The Best Jeep Rumors and Whispers
Sure, we’re not in grade school anymore, but let’s not deny it: we all love rumors. This is especially true when those rumors apply to our favorite car brand, Jeep. As always, we should take these whispers with a grain of salt, but all of these writers trust their sources, and it’s worth our time to at least acknowledge the chatter.
_So before you go shopping for * Jeep Grand Cherokee lease deals , * check out some rumors regarding the off-roading vehicles… _
Hellcat-Powered Grand Cherokee
We’ve got good news! The Hellcat-powered Grand Cherokee SRT Trackhawk actually exists! The vehicle was recently shown by Jeep to Fiat-Chrysler dealers at the automaker’s annual dealership meeting in Las Vegas, according to Robert Sorokanich of CarAndDriver.com . While we’ve been hearing rumblings of this for a while, it’s a significant development that this has officially been confirmed.
The brand will essentially be taking the 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine found in the Challenger and Charger and insert it into the Cherokee. The all-wheel-drive vehicle will be capable of delivering some impressive specs, including 707 horsepower, 650 feet-pounds of torque, and a zero-to-60-mph time of 3.5 seconds. As Sorokanich notes, this is the fastest such time among mega-SUVs, topping the BMW X5 M’s 4.0 second mark.
There hasn’t been a confirmed arrival date, but the writer estimates that the vehicle will be ready to drive by next summer.
Fixed-Roof Version Jeep Wrangler
Before we get into the meat of the topic, we have to first discuss some background. Jeep had reportedly attempted to add an independent suspension (based on the popular 1963 Jeep Wagoneer) to their 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL, but the manufacturer ultimately decided to stick with the floating solid axels. If the plan had gone through, AllPar.com said the configuration of the vehicle would have changed a bit. Instead, aftermarket companies will be allowed to keep selling the same modifications.
Still, the brand was looking to drop some weight from the Wrangler. The company considered switching to an aluminum tub and hydroformed steel frame, but engineers concluded that they could make a lighter vehicle without including aluminum.
However, if the company is truly looking to drop some weight, the website suggests changing the basic design of the top of the Wrangler, although this would require “a great deal of body bolstering to maintain torsional rigidity and to avoid falling apart.” Considering the expected new safety rules, Jeep has been proactive and had reportedly been considering a redesign that would replace the safety bar with a “stronger set of permanent tubes over the top of the vehicle.” If this rumor is true, and if Jeep’s sales continue to be strong, the website says a fixed-roof version of the vehicle could be produced with little “retooling.”
A source told AllPar.com that “the traditional soft top is gone. It appears to have removable soft panels over the substructure. The sport bar design gone. It even appears to have built in grab handles.” The website also passed along a previous prediction by engineer Bob Sheaves: “The taillight design will change (my guess with an “x” design, such as the one used in the Renegade), bumpers are mostly the same as current (good for the aftermarket), as well as the tailgate construction [and] 5×5 wheel bolt pattern.”
The website doesn’t anticipate the Wrangler to change much, noting that the “fixed rear ‘roof replacement’ structure” could certainly be one alteration, as well as the inclusion and refiguring of “windshield angle, side mirrors, underbody covers, and gearing.”
Diesel Version of Wrangler
A United States release of a diesel-fueled Wrangler has been rumored for some time, and AllPar.com passes along some of the expected specs. The engine is expected to be a Fiat four-cylinder diesel, the Alfa Romeo 2.2, or the next-generation VM 2.8-liter I-4.
The website expects a new engine to deliver an improved city and highway fuel economy while still featuring many of the off-road capabilities that made the Wrangler so popular in the first place. It’s also expected that the company would release a light-hybrid version soon after launch of the diesel.
Flip-Up Rear Window for Wrangler
A patent application submitted by Chrysler reveals a unique “full folding back glass design,” reports AllPar.com. The patent isn’t necessarily related to the Wrangler, but the website notes that there’s no other vehicle in Jeep’s current lineup that would accommodate such a design.
The backglass on current Wranglers can open away from the bodywork, held up by struts that are high enough to operate the entire opening. The patent features a similar design, but the new backglass would fold all the way to the vehicle’s roof, and clips would be built into the top to keep it pinned down. There are also clips inside of the Jeep, allowing drivers to pin the struts after they’ve been disconnected.
A worry of such a design would be the exhaust, as the fumes would enter the back window unless the front windows were open. There’s also worry that this could be an issue when the vehicle is idling, and it’s made even worse with the expected mud that could get into the vehicle. Therefore, it may be an option for drivers to lock their backglass even when their Wrangler’s top is open. The website notes that the new design could also suggest a fixed-roof model, which would mean the driver would have the open to keep the back open.
As we previously mentioned, rumors of an independent suspension system have been lingering for some time. The transition would be both cost-effective and easy to modify, notes AllPar.com, and the independent suspensions have already been used on Wranglers and Jeeps in the 1960s. The website notes that such a move would not only increase stability, but it could also prevent the legendary “death wobble.”
Evan Boberg, Gerry Hentschel and Bob Sheaves created an independent suspension for the 1997 Jeep Wrangler, and the system would determine the differential based on the wheels. If one wheel was off the ground, the differential would pull up, providing what the website describes as “‘real-life’ ground clearance.” However, if Jeep were to go back to this plan, they’d likely use the system features in the RAM Power Wagon.
Mehrdad Behdad of DayHerald.com passes along some other whispers pertaining to Jeep. For starters, Behdad notes that the upcoming production split could allow the company to focus on producing a Wrangler Classic. That would make the redesigned Wrangler a 2017 model. Chrysler would also be looking to celebrate their 75th anniversary by introducing a ‘C’ Segment SUV. The vehicle would replace the Compass and Patriot, and the new Jeep would also have dramatically improved fuel efficiency.
The addition of a new vehicle would mean the Wrangler could keep many of it’s most popular features. The company has reportedly prioritized keeping many of the customizable features in the Wrangler, and they also want to assure that it remains one of the best off-road vehicles.
All pretty exciting news, right? As we mentioned earlier, there’s no guarantee that any of these things end up happening. However, I’ve always been under the general belief that where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
Instead of waiting around for these new additions, head down to Miami Lakes Automall and check out their selection of Jeeps today!