Auto News reported yesterday on the 2017 Wrangler re-design. The article says it all, but I wanted to throw a few opinions out there.
First, it’s awesome that they decided to stick with the solid axles. They also comment that the fold-down windshield will go away, which is unfortunate, but seriously, how many people still fold them down? The JK really killed that off. Aluminum body? There was talk about an aluminum body forcing production outside of the US, I hope that’s not the case. If it is.. BOOOO! I like that the wrangler will likely end up with better fuel economy, but not at the cost of US jobs.
The one thing that really worries me though. There’s a comment in there about the new design being smaller. Look at what Fiat has done recently with the Eyesore (cherokee) and the Renegade. Little cute-utes that have no real off-road prowess. Until you throw lockers in them, and then they can off-road like a piece of ply-wood with wheels. If THAT is what they’ve got planned for the wrangler, a tiny little compact with a removable top and solid axles, you can kiss the brand good-bye.
Here’s to optimism though, I’m really hoping for a good re-design, but I’m also very nervous.