The Jeep Wrangler has been updated for 2014, with performance increases joining two special-edition models in the updated line-up.
Again powered by the Chrysler Group’s 3.6-litre V6 Pentastar petrol engine,power and torque in the refreshed Jeep Wrangler rise 3kW and 5Nm respectively to 212kW and 352Nm.
Claimed combined cycle fuel consumption of 11.2 litres per 100km is unchanged, as is the current model's (pictured bottom) part-time four-wheel-drive system and six-speed manual and five-speed automatic transmissions.
Continuing to offer front and rear five-link suspension systems and electronic locking differentials, the Wrangler boasts increased approach, breakover and departure angles of 44.3, 25.5 and 40.4 degrees respectively. These are increases of 9.3, 3.5 (depending on variant) and 12.4 degrees over the current model’s.
New for 2014 are clear park light lenses and indicators and a trail kit featuring two D-rings, a tow strap and gloves that comes in their own storage bag.
Inside, the current model’s automatic temperature controls and heated leather seats carry over, as does Jeep's Uconnect multimedia system with voice recognition, Bluetooth audio streaming, and satellite navigation.
Available in Sport, Sahara, Rubicon and four-door Unlimited variants, the 2014 Jeep Wrangler is also available in Wrangler Rubicon X and Wrangler Freedom special editions.
Sport and Sahara models include a Dana 30 front axle and Dana 44 rear axle, Command-Trac NV241 part-time two-speed transfer case with a 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio and optional Trac-Lok limited-slip rear differential.
Sport models can now be equipped with the Uconnect system’s 6.5-inch touchscreen radio with hard drive storage for the first time, along with an optional 32-inch tyre and wheel package comprising semi-gloss black 17-inch Rubicon aluminium wheels and BF Goodrich off-road tyres.
The Rubicon model features heavy-duty Dana 44 front and rear axles, Rock-Trac NV241 two-speed transfer case with a 4.0:1 low-range gear ratio as well as electric front and rear locking differentials, disconnecting front sway bar and 17-inch Rubicon aluminium wheels with 32-inch tyres. Both Rubicon and Sahara models offer an optional body-coloured hardtop.
Available as a two-door Wrangler or four-door Wrangler Unlimited, the new Jeep Wrangler Rubicon X is touted as the most capable Wrangler in the US-made SUV’s line-up.
Based on the Rubicon, the X special edition adds a winch-capable bumper, wider Mopar rock rails, a 4.10 axle ratio front and rear, Tru-Lok locking differentials and a six-speed manual transmission with a crawl ratio of 73.1:1.
A dual-intake ‘Power Dome’ bonnet, black front and rear steel off-road bumpers, red tow hooks, a black fuel filler door, 'Rubicon' decals and satin black wheels with polished faces complete the exterior touches.
Inside gains an exclusively styled gauge cluster with additional read-outs for the Wrangler’s electronic vehicle information centre including oil pressure, transmission and coolant temperatures and individual tyre pressures. Quick Silver-accented passenger grab handle, air vent rings, steering wheel spokes and door pulls also feature alongside Mopar slush mats and distinctive axle locker and sway-bar disconnect switches.
Coming standard with a Premium Sunrider soft top, the Rubicon X is available with a black or body-coloured three-piece hard-top.
The Jeep Wrangler Freedom edition – a recurring model named as a tribute to US troops – is based on the Sport model and is also available in two-door or four-door guises.
It includes ‘Oscar Mike’ star-in-circle bonnet and rear quarter panel decals, identical fender badges, a Mineral Grey grille and front and rear bumper inserts, body-coloured wheel arches, and Sparkle Silver-painted 17-inch alloy wheels. Black rock rails with matching tail-light guards join a Mopar fuel filler door and a Sunrider soft-top with deep-tint rear windows.
The interior is distinguished by black fabric seats with silver 'Oscar Mike' embroidered logos and French Silver stitching highlights on the steering wheel, doors, seats and front arm rest.
Offered in six colours, including a model-specific Hydro Blue hue, Jeep says it will donate US$250 from each Wrangler Freedom special edition it sells to the United Service Organisations Inc. (USO).
The 2014 Jeep Wrangler continues to offer stability control and electronic roll mitigation as standard but now adds trailer-sway control and hill-start assist to its list of safety tech. New exterior colours have also been added to the Wrangler’s palette for 2014 and include Amp’d, Anvil, Copperhead, Flame Red and Granite Crystal.