experience. It’s no sports car, but the manual is far less truck-like. That’s thanks to the new cable connections that mate the shifter to the transmission.

The electronic locking front and rear differentials are much easier to use, too. The dash-mounted toggle switch allows for a straight-forward, one-touch engagement of either the rear locker or both front and rear lockers. A separate button turns the off. The same is true for the electronically disconnecting front sway bar. A single button turns the system off and on – all without any confusion. Indicators in the gauge cluster further help indicate what’s going on.

On-Road With The Rubicon


Driving the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL - image 751433
“The softer suspension made for a more comfortable on-road experience and the gearbox was a joy to shift”

I was able to snag a few miles of on-road driving time with an Unlimited Rubicon with the V-6 and six-speed manual. The softer suspension made for a more comfortable on-road experience and the gearbox was a joy to shift. The clutch is light and has an early pick-up, making the upper half of its travel useless. The steering feels better than the outgoing Wrangler JK, but still has some on-center vagueness. The same is true for the Sahara model I drove, as well. Still, the driving dynamics are far improved and easily recognizable.

On-Road With The Sahara


Driving the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL - image 751476
“Bumps are handled with more composure and road noise is almost eliminated”

Most of my time with the new 2018 Wrangler JL was inside an Unlimited model with the V-6. It’s clear Jeep engineers sweated over improving the ride and overall quality of the experience. Bumps are handled with more composure and road noise is almost eliminated. The power-retractable top shows no signs of flapping in the wind, but there is some wind noise generated at the top of the windshield. It’s not bad, though, and certainly better than the JK.

Perhaps the best improvement in my book is the improved throttle response with the V-6. Even though the 3.6-liter is basically unchanged from its time in the Wrangler JK – power specs and all – the throttle is more responsive on the road. Before, the JK required what felt like three-quarter throttle just to get moving. Now, a light touch is all that’s needed. Slip the transfer case into 4WD low range, and the throttle response gets less touchy, which is exactly what’s needed when bumping down some rock-strewn road.

Observed Fuel Economy


Driving the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL - image 751521
“The EPA estimates the Unlimited V-6 automatic to get 18 mpg city, 23 mpg highway, and 20 mpg combined”

My on-road driving time in the Wrangler Unlimited Sahara with the part-time Command-Trac transfer case, V-6, and automatic transmission saw an impressive 25.9 mpg combined over a 25-mile highway and short city trek. That’s much improved over the JK thanks to the eight-speed automatic having three more gears than the JK’s slushbox and the JL’s new, more aerodynamic design.

The EPA estimates the Unlimited V-6 automatic to get 18 mpg city, 23 mpg highway, and 20 mpg combined. With the manual transmission, those numbers drop to 17/23/19, respectively. Sadly, estimates for the 2.0-liter turbo-four are still unpublished, though I suspect an improvement over the V-6.

For those wanting all-out fuel economy, the upcoming Plug-In Hybrid will be availing in 2020. Those who love torque and the smell of diesel fuel will love the addition of FCA’s lovely 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6. Fuel economy stats on those two are still unknown, of course.

Final Thoughts


Driving the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL - image 751505
“The new Jeep Wrangler JL is miles better than the outgoing JK in every measure, especially behind the wheel”

The new Jeep Wrangler JL is miles better than the outgoing JK in every measure, especially behind the wheel. It’s easier to live with on a daily basis, which most Wrangler JK owners will love to hear. It’s quieter, the seats are more comfortable, it’s easier to see out of, the V-6 feels more powerful thanks to an improved throttle response, and the fuel economy is certainly better.

The 2007-2017 JK moved the Wrangler from being an off-road toy and utility vehicle to something people could daily drive through the week and still have fun on the weekends with. The new 2018 JL keeps that spirit alive while improving the ease of daily living and maintaining the Jeep’s iconic off-road reputation.

References

Jeep Wrangler.


2018 Jeep Wrangler - image 742104

Read our full review on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler.


2017 Jeep Wrangler - image 687100

Read our full review on the JK-gen 2017 Jeep Wrangler


Watch the 2018 Jeep Wrangler's Powertop Top in Action - image 752259

Watch the 2018 Jeep Wrangler’s Powertop Top in Action


Watch the 2018 Jeep Wrangler's Freedom Top in Action - image 752258

Watch the 2018 Jeep Wrangler’s Freedom Top in Action


Watch the 2018 Jeep Wrangler's Soft Top & Windshield in Action - image 752131

Watch the 2018 Jeep Wrangler’s Soft Top & Windshield in Action


A Detailed Look At the 2018 Jeep Wrangler's Dashboard - image 752115

A Detailed Look At the 2018 Jeep Wrangler’s Dashboard


The 2018 Jeep Wrangler's Three Infotainment Systems - image 752000

The 2018 Jeep Wrangler’s Three Infotainment Systems


The 2018 Jeep Wrangler Come With its Own Tool Kit - image 751893

The 2018 Jeep Wrangler Come With its Own Tool Kit


What Separates the Rubicon from the Wrangler's Other Trims - image 751706

What Separates the Rubicon from the Wrangler’s Other Trims


The 2018 Wrangler's Cargo Area is Ready For Anything - image 751679

The 2018 Wrangler’s Cargo Area is Ready For Anything

PostHeaderIcon Watch the 2018 Jeep Wrangler’s Soft Top & Windshield in Action

The brand new 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL has plenty of improvements throughout, not the least of which are its updated Sunrider soft top and redesigned folding windshield. Unlike before, the new soft top uses no zippers or fussy Velcro to attach its side windows. An innovative sliding plastic channel allows the side window panels to easily slip into place. Securing the bottom and end pieces are still done by snapping the top into channels on the Wrangler’s body and cage. It’s the most simple soft top in the Wrangler’s history.

Likewise, the windshield has been made much easier to operate, though it’s not as easy as the two hand-nuts that held the Wrangler YJ’s windshield in place. Here, only four bolts hold the windshield frame and glass to the now-permanent A-pillars and horizontal support. Jeep supplies a ratchet and T40 Torx bit to remove the bolts, along with the socket to remove the windshield wiper arms from their shafts. The whole process takes less than four minutes.

The windshield is held down by brackets that loop through the rubber bump stops on the hood, or the entire windshield can be removed by undoing the hinge nuts with the supplied T50 Torx bit – the same driver used for the door hinges.

How cool is that?

Stay tuned to [TopSpeed.com} for more videos on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler’s different tops.

References

2018 Jeep Wrangler


2018 Jeep Wrangler - image 742104

Read our full review on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler.

2017 Jeep Wrangler


2017 Jeep Wrangler - image 687100

Read our full review on the JK-gen 2017 Jeep Wrangler

PostHeaderIcon A Detailed Look At the 2018 Jeep Wrangler’s Dashboard

The 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL is finally here and its new interior is one of its best selling points. The seats are more comfortable, there is more storage room, the materials are all nicer, and the dash has way more functionality baked in. From the buttons on the steering wheel to the dual-zone climate controls, the JL’s dashboard makes for a much better user experience over the outgoing Wrangler JK.

We’re going to take a quick look at Jeep’s improvements to see exactly what has changed. Of course, the Wrangler JL still comes in several trim levels, so not every feature will be available on all models.

Continue reading for more information.

New digs make us dig it more


A Detailed Look At the 2018 Jeep Wrangler's Dashboard - image 751584
“Real metal accents add a touch of class while the center section’s Y-shaped outline recalls the CJ’s steering wheel”

Let’s start with the steering wheel. Jeep wrapped it in soft-touch leather held together by contrast stitching. Real metal accents add a touch of class while the center section’s Y-shaped outline recalls the CJ’s steering wheel. Buttons operate the driver information screen, the phone controls, and the cruise control.

Left of the steering wheel are the headlight controls and dimmer switches. They are incredibly easy and intuitive to operate, and the two dimmer switches separate the dome light controls from the brightness of the dashboard’s backlighting. That’s handy.


A Detailed Look At the 2018 Jeep Wrangler's Dashboard - image 751620
“As for the gauge cluster, the Wrangler has two versions”

As for the gauge cluster, the Wrangler has two versions. The base model comes with a smaller driver information screen and analog gauges for the fuel and coolant temperature. Upper trims get a larger screen with digital fuel and coolant temperature readouts. The screen displays several menu pages and vehicle information like transmission and oil temperature, oil pressure, individual tire pressure, and even off-road information like angle and pitch, steering position, and transfer case gearing.

Three infotainment systems are available. They all now run FCA’s well-loved Uconnect system. The base has a 5.0-inch screen with the basic Uconnect 3 software. The mid-level option has a 7.0-inch screen with the new Uconnect 4 software. Available on the Sahara and Rubicon models is the 8.4-inch screen, again with Uconnect 4, but with navigation and obviously the larger screen.


A Detailed Look At the 2018 Jeep Wrangler's Dashboard - image 751538
“All but the base Sport trim gets dual-zone climate controls – something not offered at all on the Wrangler JK”

All but the base Sport trim gets dual-zone climate controls – something not offered at all on the Wrangler JK. Available creature comforts include three-position seat heaters for the front seats and (for the first time) a steering wheel heater. Other buttons control defrost and vent location controls, while the three knobs control radio volume, fan speed, and radio tuning. Thankfully, Jeep also includes a button for temporarily disabling the automatic start/stop feature that comes standard with all three engine options. There’s also a handy mute button for the radio and controls for the traction control, ParkSense system, and downhill descent control. For those nights driving down dark roads, there’s also a button to completely turn the screen off.

Like the Wrangler JK before it, the new JL positions its power window controls in the center stack. This eliminates the controls on the removable doors, helping keep them light. The window lock button returns in the center but is now a roller switch. Adjacent is a 12-volt power plug and a “media” center with a dust cover. Inside is a USB port, a USB-C port, and an AUX input jack.


A Detailed Look At the 2018 Jeep Wrangler's Dashboard - image 751539
“Adjacent is a 12-volt power plug and a “media” center with a dust cover. Inside is a USB port, a USB-C port, and an AUX input jack.”

Down below is a shallow cubbyhole designed for small items. Unfortunately, Plus-sized cell phones are too wide for the space, though the cup holder area is specifically designed to hold larger deceives. Optional in this cubby space are the four auxiliary switches. These allow customers to control aftermarket equipment like off-road lights without having to install an aftermarket control panel. The switches come with an easy electrical tie-in point under the hood. Rubicon models have their main off-road controls placed in this space, too. A toggle switch turns on the front and rear electronic locking differentials and a button to the left turns them off. A separate button disconnects the front sway bar, just like on the previous Wrangler JK Rubicon.


A Detailed Look At the 2018 Jeep Wrangler's Dashboard - image 751534
“And speaking of those cup holders, their center divider now has a spot specifically for the Jeep’s key fob”

And speaking of those cup holders, their center divider now has a spot specifically for the Jeep’s key fob, so there’s no more losing the key under the seat for those not keeping the fob in their pocket. Better still, the doors now have longer, more thickly padded armrests that are actually comfortable to use. A secret handle is embedded on the underside of the armrests, helping ease the task of carrying the doors once they’re removed. Thankfully, the doors are also lighter, too, due to their aluminum construction.


