The secrets of the yet-to-be-revealed 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL have been like water in a balloon that has been pricked several times with a needle. Streams have been sprouting every which way, and we have now seen the exterior and the interior and know its likely drivetrain options. Thanks to the folks at JL Wrangler Forums, we have yet another flow of information on the forthcoming Wrangler, which is slated for its official debut at the Los Angeles auto show in December and will start arriving at dealerships in the first quarter of 2018.
The forum got its hands on a splashy 340-page user guide and a more sterile 608-page owner’s manual, which provide still more details on the 2018 Wrangler. While a spokesman for FCA declined to comment on the documents, let alone confirm their authenticity, we thought we’d share them anyway:
There Is a Retractable Roof That Can’t Be Removed
Once again, both a Sunrider removable softtop and a three-piece Freedom hardtop will be available, but the user guide also gives instructions for how to use a new power-sliding top (for vehicles so equipped). This optional top, which has been rumored, is nonremovable. However: “If desired, the rear quarter-windows can be removed and stored in provided storage bags,” the guide says. The power top will not operate above 60 mph. It’s opened and closed with a switch located on the front header panel, above the rearview mirror.
Foldable Windshield Confirmed
As we suspected, the new Wrangler’s windshield can be folded down, according to the owner’s manual, which details the process. Lowering the windshield involves removing protective caps over windshield-wiper bolts, taking off the wipers, removing four screws along the interior of the windshield, and finally lowering it to “footman loop bumpers” and securing it with a cinch strap.
Four Aux Buttons Preinstalled
The guide points to four auxiliary switches (again, if equipped) located on the lower switch bank of the instrument panel. You can configure what you want to power with those switches via the Uconnect settings. “All switches can be configured for setting the switch type operation to latching or momentary, power source of either battery or ignition, and ability to hold last state across key cycles,” according to the guide.
There Will Be a Six-Speed Manual Transmission
This is unlikely to surprise many, but, happily, you can still get a manual gearbox. Interestingly, the guide only lists the six-speed manual transmission as being paired with the 3.6-liter V-6. An eight-speed automatic transmission is referenced for both the the 3.6-liter and the 2.0-liter four-cylinder.
2.0L and 3.6L Engines Confirmed
Speaking of those engines, in a Trailer Towing section, the user guide confirms both the 2.0-liter and 3.6-liter but does not give any horsepower or torque figures. The vehicles’ literature recommends 91-octane fuel for the 2.0-liter, which seems to further confirm reports that it will be turbocharged. For both engines, the two-door Wrangler will have a maximum gross trailer capacity of 2000 pounds, while the four-door Wrangler is rated to tow 3500 pounds.
Power Windows Still Optional
Very few new vehicles still come with manual crank windows. It appears as though the 2018 Wrangler will be among them, as the guide talks about “power windows—if equipped.”
Two Kinds of Transfer Cases
The user guide mentions two transfer cases, one with four positions and another with five. The four-position transfer case has 2H rear-wheel-drive high range, a 4H four-wheel-drive high range, neutral, and a 4L four-wheel-drive low range. The five-position transfer case splits the 4H into two categories: 4H Auto and 4H P-T. The 4H Auto position sends power to the front wheels and automatically engages four-wheel drive if the Jeep senses a loss of traction. The 4H P-T, for Part-Time, position “maximizes torque to the front driveshaft, forcing the front and rear wheels to rotate at the same speed,” the guide says. “This range provides additional traction for loose, slippery road surfaces only.” The guide further notes that the 4WD Auto position can be for normal street and highway conditions, just like 2H.
In a section that lists the parts in the engine bay, the 2.0L has an Intercooler/Motor Generator Unit (If Equipped) Coolant Reservoir, and the 3.6L has a Motor Generator Unit (If Equipped) Coolant Reservoir—which leads us to believe a hybrid variant, which has also been rumored, along with a diesel, is likely for both engines.
Some Wranglers will apparently be equipped with Off Road Pages, which are accessed via the Apps section of FCA’s Uconnect infotainment system. These Off Road Pages give real-time information on the status of the transfer case, the Jeep’s current pitch and roll, and a display of accessory gauges that monitor fluid temperatures, battery voltage, and oil pressure.
In recent months, test-mule Wranglers have been spotted in camouflage driving around southeastern Michigan and Toledo, where production of the Jeep is expected to begin next month. In addition to the four-door and two-door JL Wranglers, which don’t appear to make any sharp departures from the iconic SUV’s design heritage, a Wrangler-based pickup that revives the Scrambler name has also been spied.