This is one of the toughest, most badass 4x4 out there, period. It belongs to the same crop of bare bones, i-mean-serious-business crop of SUVs which also includes the fabled Land Rover Defender.
JK was introduced at the 2006 North American International Auto Show with past Chrysler group CEO Tom LaSorda driving one up some steps and through a plate glass window, just as Robert Lutz had done at the show in 1992 with the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The JK was first available for purchase with the 2007 model year.The 2007 model year brought the complete redesign of the Jeep Wrangler, in both two- and four-door models. The TJ platform was replaced by a new JK platform. This next-generation Wrangler was significantly larger than the existing model, with a 2-inch (51 mm) longer wheelbase and 3.4-inch (86 mm) wider track, though the two-door model is actually 2.5 inches (64 mm) shorter in the overall length than the TJ, allowing for a 44.3-degree approach angle and a 40.4-degree departure angle. With a larger available standard tire size of 32 inches; the breakover angle on the Rubicon is increased from 22.6 to 25.4.
The JK Wrangler is offered in two versions:
- A short-wheelbase 2-door, in X, Sahara and Rubicon trim levels.
- A long-wheelbase Unlimited 4-door, also in X, Sahara and Rubicon trim levels.
The Wrangler X is available with factory installed right-hand drive, targeted at US mail carriers. Rural mail boxes in the United States are serviced with the carrier behind the wheel. This may also be useful for carriers who wish to get out of their vehicle without the risk of getting hit by traffic. For the 2007 and 2008 model years, the right-hand drive Jeep was the short-wheelbase Wrangler. For the 2009 model year, the right-hand drive Wrangler will be replaced by the right-hand drive Wrangler Unlimited.
A 3.8 L EGH V6 with a displacement of 230.5 cubic inches (3,778 cc) producing 202 hp (151 kW) and 237 pound-feet (321 N·m) of torque is the base engine, replacing the venerable AMC 242 straight-6. The 2.8 L VM Motori turbodiesel straight-4 producing 177 hp (132 kW) and 302 pound-feet (409 N·m) of torque used in the Liberty is offered as options outside of U.S., as it does not satisfy U.S. emission control standards for 2007.
Stability control is a new safety feature for the JK Wrangler. All versions offer off-road tuned Anti-lock braking system and traction control system with electronic limited slip differential. Standard on the Rubicon trim is a new electronic sway bar disconnect system.
A Sunrider convertible soft top is standard equipment. Also available on the JK model is an optional 3-piece modular hardtop. Although the doors can still be removed in traditional Wrangler fashion, power windows and remote power door locks will be offered for the first time in a Wrangler. Another first is an available navigation system. This is the first generation of the Jeep Wrangler to have a change in the tail lamps.
The 2011 model added a new easier-to-fold/open soft top, standard UConnect on models equipped with the MyGig radio, and new sun visors that offer more coverage than the old models, as well as integrated vanity mirrors.
JK trim levels
The Standard Wranglers are available in six trim packages (including 2 special editions). The Unlimited Wranglers are available in four trim packages (including 1 special edition). Most packages can be ordered with either hard or soft top, full or half doors("sport" and "rubicon" only).
The "Sport Base" model is available in 2-door versions. It is the "bare bones" Wrangler that can be customized to a buyer's specifications by adding such options as air conditioning and other accessories. It was originally called the "Wrangler X" until 2009.
The Rocky Mountain Edition is a special edition of the "X" model that was made for 2009 with 32-inch tires (on 18-inch rims), black tubular sidestep, a 6-disc in-dash changer and visual enhancements such as body colored fenders. It was only available in Canada.
The Islander Edition is a special edition of the "Sport Base" model made in 2010 with 32-inch tires, Islander edition seats, rubber slush mats, black tubular sidestep and visual enhancements such as a blue accented leather steering wheel.
The Arctic Edition is a special edition of the "Sport Base" model made for 2012.
The Mountain Edition is a special edition of the "Sport Base" model made for 2010 with 32-inch tires (on 18-inch rims), black tubular sidestep, black tail light protectors and special edition seats, as well as visual enhancements like black grid and hood decals, a black fuel filler door and graphite dash enhancements. This edition was also available in 4 doors, based on the more equipped "Sport" trim instead of the "Sport Base" trim.
The 70th Anniversary Edition is a special package based on the Sahara model to commemorate the 70th model year of the Wrangler. This package is available for the 2011 model year on both Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited models. Features include: Black/Dark Olive (or Black) leather seats with perforated leather inserts and Chestnut accent stitching and piping, Leather steering wheel with Chestnut accents, Berber floor mats with Chestnut binding, Mopar brushed aluminum sill plates, Door armrest and center console in Dark Olive (or Black) with Chestnut accent, Unique 18-inch polished wheels, Automatic shift knob with satin chrome cap and bezel, Satin chrome HVAC rings, front doorpulls and grab handle, 70th Anniversary logo on radio screen, Unique cluster overlay and needles, and 70th Anniversary badges throughout.