A Detailed Look At the 2018 Jeep Wrangler's Dashboard - image 751544
“A secret handle is embedded on the underside of the armrests, helping ease the task of carrying the doors once they’re removed”

All told, the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL’s interior is far better and more comfortable than the JK’s ever was. There are more controls, more creature comforts, better ergonomics, far better infotainment and info screens, and an overall more upscale feel thanks to better materials and fitments. Those turned off by the previous Wrangler JK’s dull cabin should be more than happy with Jeep’s progress.

References

2018 Jeep Wrangler


2018 Jeep Wrangler - image 742104

Read our full review on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler.

2017 Jeep Wrangler


2017 Jeep Wrangler - image 687100

Read our full review on the JK-gen 2017 Jeep Wrangler

PostHeaderIcon What Separates the Rubicon from the Wrangler’s Other Trims

The Rubicon model has become synonymous with the Jeep Wrangler for hard-core off-roading, despite its relatively recent introduction on the 2002 Wrangler TJ. The Rubicon trim has remained a part of Wrangler history since, including the jump to Jeep’s all-new 2018 Wrangler. The Rubi is now more capable than ever thanks to an improved suspension system, use of the 2018 Wrangler’s stronger frame, improved skid plates, and lower gearing thanks to the new transmissions choices.

But the Rubicon isn’t just about mechanical advantages. There are aesthetics advantages, too.

Most notably, the Wrangler Rubicon comes with steel rock sliders that protect the vulnerable rocker panels under the doors; there’s an available steel bumper that easily holds an electric winch; and new for 2018, the front fenders are taller so owners can run 35-inch tires without having to modify a thing. Let’s get into the details below.

Continue reading for more on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.

What makes the Rubicon different from other Wranglers


What Separates the Rubicon from the Wrangler's Other Trims - image 751435
“The most obvious difference is the big RUBICON logo on the hood.”

Let’s start with the visual stuff. The most obvious difference is the big RUBICON logo on the hood. The aluminum hood is also vented on Rubicon models. The next most obvious change on a stock 2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is the unique wheel and tire combinations. Two styles of 17-inch wheels are available and both come exclusively with BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires. Next are the red tow hooks. They come standard with the Rubicon. Most Rubicon models will likely come with the optional metal front winch bumper. It’s very similar to the metal front bumper seen on the JK, but its styling has been updated. The end caps still come off and an electric winch fits perfectly behind the center. Mopar sells a grille guard that bolts right to the exposed fasteners, too.


What Separates the Rubicon from the Wrangler's Other Trims - image 751462
“The Rubicon’s front fenders have been raised roughly two inches compared to non-Rubicon models”

Last but certainly not least, the Rubicon’s front fenders have been raised roughly two inches compared to non-Rubicon models. This not only gives more clearance for front suspension articulation but allows the fitment of 35-inch tires with zero modifications to the fenders or suspension. Jeep knows its customers will upgrade their Wranglers, so the design and engineering teams made things as easy as possible.

As far as tops go, the Wrangler Rubicon is available with all the offerings. It comes standard with the Sunrider folding soft top and the Premium Sunrider soft top is optional. The same is true for the Freedom Top, the body-colored Freedom Top, and the new Powertop.

Of course, the Rubicon’s biggest attributes are hidden under the skin. The front and rear axles are now the newest generation of Dana 44 axles. They have larger diameter tubes and thicker tube walls for added strength. Front and rear electronic locking differentials return, but with an improved toggle switch on the dashboard. The same is true for the electronically disconnecting front sway bar.


What Separates the Rubicon from the Wrangler's Other Trims - image 751465
“The axles continue to have 4.10:1 ratios, but the updated Rock-Trac transfer case now has lower ratios for better crawling”

Gear ratios are another big part of the Rubicon story. The axles continue to have 4.10:1 ratios, but the updated Rock-Trac transfer case now has lower ratios for better crawling.
When combined with the automatic transmission, the Rubicon offers a 77.2:1 crawl ratio and an impressively low 84.2:1 with the new six-speed manual transmission’s first gear.

The Rubicon can be had with either the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 or the new 2.0-liter Hurricane turbocharged four-cylinder. The V-6 can be paired with either the automatic or manual transmissions, while the 2.0-liter only comes with the eight-speed automatic.

While we’d love to tell you how the Rubicon handled the challenging rock course jeep set up for the driving event, our impressions are embargoed until December 13th. Check back with TopSpeed.com for our thoughts then.

References

2018 Jeep Wrangler


2018 Jeep Wrangler - image 742104

Read our full review on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler.

2017 Jeep Wrangler


2017 Jeep Wrangler - image 687100

Read our full review on the JK-gen 2017 Jeep Wrangler

PostHeaderIcon What Separates the Rubicon from the Wrangler’s Other Trims

The Rubicon model has become synonymous with the Jeep Wrangler for hard-core off-roading, despite its relatively recent introduction on the 2002 Wrangler TJ. The Rubicon trim has remained a part of Wrangler history since, including the jump to Jeep’s all-new 2018 Wrangler. The Rubi is now more capable than ever thanks to an improved suspension system, use of the 2018 Wrangler’s stronger frame, improved skid plates, and lower gearing thanks to the new transmissions choices.

But the Rubicon isn’t just about mechanical advantages. There are aesthetics advantages, too.

Most notably, the Wrangler Rubicon comes with steel rock sliders that protect the vulnerable rocker panels under the doors; there’s an available steel bumper that easily holds an electric winch; and new for 2018, the front fenders are taller so owners can run 35-inch tires without having to modify a thing. Let’s get into the details below.

Continue reading for more on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.

What makes the Rubicon different from other Wranglers


What Separates the Rubicon from the Wrangler's Other Trims - image 751435
“The most obvious difference is the big RUBICON logo on the hood.”

Let’s start with the visual stuff. The most obvious difference is the big RUBICON logo on the hood. The aluminum hood is also vented on Rubicon models. The next most obvious change on a stock 2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is the unique wheel and tire combinations. Two styles of 17-inch wheels are available and both come exclusively with BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires. Next are the red tow hooks. They come standard with the Rubicon. Most Rubicon models will likely come with the optional metal front winch bumper. It’s very similar to the metal front bumper seen on the JK, but its styling has been updated. The end caps still come off and an electric winch fits perfectly behind the center. Mopar sells a grille guard that bolts right to the exposed fasteners, too.


What Separates the Rubicon from the Wrangler's Other Trims - image 751462
“The Rubicon’s front fenders have been raised roughly two inches compared to non-Rubicon models”

Last but certainly not least, the Rubicon’s front fenders have been raised roughly two inches compared to non-Rubicon models. This not only gives more clearance for front suspension articulation but allows the fitment of 35-inch tires with zero modifications to the fenders or suspension. Jeep knows its customers will upgrade their Wranglers, so the design and engineering teams made things as easy as possible.

As far as tops go, the Wrangler Rubicon is available with all the offerings. It comes standard with the Sunrider folding soft top and the Premium Sunrider soft top is optional. The same is true for the Freedom Top, the body-colored Freedom Top, and the new Powertop.

Of course, the Rubicon’s biggest attributes are hidden under the skin. The front and rear axles are now the newest generation of Dana 44 axles. They have larger diameter tubes and thicker tube walls for added strength. Front and rear electronic locking differentials return, but with an improved toggle switch on the dashboard. The same is true for the electronically disconnecting front sway bar.


What Separates the Rubicon from the Wrangler's Other Trims - image 751465
“The axles continue to have 4.10:1 ratios, but the updated Rock-Trac transfer case now has lower ratios for better crawling”

Gear ratios are another big part of the Rubicon story. The axles continue to have 4.10:1 ratios, but the updated Rock-Trac transfer case now has lower ratios for better crawling.
When combined with the automatic transmission, the Rubicon offers a 77.2:1 crawl ratio and an impressively low 84.2:1 with the new six-speed manual transmission’s first gear.

The Rubicon can be had with either the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 or the new 2.0-liter Hurricane turbocharged four-cylinder. The V-6 can be paired with either the automatic or manual transmissions, while the 2.0-liter only comes with the eight-speed automatic.

While we’d love to tell you how the Rubicon handled the challenging rock course jeep set up for the driving event, our impressions are embargoed until December 13th. Check back with TopSpeed.com for our thoughts then.

References

2018 Jeep Wrangler


2018 Jeep Wrangler - image 742104

Read our full review on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler.

2017 Jeep Wrangler


2017 Jeep Wrangler - image 687100

Read our full review on the JK-gen 2017 Jeep Wrangler

PostHeaderIcon What Separates the Rubicon from the Wrangler’s Other Trims

The Rubicon model has become synonymous with the Jeep Wrangler for hard-core off-roading, despite its relatively recent introduction on the 2002 Wrangler TJ. The Rubicon trim has remained a part of Wrangler history since, including the jump to Jeep’s all-new 2018 Wrangler. The Rubi is now more capable than ever thanks to an improved suspension system, use of the 2018 Wrangler’s stronger frame, improved skid plates, and lower gearing thanks to the new transmissions choices.

But the Rubicon isn’t just about mechanical advantages. There are aesthetics advantages, too.

Most notably, the Wrangler Rubicon comes with steel rock sliders that protect the vulnerable rocker panels under the doors; there’s an available steel bumper that easily holds an electric winch; and new for 2018, the front fenders are taller so owners can run 35-inch tires without having to modify a thing. Let’s get into the details below.

Continue reading for more on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.

What makes the Rubicon different from other Wranglers


What Separates the Rubicon from the Wrangler's Other Trims - image 751435
“The most obvious difference is the big RUBICON logo on the hood.”

Let’s start with the visual stuff. The most obvious difference is the big RUBICON logo on the hood. The aluminum hood is also vented on Rubicon models. The next most obvious change on a stock 2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is the unique wheel and tire combinations. Two styles of 17-inch wheels are available and both come exclusively with BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires. Next are the red tow hooks. They come standard with the Rubicon. Most Rubicon models will likely come with the optional metal front winch bumper. It’s very similar to the metal front bumper seen on the JK, but its styling has been updated. The end caps still come off and an electric winch fits perfectly behind the center. Mopar sells a grille guard that bolts right to the exposed fasteners, too.


What Separates the Rubicon from the Wrangler's Other Trims - image 751462
“The Rubicon’s front fenders have been raised roughly two inches compared to non-Rubicon models”

Last but certainly not least, the Rubicon’s front fenders have been raised roughly two inches compared to non-Rubicon models. This not only gives more clearance for front suspension articulation but allows the fitment of 35-inch tires with zero modifications to the fenders or suspension. Jeep knows its customers will upgrade their Wranglers, so the design and engineering teams made things as easy as possible.

As far as tops go, the Wrangler Rubicon is available with all the offerings. It comes standard with the Sunrider folding soft top and the Premium Sunrider soft top is optional. The same is true for the Freedom Top, the body-colored Freedom Top, and the new Powertop.

Of course, the Rubicon’s biggest attributes are hidden under the skin. The front and rear axles are now the newest generation of Dana 44 axles. They have larger diameter tubes and thicker tube walls for added strength. Front and rear electronic locking differentials return, but with an improved toggle switch on the dashboard. The same is true for the electronically disconnecting front sway bar.


What Separates the Rubicon from the Wrangler's Other Trims - image 751465
“The axles continue to have 4.10:1 ratios, but the updated Rock-Trac transfer case now has lower ratios for better crawling”

Gear ratios are another big part of the Rubicon story. The axles continue to have 4.10:1 ratios, but the updated Rock-Trac transfer case now has lower ratios for better crawling.
When combined with the automatic transmission, the Rubicon offers a 77.2:1 crawl ratio and an impressively low 84.2:1 with the new six-speed manual transmission’s first gear.

The Rubicon can be had with either the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 or the new 2.0-liter Hurricane turbocharged four-cylinder. The V-6 can be paired with either the automatic or manual transmissions, while the 2.0-liter only comes with the eight-speed automatic.

While we’d love to tell you how the Rubicon handled the challenging rock course jeep set up for the driving event, our impressions are embargoed until December 13th. Check back with TopSpeed.com for our thoughts then.

References

2018 Jeep Wrangler


2018 Jeep Wrangler - image 742104

Read our full review on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler.

2017 Jeep Wrangler


2017 Jeep Wrangler - image 687100

Read our full review on the JK-gen 2017 Jeep Wrangler

PostHeaderIcon Devel Sixty

Big trucks are all the rage these days. Not just big, though, really big. The Devel Sixty is the latest six-wheeled monster to the scene and it comes from a company best known for the outlandish, 5000-horsepower Sixteen. The new truck has seating for six people inside its aircraft-like cabin accessed by an aircraft-like door. Devel debuted the Sixty at the recent 2017 Dubai Auto Show, which is a logical place to debut something so illogical.

Detailed specs are few and far between, but Devel does say the Sixty is powered by a 6.7-liter V-8 turbodiesel making 720 horsepower and 737 pound-feet of torque. The Sixty also has military-style wheels with a Central Tire Inflation System that allows for changes in tire pressure on the move. And in low pressure in the knobby tires isn’t enough to blast through mud or sand, the Sixty has a winch at each end for recovery.

Continue reading for more on the Devel Sixty.

Exterior

  • Six massive tires
  • Custom body design
  • Private jet style folding door
  • Two winches
  • Central Tire Inflation System

2018 Devel Sixty - image 749127
“The front looks like nothing we’ve seen before and takes a big departure away from conventional design layouts”

The Devel Sixty looks like something from some cheesy Michael Bay flick. It’s extraterrestrial proportions and menacing black paint give it an ominous, if not villainous appearance. The front looks like nothing we’ve seen before and takes a big departure away from conventional design layouts. The long, boxy body leads to an angular rear end with LED light strips for tail and brake lights. Big D-ring shackles serve as easy recovery points for pulling stranded vehicles to solid ground.

The Sixty rides on Continental MPT 81 tires sized in something over 40 inches tall. They’re mounted on multi-piece beadlock wheels that incorporate the tire inflation system. Ground clearance is best measured in feet.

interior

  • Room for six people
  • Likely finished in high-end materials

2018 Devel Sixteen - image 745560

Note: Devel Sixteen pictured here.

Devel hasn’t shown any interior photos of the Sixty, so the cabin is still a mystery. We do know it seats six people and access is gained via a folding door on the driver’s side reminiscent of a private jet’s door that turns into a staircase. Regardless of the lack of details, expect the interior to be awashed in leather and high-end finishes. This thing isn’t cheap, so its interior will have to match the price tag. Keep reading for that amount.

Drivetrain

  • 6.7-liter V-8 turbodiesel
  • 720 horsepower and 737 pound-feet of torque
  • Six-wheel drive

2018 Devel Sixty - image 749131
“Powering this beast is a 6.7-liter V-8 turbodiesel making a respectable 720 horsepower and 737 pound-feet of torque”

Powering this beast is a 6.7-liter V-8 turbodiesel making a respectable 720 horsepower and 737 pound-feet of torque. That’s enough to push this six-wheeled wonder to 60 mph in just 5.8 seconds and to a governed top speed of 93 mph. Devel didn’t announce information on the transmission, transfer case, differentials, or where the powertrain is sourced. Our bed is Ford since it makes a 6.7-liter V-8 turbodiesel in the U.S., which conveniently, is also where Devel is based.

Devel does say the Sixty has an independent suspension system and portal axles, but from the photos we see, we’re thinking that might not be true. In fact, the front axle looks suspiciously like the solid front axle on a Ford Super Duty, which is not a portal design. The rear suspension clearly has leaf springs spanning between the two axles, making them not independent.

We hate to say it, but the clues point to the Devel Sixty being nothing more than a rebodied Super Duty with an extra axle added on. After all, only Ford makes a 6.7-liter V-8 turbodiesel and aftermarket tuning kits can easily increase power past 700 horses. We’ve reached out to Devel for clarification.

Pricing


2018 Devel Sixty - image 749128

Big trucks aren’t cheap and the Devel Sixty is no different. It starts at $450,000. Orders will take roughly a year to fulfill and it isn’t clear if Devel has sold any. Since the debut happened in Dubai, though, we’re betting at least a handful were preordered by some oil tycoons.

Competition

Mercedes G63 AMG


2013 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6X6 - image 494841

Perhaps the most popular 6×6 is Mercedes’ outlandish G63 6×6 it launched for 2014. It’s based on the G-Class and adds another axle under a lengthened chassis. There’s also a cargo bed for hauling all the expendable income somebody must have to buy something so ridiculous – though we’d probably buy one, too, given the chance.

The G63 6×6 is powered by a twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V-8 making 536 horsepower and 561 pound-feet of torque. The Mercedes features portal axles for improved ground clearance without a tall suspension. It also has five differential locks. Add on 37-inch-tall mud tires, and the 6×6 is basically unstoppable – unless you high-center it.

Mercedes is extremely proud of its six-wheeled creation. In 2013, the price was $511,000, but the limited supply of 100 examples has seen pre-owned 6x6s selling for nearly $1 million.

Read our full review on the Mercedes G63 AMG

Conclusion


2018 Devel Sixty - image 749130

Devel is known for off-the-wall vehicles, namely the Sixteen concept seen several years ago. Along the Sixty came the new version of the Sixteen, meaning Devel has been busy at the drawing board. The U.S.-based company could position itself as the go-to automaker for all things extreme, should it play its cards right. It’ll be interesting to see how things play out.

  • Leave it
    • Few details at this point
    • $450,000 is expensive
    • Could it be a rebodied Ford Super Duty?

References

Devel Sixteen


2018 Devel Sixteen - image 745552

Read our full review on the 2018 Devel Sixteen.

PostHeaderIcon The 2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara Spied with $45,000 Base Price!

Everyone knew the all-new 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL would be more expensive than the outgoing, decade-old Wrangler JK. A $1,000 to $2,000 increase in price sounded reasonable for all the improvements made. Well, it seems FCA figures it can charge exorbitantly more for the new Wrangler – $10,000 more on the luxury-minded Sahara trim, to be exact.

The news comes from none other than JLWranglerforums.com, the seemingly official leaker of all things JL over the least two years. A user posted a spied Monroney window sticker showing a base price of $45,000 for an Unlimited Sahara equipped with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 and manual transmission.

Now, there are a few caveats to this information. The pricing might not be completely finalized, so there’s a chance the price is inaccurate. Also, the options list only shows Jeeps RPO codes with no breakdown in pricing for each item. There’s a chance the options’ pricing is somehow including in the “base price” of $45,000. If so, that would make the true, pre-options base price far less. Jeep is apparently keeping its $1,095 destination charge from before.

Of course, the base Sport trim will be significantly less expensive than the leather-lined Sahara, especially in two-door form, so modest Jeepers should still be able to find a good deal. The Rubicon, however, will be more expensive than the Sahara thanks to its extra off-road hardware. This tiered system has been around for a while, so that’s old news. What is news is Jeep’s potential of pricing itself out of the active lifestyle, off-roading, and consumer base that made the Wrangler JK so popular.

References

2018 Jeep Wrangler


2018 Jeep Wrangler - image 742104

Read our full review on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler.

2017 Jeep Wrangler


2017 Jeep Wrangler - image 687100

Read our full review on the JK-gen 2017 Jeep Wrangler


2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide - image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Jeep Wrangler Can Tow as Much as 3,500 Pounds

The Jeep Wrangler is basically the embodiment of a sport utility vehicle. After all, it did invent the category way back in 1941. Today, most SUVs are truck-based family haulers that don’t mind big loads on their trailer hitches. Crossovers, on the other hand, are generally limited in their towing capacities, with a few notable exceptions The Wrangler is a different beast altogether. Despite its body-on-frame construction, its off-road-biased suspension and relatively small footprint leave it with a compromised tow rating compared to say a mid-size pickup like the Chevrolet Colorado. Still, the 2018 Jeep Wrangler provides adequate towing capabilities for most active users.

The two-door Wrangler can tow up to 2,000 pounds via its optional two-inch receiver hitch. That’s the case with both the standard 3.6-liter V-6 and the optional 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. The longer, four-door Wrangler Unlimited has an increased tow rating of 3,500 pounds thanks to a heavier curb weight and its longer wheelbase. Again, both engines will do the job. The same is true for the manual and automatic transmissions.

Sadly, we don’t expect the 2019 Wrangler Unlimited with its optional 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 to boast any towing increases, either. It all comes down to what the chassis and suspension will handle. Thankfully, the upcoming Jeep Scrambler pickup will have an improved tow rating rumored at 6,500 pounds.

Continue reading for the detailed towing specs.

2018 Jeep Wrangler TOWING CAPACITIES

WRANGLER SPORT (4-door)
Engine Trans Type Transmission Axle Ratio Payload Base Wt. Base Wt. Front Base Wt. Rear GAWR Front GAWR Rear GCWR Max Trailer
3.6-liter V-6 gas M6 D478 6-speed manual 3.45 1000 4201 2226 1974 2700 3000 8117 3500
3.6-liter V-6 gas A8 850RE 8-speed automatic 3.45 1000 4215 2240 1974 2700 3000 8117 3500
2.0-liter I-4 gas A8 850RE 8-speed automatic 3.45 1000 4336 2298 2038 2700 3000 8117 3500
WRANGLER SAHARA (4-door)
Engine Trans Type Transmission Axle Ratio Payload Base Wt. Base Wt. Front Base Wt. Rear GAWR Front GAWR Rear GCWR Max Trailer
3.6-liter V-6 gas M6 D478 6-speed manual 3.45 880 4331 2289 2042 2700 3000 10836 3500
3.6-liter V-6 gas A8 850RE 8-speed automatic 3.45 880 4345 2303 2042 2700 3000 10836 3500
2.0-liter I-4 gas A8 850RE 8-speed automatic 3.45 880 4376 2319 2056 2700 3000 10836 3500
WRANGLER RUBICON (4-door)
Engine Trans Type Transmission Axle Ratio Payload Base Wt. Base Wt. Front Base Wt. Rear GAWR Front GAWR Rear GCWR Max Trailer
3.6-liter V-6 gas M6 D478 6-speed manual 4.10 892 4439 2346 2093 3100 3100 11063 3500
3.6-liter V-6 gas A8 850RE 8-speed automatic 4.10 892 4453 2360 2093 3100 3100 11063 3500
2.0-liter I-4 gas A8 850RE 8-speed automatic 4.10 892 4484 2376 2107 3100 3100 11063 3500

References

2018 Jeep Wrangler


2018 Jeep Wrangler - image 742104

Read our full review on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler.