The X-S model features 32-inch tires (on 18-inch rims), fog lights, cruise control, driver’s seat height adjuster, removable doors, and a fold-down windshield. It can be customized to a buyers specifications adding such options as air conditioning, power windows and locks, soft or hard top, rear LSD or locker, electronic sway bar disconnect, and other accessories. It was renamed "Sport" in 2009.
The Sahara model is the "luxury" model offering accessories such as body colored fenders, "Yes Essentials" seats (in late 2007–2008), power windows and locks and a 7 speaker infinity sound system with subwoofer, among others.
The Rubicon package is the dedicated "Offroad" package. Standard components of the Rubicon package include front and rear generation II Dana 44 axles, Rock-Trac four-wheel drive, rock rails, 32-spline rear axle with an 8.8-inch ring gear, 4.10 axle gearing, "Yes Essentials" seats (2008), 7-speaker infinity sound system, removable doors, a fold-down windshield, and any other available option can be added.
|3.8 L EGH||2007-2011||4-speed 42RLE automatic|
|2007-2011||6-speed NSG370 manual|
|3.6 L Pentastar||2012–Present||5-speed W5A580 automatic|
|2012–Present||6-speed NSG370 manual|
|2.8 L RA 428||2007–2010||5-speed 545RFE automatic|
|2011–Present||5-speed W5A580 automatic|
|2007–Present||6-speed NSG370 manual|
JK Wrangler Unlimited
The JK series 2007 Wrangler Unlimited was unveiled at the New York Auto Show on April 12, 2006. It is stretched even more than the TJ model, and featured four doors. This change made it the last-remaining 2-door SUV in North America to gain a four-door option and made it the only four door convertible in production. A full 20.6 inches (523 mm) was added to the JK Wrangler's 95.4-inch (2423 mm) wheelbase. It is priced near $21,000.
Unlimited has the same engine and transmission choices as a short-wheelbase JK. X and Sahara trims offer an option of 4x2 rear-wheel drive in the U.S.A. It is the only four-door convertible available in the U.S., since the Hummer H1 with optional rag-top is no longer sold.
The Unlimited offers more options and equipment than any previous Wrangler model, including standard electronic stability program and optional seat-mounted side airbags, remote keyless entry, navigation system, and Sirius Satellite Radio. The navigation and satellite systems are a part of the MyGig Entertainment system that also has a hard drive allowing for the storage of MP3 music files and pictures.
On September 13, 2007, at the Defence Systems and Equipment International trade show, Chrysler LLC unveiled a Wrangler Unlimited version designed for military use dubbed the J8. The unarmored Jeep J8 is equipped with larger brakes, axles and suspension components than the civilian version and has a payload capacity of 1,339 kg (2,952 lb). The J8 also differs from the civilian model by utilizing heavy-duty rear leaf springs for carrying heavier payloads. The Jeep J8 is powered by a VM2.8-liter (169 CID) four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine that produces 118 kW (158 hp) and 400 N·m (295 lbf·ft) of torque, providing towing capability of up to 3,500 kg (7,700 lb). The engine is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. The J8 also features a unique air-intake system with special filtration and a hood-mounted snorkel that enables the J8 to wade in water up to 762 mm (30 in) deep and tackle sandstorm conditions for up to five hours. Available as a two-door with an extended pickup bed for personnel or equipment transport, or a four-door multipurpose vehicle, it may be produced with numerous vehicle-body and seating configurations in either right-hand- or left-hand-drive. Targeted for use by the militaries in overseas markets, the J8 is not available in the United States because it will not meet U.S. emissions requirements. The J8 will be produced in Egypt. The 2009 model added standard Hill Start Assist (HSA) to prevent rollback on graded surfaces. Trailer Sway Control (TSC) also is available to monitor vehicle movement relative to the intended path and activates the Electronic Stability Program (ESP) if the trailer begins to sway outside set parameters. Additionally, ULEV II emissions replace LEV II emissions on manual transmission equipped vehicle.
The 2012 model, as confirmed by Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne during the 2010 third-quarter sales announcement, received a version of Chrysler's newest V-6 engine known as Pentastar. The version used in the 2012 Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited produces 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy for the 2-door model is rated at 17 mpg City / 21 mpg Highway.
The 2011, 2012, and 2013 Jeep Wranglers have received Canadian Black Book's Best Retained Value Award for the compact SUV category.
In 2007 and for 2013, the magazine Four Wheeler awarded the Jeep Wrangler with its Four-Wheeler of the Year Award and in January 2010, they awarded the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon its title of 4x4 of the Decade.
In 1997, 2007, and 2012, the magazine Petersen's 4-Wheel & Off-Road awarded the Jeep Wrangler with its 4x4 of the Year award.
The 2008 edition of Forbes Autos lists the four-wheel-drive convertible Jeep Wrangler at number four among the top ten vehicles with the highest resale value.
In May 2009, Business Week magazine named the Wrangler One of the Most Iconic Cars of the Last 20 Years.