2017 Jeep Wrangler


2017 Jeep Wrangler - image 687100

Read our full review on the JK-gen 2017 Jeep Wrangler


2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide - image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Jeep Wrangler 2.0-liter Turbo Specifications

Those new to the Jeep brand might gawk at a four-cylinder Wrangler, but the Jeep has a strong history with this cylinder count. In fact, the first Jeep, the 1941 Willys MB, came with a four-cylinder. Four-cylinders were offered through the years, with the most recent being in the 1997-2006 Wrangler TJ. In fact, the outgoing Wrangler JK is the only Wrangler/CJ not available with one. That makes the return of a four-cylinder sort of a retro move. Even the engine’s name (Hurricane) is a throwback to older days

The new engine shares nothing with the old Hurricane, of course. It’s a member of FCA’s Global Medium Engine family and is loosely related to Alfa Romeo’s 2.0-liter found in Giulia sedan and Stelvio crossover. In the Wrangler, the Hurricane makes an impressive 270 horsepower at 5,200 rpm and 295 pound-feet of torque at only 3,000 rpm. That torque number actually beats the output of the 3.6-liter V-6 by 35 pound-feet! Better still, the Hurricane makes its power lower in the rev range, likely making it a better choice for serious off-roading. Horsepower-wise, the Hurricane only gives up 15 ponies to the V-6.

The natural trade-off is fuel economy. Neither Jeep nor the EPA have announced official numbers, but expect to see upper 20s on the highway, lower 20s around town, and a combined mpg of around 25.

The Hurricane’s secret is its mild hybrid system. The engine uses a belt-starter-generator to help twist the engine’s crankshaft at lower revs. The system is also designed to provide better auto stop/start performance while also improving low-end throttle response before the turbo spools up.

Impressively, the turbo-four loses no ground in the towing department to the V-6. Jeep says the two-door Wrangler will tow 2,000 pounds and the four-door Wrangler Unlimited will lug 3,500 pounds – regardless of engine choice. Sadly for manual transmission fans, the Hurricane is only offered with the new eight-speed automatic.

The Hurricane will be available in all trim levels from the base Sport, to the luxury-minded Sahara, and even the rugged Rubicon. Pricing has not been announced, but the Hurricane will be an option over the standard 3.6-liter V-6.

Continue reading for detailed specs on the 2.0-liter Hurricane turbo-four.


2018 Jeep Wrangler - image 748526

2.0-LITER TURBO I-4 – Specifications

ENGINE 2.0-LITER TURBO I-4
Availability Available — all models
Type and Description I-4 16-valve with direct injection, turbo charging, with throttled, cooled EGR
Displacement (cu. in. / cc) 121 cu. in. (1995 cu. cm)
Bore x Stroke 3.31 x 3.54 (84 x 90)
Valve System Chain-driven DOHC, 16 valves
Fuel Injection Direct Injection
Construction Aluminum block, aluminum alloy heads
Compression Ratio 10:01
Power 270 HP @ 5,250 RPM
Torque 295 LB-FT @ 3,000 RPM
Max. Engine Speed (rpm) 5,800 rpm (electronically limited)
Fuel Requirement Minimum unleaded regular, 87 octane (R + M)/2, 91 octane or higher recommended for optimum fuel economy and performance
Fuel Tank Capacity (gallons) 18.5 (2-door), 21.5 (4-door)
Oil Capacity 5 quarts (4.7 liters)
Coolant Capacity 9.9 quarts (9.4 liters)
Emission Controls GPEC4 engine-management system with close-coupled catalyst; and wide range O2 sensor
Max. Gross Trailer Weight 2,000 lbs. (2-door), 3,500 lbs. (4-door)
EPA Fuel Economy mpg (city/hwy/combined) TBD — automatic (2-door); TBD — automatic (4-door)
Assembly Plant Termoli, Italy and Trenton South Engine Plant, Trenton, Mich.

References

2018 Jeep Wrangler


2018 Jeep Wrangler - image 742104

Read our full review on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler.

2017 Jeep Wrangler


2017 Jeep Wrangler - image 687100

Read our full review on the JK-gen 2017 Jeep Wrangler


2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide - image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Jeep Wrangler 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 Specifications

The 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL can certainly be described as “all-new,” but the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 is largely carry-over from the outgoing Wrangler JK. Still, it’s got a new fuel-saving feature: Auto Start/Stop. The system automatically turns the engine off when stopped at traffic lights or other similar driving scenarios. Like other start/stop systems, the engine restarts automatically when the brake pedal is released, giving the engine time to rev back to idle before the driver has time to press the throttle. The result is less overall fuel consumption.

As for the rest of the Pentastar, the engine retains its 60-degree V shape; its aluminum, deep-skirt block; aluminum alloy heads; its chain-driven, dual-overhead camshafts with four valves per cylinder; its 11.3:1 compression ratio; and its multiport fuel injection. The horsepower and torque specs also remain unchanged at 285 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 260 pound-feet of torque at 4,800 rpm.

The V-6 can be paired with both the six-speed manual transmission or the eight-speed automatic – both of which are new to the Wrangler for 2018. Towing remains the same, too. The Wrangler two-door can pull 2,000 pounds while the Wrangler Unlimited, the four-door model, will pull 3,500 pounds.

As for that all-important fuel economy, Jeep says the V-6 will get 18 mpg city, 23 mpg highway, and 20 mpg combined with the automatic transmission and 17 mpg city, 23 mpg highway, and 19 mpg combined with the manual gearbox. That’s a marked improvement over the 16/20 mpg with the manual-equipped JK and 16/21 mpg with the JK’s old five-speed automatic.

Continue reading for detailed specs of the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6.


2018 Jeep Wrangler 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 Specifications - image 748450

3.6-­LITER PENTASTAR V-­6 – Drivetrain Specifications

ENGINE 3.6-­LITER PENTASTAR V-­6
Availability Standard — all models
Type and Description 60-­degree, V-­type, liquid-­cooled
Displacement (cu. in. / cc) 220 cu. in. (3604 cu. cm)
Bore x Stroke 3.78 x 3.27 (96 x 83)
Valve System Chain-­driven DOHC, 24 valves and hydraulic end-­pivot roller rockers
Fuel Injection Sequential, multiport, electronic, returnless
Construction Aluminum deep-­skirt block, aluminum alloy heads
Compression Ratio 10.2:1
Power 285 HP @ 6,400 RPM
Torque 260 LB-FT @ 4,800 RPM
Max. Engine Speed (rpm) 6,600 rpm (electronically limited)
Fuel Requirement Unleaded regular, 87 octane (R + M)/2
Fuel Tank Capacity (gallons) 22.5
Oil Capacity 6.0 quarts (5.7 liters)
Coolant Capacity 14 quarts (13.25 liters)
Emission Controls Dual three-­way catalytic converters, heated oxygen sensors and internal engine features
EPA Fuel Economy mpg (city/hwy/combined) 18/23/20 (automatic); 17/23/19 (manual)
Engine Assembly Plant Trenton South Engine Plant, Trenton, Mich.

References

2018 Jeep Wrangler


2018 Jeep Wrangler - image 742104

Read our full review on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler.

2017 Jeep Wrangler


2017 Jeep Wrangler - image 687100

Read our full review on the JK-gen 2017 Jeep Wrangler


2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide - image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon The New Jeep Wrangler JL Has Made its L.A. Debut!!!!

It’s been a long time coming, but the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL is finally here. It debuted in all of its two-door and four-door glory, sporting three different engines, two transmissions (including a new eight-speed auto,) fresh interior design with a new Uconnect infotainment system, body-on-frame design, and more than 75 available safety and security offerings. There’s already a host of performance parts from Mopar available and, with four different trims available (three for the two-door plus the Sahara trim on four-door models) there’s definitely an option for anyone with a hankering for a new off-road but road-capable machine.

According to Jeep, all models include a trail-rated badge due to the outstanding four-wheel drive system that includes a 2.72:1 crawl ratio on Sport and Sahara models, a 4LO ratio of 4:1 and locking differentials on Rubicon models, and the ability to ford up to 30-inches of water when properly equipped. Furthermore, the new JL Wrangler can haul as much as 3,500 pounds and can be had with 17-inch off-road wheels. Rubicon models get 33-inch tires as standard equipment while all models get a standard approach angle of 44 degrees, breakover angle of 27.8 degrees, departure angle of 37 degrees, and a minimum ground clearance of 10.9 inches.

When equipped with the 3.6-liter Pentastar, the Wrangler will offer 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. The new 2.0-liter, hybridized, four-cylinder offers as much as 270 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, and – for those of you who really want some serious torque – the new 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 will deliver 260 horsepower and an astonishing 442 pound-feet of torque on demand. That new eight-speed auto offers up decent economy and simple stop-and-go driving and can be equipped on any model. Real Jeep fanatics will surely go for the three-pedal-and-six-gears standard offering with a revised shift pattern, shorter throws, and a 4.41 ratio for better efficiency, higher speeds, and quick acceleration. All told it’s not bad, but we’ll let you decide for yourself once we update our full review. Until then, you can check out the debut video below, and check out the important specs below along with the full press release at the bottom.

2018 Jeep Wrangler JL Engine Specifications

3.6-Liter Pentastar V-6

ENGINE 3.6-­LITER PENTASTAR V-­6 Specificaitons
Availability Standard — all models
Type and Description 60-­degree, V-­type, liquid-­cooled
Displacement (cu. in. / cc) 220 cu. in. (3604 cu. cm)
Bore x Stroke 3.78 x 3.27 (96 x 83)
Valve System Chain-­driven DOHC, 24 valves and hydraulic end-­pivot roller rockers
Fuel Injection Sequential, multiport, electronic, returnless
Construction Aluminum deep-­skirt block, aluminum alloy heads
Compression Ratio 10.2:1
Power 285 HP @ 6,400 RPM
Torque 260 LB-FT @ 4,800 RPM
Max. Engine Speed (rpm) 6,600 rpm (electronically limited)
Fuel Requirement Unleaded regular, 87 octane (R + M)/2
Fuel Tank Capacity (gallons) 22.5
Oil Capacity 6.0 quarts (5.7 liters)
Coolant Capacity 14 quarts (13.25 liters)
Emission Controls Dual three-­way catalytic converters, heated oxygen sensors and internal engine features
EPA Fuel Economy mpg (city/hwy/combined) 18/23/20 (automatic); 17/23/19 (manual)
Engine Assembly Plant Trenton South Engine Plant, Trenton, Mich.

The New Jeep Wrangler JL Has Made its L.A. Debut!!!! - image 748552

2.0-LITER TURBO I-4 – Specifications

ENGINE 2.0-LITER TURBO I-4
Availability Available — all models
Type and Description I-4 16-valve with direct injection, turbo charging, with throttled, cooled EGR
Displacement (cu. in. / cc) 121 cu. in. (1995 cu. cm)
Bore x Stroke 3.31 x 3.54 (84 x 90)
Valve System Chain-driven DOHC, 16 valves
Fuel Injection Direct Injection
Construction Aluminum block, aluminum alloy heads
Compression Ratio 10:01
Power 270 HP @ 5,250 RPM
Torque 295 LB-FT @ 3,000 RPM
Max. Engine Speed (rpm) 5,800 rpm (electronically limited)
Fuel Requirement Minimum unleaded regular, 87 octane (R + M)/2, 91 octane or higher recommended for optimum fuel economy and performance
Fuel Tank Capacity (gallons) 18.5 (2-door), 21.5 (4-door)
Oil Capacity 5 quarts (4.7 liters)
Coolant Capacity 9.9 quarts (9.4 liters)
Emission Controls GPEC4 engine-management system with close-coupled catalyst; and wide range O2 sensor
Max. Gross Trailer Weight 2,000 lbs. (2-door), 3,500 lbs. (4-door)
EPA Fuel Economy mpg (city/hwy/combined) TBD — automatic (2-door); TBD — automatic (4-door)
Assembly Plant Termoli, Italy and Trenton South Engine Plant, Trenton, Mich.

3.0-liter Diesel V-6 Specifications

ENGINE 3.0 LITER ECODIESEL V-6
Power 260 horsepower
Torque 442 lb-ft
Transmission Eight-Speed Automatic
Availability Four-door only

The New Jeep Wrangler JL Has Made its L.A. Debut!!!! - image 748555

2018 Jeep Wrangler JL Transmission Specifications

TRANSMISSION 850RE AUTOMATIC, EIGHT-SPEED OVERDRIVE
Availability Standard — 2.0-liter I-4; Optional — 3.6-liter V-6
Description Adaptive electronic control or Electronic Range Select (ERS) driver-interactive manual control and electronically modulated torque converter clutch
Gear Ratios
1st 4.71
2nd 3.13
3rd 2.10
4th 1.67
5th 1.28
6th 1.00
7th 0.84
8th 0.67
Reverse 3.53
TRANSMISSION D478 MANUAL, SIX-SPEED WITH OVERDRIVE
Availability Standard — 3.6-liter V-6
Description Synchronized in all forward gears and Reverse, multi-rail shift system with top-mounted shift lever, 50% shorter throws
Gear Ratios
1st 5.13
2nd 2.63
3rd 1.53
4th 1.00
5th 0.81
6th 0.72
Reverse 4.49
Final Drive 3.45 standard, 3.73 optional (4.10 Rubicon)

Transfer Case Options

Transfer Case NV241 COMMAND-TRAC NV241OR ROCK-TRAC MP3022 SELEC-TRAC
Availablity Standard on Sport and Sahara Standard on Rubicon Optional – Sahara
Type Part-time Part-time Full-time
Operating Modes 2WD High
4WD High
Neutral
4WD Low
2WD High
4WD High
Neutral
4WD Low
2WD High
4WD High
Neutral
4WD Low
Low Range Ratio 2.72:1 4.0:1 2.72:1

The New Jeep Wrangler JL Has Made its L.A. Debut!!!! - image 748559

2018 Jeep Wrangler Axle Specifications

Front Axle Dana 30
Dana 44 on Rubicon models
Differential Type Open (Dana 30) or Tru-Lok electronic locking (Dana 44)
Axle Ratios: 3.45
3.73
4.10
Rear Axle Dana 35
Dana 44 on Rubicon models
Differential Type Open (Sport and Sahara) with available Trac-Lok anti-spin, Tru-Lok electronic locking (Rubicon)
Axle Ratios 3.45
3.73
4.10

2018 Jeep Wrangler JL Suspension Specifications

Front Solid axle
link coil
leading arms
track bar
coil springs
stabilizer bar
Stabilizer bar Electronic sway-bar disconnect system — standard, Rubicon
Shock type Sport: Gas charged twin tube shock absorbers with full displacement Multi-Tuned Valve (MTV) technology
Sahara: High pressure gas charged monotube shock absorbers with MTV technology
Rubicon: High pressure gas charged monotube shock absorbers with MTV technology and hydraulic rebound stop
Rear Solid axle
link coil
trailing arms
track bar
coil springs
stabilizer bar
Shock type Sport: Gas charged twin tube shock absorbers with full displacement MTV technology
Sahara: High pressure gas charged monotube shock absorbers with MTV technology
Rubicon: High pressure gas charged monotube shock absorbers with MTV technology and hydraulic rebound stop

2018 Jeep Wrangler JL Steering Specs

Type Electro-hydraulic Power
Overall Ratio 17.4:1 – 2-door
15.6:1 – 4-door
Turning Diameter (curb-to-curb) (ft./m) 34.5 2-door
40.8 4-door
Steering Turns (lock-to-lock) 3.6 -2-door
3.2 4-door
P/S pump Electro-Hydraulic

The New Jeep Wrangler JL Has Made its L.A. Debut!!!! - image 748553

2018 Jeep Wrangler JL Brake Specifications

Type Power-assisted, anti-lock braking system
Availability Standard
Front
Rotor size and type 12.9 x .94 (330 x 24) vented rotor – Sport
12.9 x 1.1 (330 x 28) vented rotor – Sahara and Rubicon
Caliper size and type 1.88 (48) twin-piston floating caliper – Sport
2 (51) twin-piston floating caliper – Sahara and Rubicon
Rear
Rotor size and type 12.9 x .47 (328 x 12) solid rotor – Sport
13.4 x .55 (342 x 14) solid rotor – Sahara and Rubicon
Caliper size and type 1.77 (45) single-piston floating caliper – Sport
1.88 (48) single-piston floating caliper – Sahara and Rubicon

2018 Jeep Wrangler JL Dimensions and Capacities

Wheelbase 2-door 96.8 (2,460)
4-door 118.4 (3,008)
Overhang Front: 29.2 (741.6)
Rear: 40.8 (1,036.3)
Track Front: 62.9 (1,598)
Rear: 62.9 (1,598)
Overall Length (includes spare tire) 166.8 (4,237) – 2-door
188.4 (4,785) – 4-door
Overall Width 73.8 (1,875)
Overall Height 73.6 (1,868.4)
Liftover Height 29.7 (756.4)
Cargo Width at Swing-Gate Opening 41.1 (1,052)
Cargo Height at Swing-Gate Opening 36 (942.3)
Load Floor Height 30 (762.1)
CLEARANCES
Tire Size 245/75R17 (Standard on Sport)
Approach Angle (degrees) 41.4
Breakover Angle (degrees) 25 (2-door)
20.3 (4-door)
Departure Angle (degrees) 35.9 (2-door)
36.1 (4-door)
Ground Clearance (inches) 9.7
Tire Size 255/70R18 (Standard on Sahara)
Approach Angle (degrees) 41.8
Breakover Angle (degrees) 21
Departure Angle (degrees) 36.1
Ground Clearance (inches) 10
Tire Size LT28570R17 (Standard on Rubicon)
Approach Angle (degrees) 44 (2-door)
43.9 (4-door)
Breakover Angle (degrees) 27.8 (2-door)
22.6 (4-door)
Departure Angle (degrees) 37
Ground Clearance (inches) 10.8

The New Jeep Wrangler JL Has Made its L.A. Debut!!!! - image 748564

2018 Jeep Wrangler JL Curb Weight Specifications

2.0-liter (2- and 4-door)
Wrangler Sport Automatic Transmission (lbs./kg): 4,010 (1,819)
Manual Transmission (lbs./kg): N/A
Wrangler Sahara Automatic Transmission (lbs./kg): 4,380 (1,987)
Manual Transmission (lbs./kg): N/A
Wrangler Rubicon Automatic Transmission (lbs./kg): 4,175 (1,894)
Manual Transmission (lbs./kg): N/A
3.6-liter (2- and 4-door)
Wrangler Sport Automatic Transmission (lbs./kg): 3,955 (1,794) / 4,200 (1,905)
Manual Transmission (lbs./kg): 3,970 (1,801) / 4,215 (1,912)
Wrangler Sahara Automatic Transmission (lbs./kg): 4,345 (1,971)
Manual Transmission (lbs./kg): N/A
Wrangler Rubicon Automatic Transmission (lbs./kg): 4,145 (1,880) / 4,455 (2,021)
Manual Transmission (lbs./kg): N/A

2018 Jeep Wrangler – ACCOMMODATIONS

Seating Capacity (front/rear) 2/2 – 2-door, 2/3 – 4-door
SAE Total Interior Passenger Volume, (cu. ft. / cu. m) 103.7 (2.94)
Front: Headroom: 40.7 (1,036) hardtop / 42.6 (1,083) soft top
Legroom: 41.2 (1,038)
Shoulder Room: 55.7 (1,417)
Hip Room: 53.9 (1,370)
Seat Travel: 8.1 (206)
EPA Front Volume Index: 53.8 (1.52)
Rear: Headroom: 40.2 (1,023) hardtop, 41.7 (1,059) soft top
Legroom: 35.7 (904.2) – 2-door, 38.3 (974) – 4-door
Knee Clearance: 61.6 (1,565.9)
Shoulder Room: 57.7 (1,458) – 2-door, 55.7 (1,417) – 4-door
Hip Room: 45 (1,143) – 2-door, 56.7 (1,440) – 4-door
EPA Rear Seat Volume Index (cu. ft. / cu. m): 49.9 (1.40)
Liftover Height 29.7 (756.4)
Maximum Cargo Width at Liftgate Opening 47.9 (1,218.7)
Minimum Cargo Width at Liftgate Opening 41.1 (1,052)
Maximum Cargo Height at Liftgate Opening 36.0 (942.3)
Minimum Cargo Height at Liftgate Opening 35.7 (907.8)
Distance between Wheelhouse Interior Trim 45.0 (1143)
SAE Cargo Volume: Rear Seat Folded: 72.4 cu. ft. (2.05)
Rear Seat Upright: 31.7 cu. ft. (0.89)
Total Passenger plus Cargo Volume, (cu. ft. / cu. m): 150.4 cu. ft.

The New Jeep Wrangler JL Has Made its L.A. Debut!!!! - image 748567

2018 jeep Wrangler – WHEELS

Standard (Sport) Painted steel, Low Gloss Black painted
Size:
17 x 7.5 in.
Sport S (Standard) Fully painted cast-aluminum with High Gloss Tech Silver
Size: 17 x 7.5 in.
Sport S (Optional) Painted and polished cast-aluminum with Low Gloss Granite Crystal
Size: 17 x 7.5 in.
Sahara (Standard) Painted spokes with polished cast-aluminum
Size: 18 x 7.5 in.
Sahara (Optional) Painted High Gloss Technical Gray with polished cast-aluminum
Size: 18 x 7.5 in.
Rubicon (Standard) Painted pocket with Mid-Gloss paint and polished cast-aluminum
Size: 17 x 7.5 in.
Rubicon (Optional) Painted pocket with Mid-Gloss paint and polished cast-aluminum
Size: 17 x 7.5 in.
TIRES
Sport (Standard) Size and Type: P245/75R17, on/off-road, black sidewall
Mfr. and Model Michelin LTX MS2, Bridgestone Dueler HT 685, Bridgestone Dueler AT RH-S, Goodyear Wrangler Adventure AT
Revs per Mile (km): 665 (413) – Michelin LTX MS2
661 (411) – Bridgestone Dueler HT 685 & AT RH-S
668 (415) – Goodyear Wrangler Adventure AT
Sahara (Standard) Size and Type: P255/70R18, on/off-road, OWL
Mfr. and Model Bridgestone Dueler HT 685, Bridgestone Dueler AT RH-S, Goodyear Wrangler Adventure AT
Revs per Mile (km): 649 (403)
Rubicon (Standard)
Size and Type: LT285/70R17C, on/off-road, black sidewall
Mfr. and Model: BF Goodrich KO2 All-Terrain
Revs per Mile (km): 645 (401)
Four–wheel anti-lock brakes Standard
Electronic stability control Standard
All-speed traction control Standard

The New Jeep Wrangler JL Has Made its L.A. Debut!!!! - image 748577

2018 Jeep Wrangler TOWING CAPACITIES

WRANGLER SPORT (4-door)
Engine Trans Type Transmission Axle Ratio Payload Base Wt. Base Wt. Front Base Wt. Rear GAWR Front GAWR Rear GCWR Max Trailer
3.6-liter V-6 gas M6 D478 6-speed manual 3.45 1000 4201 2226 1974 2700 3000 8117 3500
3.6-liter V-6 gas A8 850RE 8-speed automatic 3.45 1000 4215 2240 1974 2700 3000 8117 3500
2.0-liter I-4 gas A8 850RE 8-speed automatic 3.45 1000 4336 2298 2038 2700 3000 8117 3500
WRANGLER SAHARA (4-door)
Engine Trans Type Transmission Axle Ratio Payload Base Wt. Base Wt. Front Base Wt. Rear GAWR Front GAWR Rear GCWR Max Trailer
3.6-liter V-6 gas M6 D478 6-speed manual 3.45 880 4331 2289 2042 2700 3000 10836 3500
3.6-liter V-6 gas A8 850RE 8-speed automatic 3.45 880 4345 2303 2042 2700 3000 10836 3500
2.0-liter I-4 gas A8 850RE 8-speed automatic 3.45 880 4376 2319 2056 2700 3000 10836 3500
WRANGLER RUBICON (4-door)
Engine Trans Type Transmission Axle Ratio Payload Base Wt. Base Wt. Front Base Wt. Rear GAWR Front GAWR Rear GCWR Max Trailer
3.6-liter V-6 gas M6 D478 6-speed manual 4.10 892 4439 2346 2093 3100 3100 11063 3500
3.6-liter V-6 gas A8 850RE 8-speed automatic 4.10 892 4453 2360 2093 3100 3100 11063 3500
2.0-liter I-4 gas A8 850RE 8-speed automatic 4.10 892 4484 2376 2107 3100 3100 11063 3500

References

2018 Jeep Wrangler


2018 Jeep Wrangler - image 742104

Read our full review on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler.

2017 Jeep Wrangler


2017 Jeep Wrangler - image 687100

Read our full review on the JK-gen 2017 Jeep Wrangler


2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide - image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Ford F-150 VelociRaptor 6×6 by Hennessey Performance

2018 Ford F-150 VelociRaptor 6x6 by Hennessey Performance

How do you make a Ford F-150 Raptor any more awesome? Hennessey Performance has a great answer – stick an extra axle under an elongated cargo bed then add 150 horsepower. Hennessey is no stranger to making outlandish vehicles with insane levels of power. The Texas-based tuner has done several Raptor upgrades before, and naturally, their bread-n-butter is adding more horsepower to stock vehicles. But this marks the first time a 6×6 configuration has been involved.

Mercedes started the 6×6 trend in 2013 with the G63 6×6. Since then, a handful of aftermarket companies have followed those tracks. The idea behind the 6×6 setup is added traction, better payload and towing capacities, and shear badassery. One look at the G63 6×6 or the Hennessey VelociRaptor 6×6 confirms that. Hennessey can’t confirm how well the VelociRaptor 6×6 handles in the dirt, however. The first example already has customer money on the hood. It’s also the same truck Hennessey took to the 2017 SEMA show. With SEMA over, Hennessey had only a few days to ship the truck to its owner in Florida.

Want to know more? Keep reading for details on the VelociRaptor 6×6.

What makes the 2018 Ford F-150 VelociRaptor 6×6 by Hennessey Performance special

  • 6×6 configuration with added rear axle
  • Lengthened cargo bed
  • Special rear leaf-spring & 4-link suspension
  • Larger Fox Racing shocks
  • 20-inch wheels
  • All-terrain tires
  • Hennessey front & rear bumpers
  • LED off-road lights
“It goes without saying the 6×6 portion of this build is the focal point”

It goes without saying the 6×6 portion of this build is the focal point. Hennessey achieved this by extending the F-150’s frame to accommodate another full axle and set of tires. The factory rear axle was moved rearward and a custom axle and pass-through differential rides ahead. That pass-through diff allows rotational power to turn its ring gear and the driveshaft that connects to the second rear differential. It’s a similar setup to an 18-wheeler.

The big-rig inspiration continues with the suspension system. A lengthened leaf spring pack spans between the axles and is mounted on a bar to the outside of the frame rails. A four-link setup locates each rear axle. Upgrade Fox Racing shocks similar to the Raptor’s stock shocks control the bounce of the one-off suspension system. To match the rear suspension, the independent front suspension was lifted for longer travel and higher ground clearance. Upgraded shocks are here too.


2018 Ford F-150 VelociRaptor 6x6 by Hennessey Performance - image 745588
“Hennessey says the 6×6 conversion adds roughly 700 pounds to the Raptor’s curb weight, but the extra boost makes the 6×6 quicker than the stock truck”

Hennessey couldn’t leave the Raptor’s high-output 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 alone, either. The engine normally makes 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque, which are very healthy numbers for a small-displacement V-6 with a factory warranty. Hennessey already had its VelociRaptor 600 package developed for the Raptor, so the kit is added to the 6×6.

The engine upgrade includes a high-flow intake, a modified wastegate system, an air-to-air intercooler upgrade, a cat-back exhaust system, and a recalibration of the ECU. The result is 600 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 622 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm. Hennessey says the 6×6 conversion adds roughly 700 pounds to the Raptor’s curb weight, but the extra boost makes the 6×6 quicker than the stock truck. The sprint to 60 mph is said to happen in 4.9 seconds.


2018 Ford F-150 VelociRaptor 6x6 by Hennessey Performance - image 745590
“Hennessey is only building 100 examples for 2018”

Other modifications include custom front and rear bumpers, LED off-road lights, 20-inch wheels with Toyo Open Country R/T tires, a bed-mounted roll bar, and VelociRaptor 6×6 graphics on the door, fender, and tailgate. Inside, Hennessey will customize the interior to customer tastes, but the standard upgrade includes a numbered plaque with the vehicle’s build number.

Hennessey is only building 100 examples for 2018. The allotment is split 50-50, with half staying in the U.S. and half offered to customers around the world. Don’t expect to see a VelociRaptor 6×6 in the crowded streets of downtown London, but rather climbing up the sand dunes of the United Arab Emirates. Those folks in Dubai really love extravagant, over-the-top vehicles, after all.


2018 Ford F-150 VelociRaptor 6x6 by Hennessey Performance - image 745591

Paying for the 2018 VelociRaptor 6×6 takes Oil Sheik money, too. Pricing starts at $349,000 and goes up from there, depending on what options a customer adds.

So, what do you think? Would you drive a six-wheeled mega Raptor or is it too much vehicle for you to handle? Let us know in the comments below.

References

Ford F-150


2017 Ford F-150 Raptor - image 610255

Read our full review on the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor.

PostHeaderIcon The 2019 Ram 1500 Is Getting A Split Tailgate!

The next-generation Ram 1500 will be raising the bar for pickup truck cargo beds when it debuts for the 2019 model year. A spy photographer just caught a 2019 Ram tester with an uncamouflaged tailgate that is clearly split vertically. The tailgate will be able to open like a regular tailgate while also opening sideways like French doors. The Honda Ridgeline’s tailgate opens like this, though as a solid piece without the split.


The 2019 Ram 1500 Is Getting A Split Tailgate! - image 745567
“The step bumper can actually be used as a step, too, allowing for an easy climb into the bed.”

The handiness factor is huge here. Think about it: The tailgate can be swung open for better access to items deeper into the bed. The step bumper can actually be used as a step, too, allowing for an easy climb into the bed. The 60/40 split would also make it possible to carry longer items while still having a closed tailgate for loose cargo.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of Ram’s split tailgate. Allpar.com actually found patent drawings of a 50/50-split tailgate on the U.S. Patent Office’s website, which is in the public domain. Though the percentage of the split is different, it’s presumed the production tailgate will operate in the same manner.

Ram isn’t new to innovation in the cargo bed. When the current generation of Ram trucks debuted in 2009, it brought the RamBox Cargo Management System – a lockable and watertight storage box within the walls of the cargo bed. No other pickup has such a feature, though the Chevrolet Avalanche came close. Only the Honda Ridgeline with its InBed Trunk has more watertight and lockable in-bed storage.

What do you think? Do you like this tailgate design? If this is an extra-cost option, what would you be willing to pay? Let us know in the comments below.

References

Ram 1500


2019 Ram 1500 - image 689361

Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Ram 1500.


2019 Ram 1500 Departs From Classic ‘Big Rig' Design - image 739562

Read more upcoming the upcoming 1500 in our the 2019 Ram Departs From Classic “Big-Rig” Design story.



Read more Ram news.

PostHeaderIcon Mercedes AMG G65 to bring down the curtains with Final Edition model

Mercedes-AMG G 65 Final Edition

Mercedes-AMG has decided to pull the plug on its iconic G series SUV’s with the Final Edition model before it stops the production. The company will manufacture 65 units which will be sold worldwide.

The G65 Final Edition will feature 21-inch alloys finished in matte bronze with silver brake calipers. The mirrors, bumpers, and spare-tire cover get the bronze treatment as well. The running board and exhaust get matte black elements, tying the whole package together.


Mercedes AMG G65 to bring down the curtains with Final Edition model - image 740073
“Mercedes-AMG G65 Final Edition comes packed with Carbon-fiber bits all around the cabin”

On the inside, Mercedes-AMG G65 Final Edition comes packed with Carbon-fiber bits all around the cabin. Floor mats and grab handles feature the words “Final Edition” on them. The brown stitching complements the black Nappa leather upholstery well.

Under the hood is the famous, 6.0-liter V12 engine that produces a mammoth 621 horsepower. This astonishing figure is enough to pull this 6000-pound beast from standstill to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds! It is mated to an AMG 7G-Tronic seven-speed automatic transmission.

30 of these units will be available for the US market, and Mercedes will carefully handpick the dealers to whom the G65’s will be allotted. The order book will open soon, and the car is priced at an “affordable” $252,690. The car will be manufactured at Mercedes’ plant in Graz, Austria.

Author’s Take


Mercedes AMG G65 to bring down the curtains with Final Edition model - image 740072
“The G65 Special Edition has been priced at a premium of $29,000 over its standard counterpart.”

The Mercedes AMG G65 Final Edition marks the end of an era. The G-class has been the company’s longest-running production car, spanning a life of almost 40 years. The G65 Special Edition has been priced at a premium of $29,000 over its standard counterpart. Although the G65 is being laid to rest, an all-new camouflaged Mercedes G-wagon had been spotted last year. It is just a matter of time that the heavily re-worked model hits the floor, thus resurrecting the legend.

Given the enviable clientele of G-series, it is not “how” the car will be sold with sky-high price, but “how quick” all 65 units hit the road.

References

Mercedes G-Class


Mercedes AMG G65 to bring down the curtains with Final Edition model - image 739733

Read our full review on the 2017 Mercedes-AMG G 65 Final Edition.


2013 Mercedes G65 AMG - image 450391

Read our full review on the 2016 Mercedes-AMG G 65.


2018 Mercedes-Benz G-Class - image 683652

Read our full speculative review for the 2018 Mercedes-Benz G-Class.


2018 Mercedes-AMG G63
- image 729331

Read our full speculative review for the 2018 Mercedes-AMG G63.

PostHeaderIcon Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition – Driven

2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition

The current Chevrolet Silverado isn’t that old, really. It debuted for the 2014 model year and underwent a very mild cosmetic refresh for 2016. Yet, in the high-stakes game that is the American pickup market, Chevy has to stay current. An all-new Silverado is destined for 2019, but until the fall of 2018, we’re stuck with the current truck. While the 2017 Silverado is hardly a bad apple, Chevy is keeping it fresh by offering several special edition models and among them is this, the Midnight Edition.

I recently spent a week driving a 2017 Chevy Silverado Crew Cab LTZ Z71 Midnight Edition, driving it the same way any truck owner would, well, save for towing a 9,300-pound trailer. I didn’t have one laying around. I did throw a couple coolers and lawn chairs in the bed, haul five people around, take the kiddo to school, and muddle through everyday life like anyone would. Turns out, the Silverado is a fantastic vehicle for active families.

Continue reading for more information.

Video Overview

Exterior

  • Midnight Edition brings blacked-out look, upgraded tires
  • Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires
  • Bumper steps
  • Spray-in bed liner
  • Towing Package
  • Skid plates

2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition – Driven - image 739904
“Looks are subjective, so everybody will have their own opinion.”

The 2017 Chevy Silverado is a handsome truck that’s been around since 2014. The grille, headlights, front bumper, and hood were refreshed in 2016 with a more aggressive design, but otherwise, the truck remains unchanged. Looks are subjective, so everybody will have their own opinion. For me, I like the Chevy’s squared-off appearance.

As for the Midnight Edition, the special edition package brings black door trim, a black front skid plate, black Chevy bowties, and that chrome Z71 badge on the front doors. Equally important to the tuck’s murderous tone are the black 18-inch wheels and Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires. Interestingly, the Midnight Edition also brings Front and Rear Park Assist that works via bumper-mounted sonar sensors.


2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition – Driven - image 739864
“The rear bumper features those awesomely handy steps for getting into the bed”

When it comes to utility, the Silverado has it in spades. The cargo bed has a spray-in bedliner, which came standard as the LTZ trim package. The rear bumper features those awesomely handy steps for getting into the bed. In conjunction, the rear stake pockets have larger openings for handles when climbing up. The tailgate has an easy-lower and lift feature. The towing package, which is standard on the LTZ trim, not only includes the two-inch receiver hitch, but both seven- and four-pin wiring connectors. Having 4WD makes the front tow hooks standard. Other niceties include LED projector-beam headlights, LED fog lights,

All told, the Silverado fulfills its utilitarian role as a pickup, but also does a great job of being family transportation. Compile that with the sinister looks of the Midnight Edition, and it’s a solid package.

Interior

  • Seating for five
  • 8.0-inch MyLink Infotainment
  • Handy center console
  • Fold-up rear bench seats

2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition – Driven - image 739873
“This Silverado is meant to haul people and stuff within the comforts of an air-conditioned space”

Being a Crew Cab, this Silverado is meant to haul people and stuff within the comforts of an air-conditioned space. Naturally, the Silverado does this well. My LTZ tester comes with leather seats and has the $510 front bucket seat option that includes the full-length center console. Though it takes away the middle seat, reducing the seating capacity form six to five, the console offers tons of storage space, a rack for hanging file folders, a wireless phone charger, and a rubberized spot for holding cell phones. Best of all, the console adds an array of charge ports that includes two USB ports, two 12-volt power outlets, and a three-pronged, 110-volt plug.

The LTZ package makes a handful of electronic gadgetry standard, too. There’s the 8.0-inch MyLink infotainment system with navigation and the 4.2-inch driver information screen in the gauge cluster. Both are moderately customizable and allow for different information to be displayed. The MyLink system rivals Fiat Chrysler’s 8.4-inch Uconnect system for simplistic perfection while offering Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The home screen’s icons can be rearranged to suit the driver’s preference.


2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition – Driven - image 739890
“The heated and vented front seats work exceptionally well at keeping backsides happy”

Another lovely feature is the heated and vented front seats. They both work exceptionally well at keeping backsides happy. The dual-zone climate controls keep front sides happy, too. Unfortunately for those in back, the Silverado does not have rear air vents, meaning they’ll have to rely on front occupants sharing their vents in the game of “move it a bit to the left. No, too much.” Adding insult to injury, the Silverado (and its corporate twin, the GMC Sierra) is the only full-size truck without rear air vents.

One thing the Silverado Crew Cab has plenty of is storage space. Not only does the center console have a ton of room, but all four door pockets have two shelves and room for big-gulp cups. The glove compartment has two tiers, making it easier to organize things. The rear bench seat has space underneath for stuff, as well. Chevy actually sells a storage organizer for this area, should you not need the mostly flat load floor. And yes, the bench seat folds up neatly, allowing larger items to slide in.

Other interesting features include a sunroof, a power-sliding rear window, memory settings for the driver’s seat, and power-adjustable pedals. Those things help make up for the Silverado’s lack of push-button starting.

Drivetrain

  • 5.3-liter V-8
  • 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque
  • Eight-speed automatic transmission
  • 4WD with Auto mode
  • Automatic locking rear differential
  • 15 mpg city / 20 hwy / 17 Comb
  • 0 to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds

2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition – Driven - image 739891
“The small-block Chevy kicks out 355 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 383 pound-feet of torque at 4,100 rpm”

The Chevy Silverado 1500 is available with three engines: the base 4.3-liter V-6, the volume-leading 5.3-liter V-8, and the premium choice, the 6.2-liter V-8. All three engines are from General Motors’ EcoTec3 engine family and share the same basic architecture and technology. The three main features (and why its called EcoTec3) are variable valve timing, direct fuel injection, and Active Fuel Management, otherwise known as cylinder deactivation.

Like most consumer-grade Silverados, my tester came with the 5.3-liter V-8. The small-block Chevy kicks out 355 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 383 pound-feet of torque at 4,100 rpm. That’s enough grunt to move this 5,300-pound truck to 60 mph in only 7.2 seconds. Chevy limits the truck’s top speed to a measly 99 mph, so don’t expect to run the German Autobahn.


2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition – Driven - image 739898
“The 4WD system offers five modes: 2WD mode, an Auto mode, 4WD high, 4WD low, and neutral”

Behind the V-8 is GM’s eight-speed automatic transmission and two-speed transfer case with auto mode. The eight-speed isn’t as smooth as FCA’s ZF eight-speed gearbox, but it’s plenty fine for pickup duty. The 4WD system offers five modes. There’s a 2WD mode, an Auto mode, 4WD high, 4WD low, and neutral. Auto mode is the set-it-and-forget-it setting that only sends power to the front wheels when traction is an issue. For serious stuff, the Silverado is equipped with the G80 automatic locking rear differential. It mechanically senses a difference in wheel speeds between the rear tires and automatically locks to send equal power to both wheels.

The EPA rates my tester at 15 mpg city, 20 mpg highway, and 17 mpg combined.

Behind the Wheel

  • Impressive handling for a truck
  • Feels more powerful than horsepower suggests
  • Easy to drive but hard to park
  • Comfy interior makes long drives fun

2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition – Driven - image 739905
“The Silverado is no sports car”

The Chevy Silverado is a big truck, but it somehow drives smaller than it looks – at least until it comes time to park. The steering is decently weighted but does require several turns from lock to lock. Throttle and braking inputs are smooth and linear. Visibility is actually pretty good, too, thanks to an airy cab and large side mirrors.

When the pedal hits the metal, the 5.3-liter feels way more stout than its 355-horsepower rating would suggest. Throaty intake and exhaust sounds accompany a heavy right foot, as does plenty of tire squealing if pushed too far. Keeping the transfer case in Auto mode is definitely advisable.

Of course, the Silverado is no sports car. Body roll is present, though not outlandish, as is brake dive and squirm from the knobby Goodyear DuraTrac tires. Still, the Silverado feels stable during quick maneuvers. On the highway, things settle down nicely. The cabin is quiet and free of wind and road noise. The meaty tires do give off more noise than the average all-season, but it’s not bad.

Pricing


2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition – Driven - image 739903

Perhaps the biggest downside to modern pickups is the price. The 2017 Silverado 1500 starts at $29,080, but that’s for the bare-bones WT trim in the single-cab, short bed configuration with the base V-6 and 2WD. Opting for something more upscale requires a fat wallet.

My Crew Cab LTZ Z71 Midnight Edition carries a starting price of $48,890 but quickly escalates with options. There’s the $770 LTZ Plus Package, the $1,050 Midnight Edition package, the $995 sunroof, the $945 Enhanced Driver Alert Package, the $650 heated and vented front seats, the $510 bucket seat option, and the $495 addition of navigation to the 8.0-inch MyLink infotainment system. All told, my tester carries a final price of $55,600. While expensive, that actually represents a decent deal relative to what Ford, Ram, Nissan, and Toyota are charging for an equivalent truck.

Competition

2018 Ford F-150


2018 Ford F-150 - image 701263

The Ford F-150 has undergone a mid-cycle refresh for the 2018 model year. The changes include mild exterior changes like a new grille, front bumper, and revised tailgate skin. Inside, the F-150 carries on unchanged, though that’s just fine since the cab is still fresh form 2015. The F-150 offers the widest array of cab and seating, configuration and options combinations of any vehicle in the industry. Customers can nearly build a one-off truck despite Ford building nearly a million F-Series truck each year.

The big changes for 2018 are found under the hood. The base V-6 is new, displacing 3.3 liters. It’s more fuel-efficient than the outgoing 3.5-liter while producing nearly identical power numbers. The 2.7-liter EcoBoost moves into its second generation with updated technology and 25 more pound-feet of torque at 400 pound-feet of torque. Horsepower remains at 325. The 3.5-liter EcoBoost carries over unchanged from its major updates in 2017. The 5.0-liter V-8 gets love, too, with direct injection and other tech for an increase in power to 395 horses and 400 pound-feet of torque. All but the base 3.3-liter V-6 come with Ford’s new 10-speed automatic transmission. The 3.3 keeps the six-speed automatic used before.

Pricing for the 2018 F-150 swings wildly thanks to the trucks numerous configurations and trim levels. The base XL regular-cab truck with zero options starts at $27,380. Check every box on the range-topping Limited trim and you’re looking at nearly $70,000.

Read more about the 2018 Ford F-150.

2017 Ram 1500


2017 Ram 1500 Sublime Sport - image 712491

The Ram 1500 is the oldest pickup of this trio, but that will change for 2019 when the next generation hits showrooms. Until then, the 2017 and 2018 Ram 1500 continues to offer all three cab sizes, multiple bed lengths, a slew of trim lines, and nearly as many options as the F-150. And like the competition, the Ram can vary from stripped-down work truck to glammed-up and loaded out luxury machine. Niceties include the lovely 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment system, a four-corner air ride suspension, and real wood and aluminum interior accents.

Three engines are available: the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6, the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8, and the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6. All three have their place and target audience. The 3.6 caters to the fleet and budget-conscious with 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. The Hemi is the one with muscle car ties. It kicks out 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque, matching the 2018 F-150’s updated 5.0-liter V-8. The EcoDiesel is for those who enjoy sipping diesel at a slow pace. With 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, the turbocharged V-6 can get upwards of 29 mpg on the highway when paired with the right truck configuration. That’s impressive.

Like any half-ton truck, prices vary greatly depending on trim, drivetrain, and cab choices. The base Tradesman trim on a regular cab truck with no options starts at $26,495. Interestingly, the Ram 1500’s max price peaks far lower than the Ford’s at roughly $58,000.

Read our full review on the 2017 Ram 1500.

Conclusion


2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition – Driven - image 739906

Despite strong competition from Ford and Ram, not to mention the hungry Nissan and Toyota, the Chevrolet Silverado continues to sell extremely well, consistently ranking right behind the F-Series. It’s no wonder since the Silverado has a cab size, trim level, and engine choice for just about any job and budget. Choice is what Chevy delivers. Sprinkle on some special edition seasoning and boom, customers who crave something different with their truck can have it.

The Z71 Midnight Edition Silverado adds flair to an otherwise conventional truck. What’s more, the package adds functionality thanks to the more aggressive Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires.

  • Leave it
    • Blacked-out theme is almost too common now
    • Fuel economy
    • Gets expensive with options

References


2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition – Driven - image 739865

2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71: An Overview


2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition – Driven - image 739895

2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition: Dissecting The Name


2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition – Driven - image 739890

The Handiest Feature On The 2017 Chevrolet Silverado


2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition – Driven - image 739905

The Top 4 Things Chevy Needs to Fix For The 2019 Silverado

Chevrolet Silverado


2016 Chevrolet Silverado - image 712066

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado.


2015 Chevrolet Silverado Midnight Edition - image 612398

Read our full review on the Chevrolet Silverado Midnight Edition.

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2014 Ford Mustang GT Coupe 2-Door 2014 FORD MUSTANG GT ROUSH RS3 STAGE 3 S/C 6-SPEED 23K #211181 Texas Direct Auto
$32,480.00 (26 Bids)
End Date: Saturday Feb-24-2018 9:15:00 PST
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2007 Ford Mustang GT Premium 2007 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 5 Speed Premium Low Miles Loaded Stunning Car
$641.00 (8 Bids)
End Date: Thursday Mar-1-2018 15:12:26 PST
Buy It Now for only: $11,995.00
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2007 Ford Mustang GT500 UPER CLEAN GT500 SUPER SNAKE CLONE!! 7K MILES!
$20,100.00 (51 Bids)
End Date: Monday Feb-26-2018 19:00:00 PST
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2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Coupe 2-Door 2017 CHEVY CORVETTE GRAND SPORT COUPE LT Z16 7SPD 5K MI #115918 Texas Direct
$59,033.00
End Date: Thursday Mar-1-2018 7:00:00 PST
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2014 Chevrolet Camaro SS Coupe 2-Door 2014 CHEVY CAMARO 2SS 1LE 6-SPD SUNROOF NAV 20'S 12K MI #212464 Texas Direct
$26,100.00 (19 Bids)
End Date: Saturday Feb-24-2018 9:15:00 PST
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2013 Ford Mustang GT Coupe 2-Door 2013 FORD MUSTANG GT 5.0 6-SPEED 19" WHEELS 35K MILES #241252 Texas Direct Auto
$8,800.00 (59 Bids)
End Date: Friday Feb-23-2018 15:44:38 PST
Buy It Now for only: $20,980.00
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2012 Ford Mustang GT Coupe 2-Door 2012 FORD MUSTANG GT 5.0 AUTO LEATHER HID LIGHTS 41K MI #218165 Texas Direct
$1,025.00 (19 Bids)
End Date: Thursday Mar-1-2018 11:31:41 PST
Buy It Now for only: $18,980.00
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2017 Chevrolet Camaro SS Coupe 2-Door 2017 CHEVY CAMARO 2SS 50TH ANNIV AUTO LEATHER NAV 7K MI #139832 Texas Direct
$40,980.00
End Date: Tuesday Feb-27-2018 9:09:51 PST
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2017 Ford F-150 FX4 Crew Cab Lariat Sport FX4 4X4 Ecoboost Custom Lifted Truck New Wheels Tires Nav
$35,100.00 (33 Bids)
End Date: Tuesday Feb-27-2018 13:31:20 PST
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2014 Chevrolet Corvette Z51 Coupe 2-Door 2014 CHEVY CORVETTE STINGRAY LT Z51 COUPE 7-SPD NAV 14K #133134 Texas Direct
$1,025.00 (9 Bids)
End Date: Thursday Mar-1-2018 17:06:57 PST
Buy It Now for only: $44,980.00
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1965 Ford Mustang 1965 Ford Mustang Shelby GT 350 Clone Built 289 Tremec 5 Speed Power RackPinon
$33,100.00 (10 Bids)
End Date: Monday Feb-26-2018 13:08:59 PST
Buy It Now for only: $64,995.00
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2007 Ford Other Pickups XLT Extended Cab Pickup 2-Door 2007 Ford Ranger Pickup Truck 3.0L V6 A/T 6' Bed Rack Light Bar A/C 19K Miles
$2,025.00 (20 Bids)
End Date: Thursday Mar-1-2018 19:54:00 PST
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2015 Ford F-150 2015 FORD F150 LARIAT CREW 4X4 FX4 NAV 20'S LIFT 42K MI #D15374 Texas Direct
$39,980.00
End Date: Wednesday Feb-28-2018 6:30:00 PST
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2018 Ford F-150 Lariat New 18 Ford F150 Lariat 5L V8 32V 4x4 Pickup Work Truck Tuscany White Leather
$40,100.00 (91 Bids)
End Date: Monday Feb-26-2018 15:43:59 PST
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2014 Ford Mustang GT COUPE SUPERCHARGED 2014 Ford Mustang GT Coupe Supercharged 850 HORSEPOWER
$12,655.00 (3 Bids)
End Date: Thursday Mar-1-2018 15:18:29 PST
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2013 Ford Mustang GT Mustang 5.0 GT - Perfect Condition - Low Miles - Fully Loaded!
$19,500.00
End Date: Thursday Mar-1-2018 22:47:26 PST
Buy It Now for only: $19,500.00
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1955 Chevrolet Other Pickups AWESOME 1955 CHEVROLET PICK UP TRUCK SHORT WHEEL BASE RESTORATION PROJECT
$4,628.00 (25 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Feb-28-2018 15:42:15 PST
Buy It Now for only: $13,000.00
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2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Coupe 2-Door 2015 CHEVY CORVETTE Z06 2LZ AUTO NAV RED LEATHER 9K MI #605032 Texas Direct Auto
$55,100.00 (18 Bids)
End Date: Monday Feb-26-2018 13:15:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $63,480.00
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1965 Ford Mustang Coupe 1965 mustang coupe
$10,000.00
End Date: Monday Feb-26-2018 15:54:38 PST
Buy It Now for only: $10,000.00
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2008 Ford Mustang GT Bullitt 2008 Mustang Bullitt ONLY 60 MILES FROM NEW !!!!!
$10,000.00 (2 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Feb-25-2018 17:00:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $35,000.00
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2010 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Coupe 2-Door 2010 Ford Shelby GT500 Super Snake Kenne Bell Super Charger Less Than 400 Miles
$56,465.00 (49 Bids)
End Date: Friday Feb-23-2018 14:52:16 PST
Buy It Now for only: $84,995.00
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2016 Ford Mustang GT Premium 2016 GT Premium Used Certified 5L V8 32V Automatic RWD Coupe Premium
$6,889.01 (19 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Feb-25-2018 13:33:59 PST
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1966 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible 1966 Corvette Roadster - #'s Matching 327ci 300hp - 4-Spd - Needs Restoration!
$16,100.00 (12 Bids)
End Date: Thursday Mar-1-2018 17:16:52 PST
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1996 Chevrolet Corvette Base Coupe 2-Door 1996 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe 1 Owner Serviced Absolutely Stunning Car Must See
$500.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Thursday Mar-1-2018 15:15:32 PST
Buy It Now for only: $7,995.00
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2017 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 Coupe 2-Door 2017 FORD MUSTANG SHELBY GT350 526HP 6SPD RECARO NAV 1K #524087 Texas Direct
$38,211.00 (14 Bids)
End Date: Saturday Feb-24-2018 9:19:08 PST
Buy It Now for only: $54,780.00
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1965 Ford Mustang 1965 Ford Mustang Coupe 302 Automatic Power Brakes Air Condition Power Steering
$12,000.00 (4 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Feb-28-2018 14:02:01 PST
Buy It Now for only: $21,995.00
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1991 Ford Mustang LX Coupe 1991 Mustang LX Coupe
$11,200.00 (37 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Feb-25-2018 10:22:17 PST
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2002 Chevrolet Corvette 2D Coupe 2002 Chevrolet Corvette
$11,400.00 (13 Bids)
End Date: Saturday Feb-24-2018 16:48:10 PST
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1993 Ford Mustang LX Convertible 1993 Ford Mustang LX Convertible,168 Actual Documented Miles, MCA Gold Winner!
$11,211.00 (10 Bids)
End Date: Thursday Mar-1-2018 16:30:00 PST
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2007 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 2007 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 61,565 Miles LeMans Blue Metallic 2dr Car 8 Cylinder
$26,500.00
End Date: Tuesday Mar-6-2018 22:24:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $26,500.00
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