2020 Jeep Wrangler Preview

2020 Jeep Wrangler Preview

Story by Jordan Allan, photos courtesy of FCA Canada

When the latest generation of the Jeep Wrangler was introduced late in 2017, it was clear that the goal was to modernize the iconic vehicle and to do so without taking away any of the things that allow it to be so rugged and capable. Two years later, it’s clear that this was achieved as the Wrangler continues to enjoy success in terms of both sales numbers and performance due to the right mix of both clearly being found. Now entering its third full year of existence, the Wrangler JL/JLU has received a few small updates for 2020, including the eventual introduction of a new engine option and two brand new, special-edition models.

Before we get in to either of those, Jeep has updated the availability of the existing powertrain options, with the Wrangler Sport and Rubicon models now offering the 2.0L turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine with engine stop-start (ESS), and the 3.6L Pentastar V6 with the mild-hybrid eTorque technology moving exclusively to the Sahara models. The engine stop-start, of course, increases efficiency by shutting down the engine when sitting at stop lights or in traffic, while the eTorque system is a mild-hybrid system that replaces the traditional alternator with a belt-driven motor generator. This provides several different functions including the engine stop-start system, a short burst of extra torque to the crankshaft and brake energy regeneration to the 48-volt battery pack that works with the generator.

The Wrangler’s Advanced Safety Group now comes with auto high beams when equipped with the 8.4-in. Uconnect infotainment system, while the Wrangler Sport has added LED headlamps and fog lamps as optional equipment.

As we were told at the Wrangler JL/JLU’s inaugural drive event, a diesel powertrain option would show up around 2020 and although there are no exact details on when, Jeep says that at some point in the 2020 model year, this will finally happen. Power and fuel economy numbers have yet to be disclosed, however we do know that Jeep will, of course, be utilizing the 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 engine found in the Ram 1500. Power numbers there come in at 260 horsepower and 480 lb-ft. of torque but we would imagine a slightly tuned down version for the Wrangler. Nevertheless it will undoubtedly provide you with some serious torque which may come in handy during some tough off-road situations.

As mentioned, two new, special-edition models will join the fray for 2020 including the return of the always popular Wrangler Willys edition and the all-new Wrangler Black & Tan model. Both models will be based on the Wrangler Sport S and will boast unique exterior and interior content.

First up, the Wrangler Willys edition returns for the first time on the JL and provides a number of features to go along with the Jeep’s Command-Trac 4×4 part-time, two-speed transfer case with a 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio in order to even further increase its off-road capability. The Willys edition will feature a limited-slip rear differential, Rubicon rock rails and shocks, heavy-duty brakes and 32-in. Firestone mud-terrain tires.

In addition to the actual mechanical off-road upgrades, the Willys editions will also have some special exterior design cues to highlight its rugged capability. A Willys hood decal will be featured, as will black 17-in. aluminum wheels with gray pad print and a gloss black grille. Inside, all-weather mats will be provided while the standard LED headlights and fog lights further enhance the Wrangler’s capability.

The second special-edition model to join the 2020 Wrangler lineup will be the Wrangler Black & Tan model which features a distinctive look with a nod to the vehicle’s heritage. The model will be available in all exterior colours currently offered and boasts 17-in. Machine Granite wheels with all-terrain tires, side steps, Low Gloss badging and, of course,  a premium tan soft top.

Inside, the Wrangler Black & Tan offers a Wizard Black instrument panel and Heritage Tan cloth seats to go along with the Technology Group which adds Uconnect’s 7-in. touchscreen as well as a 7-in. driver’s display screen.

In terms of pricing, the Wrangler Willys edition will carry a Canadian MSRP of just $2,900 over the Sport S, while the Black & Tan model comes in at just $1,995 more, and both are available on both the two- and four-door models.

The Jeep Wrangler is one of those vehicles that seems like it doesn’t really need upgrades or changes to remain successful, but it’s nice to see some thought and new technology go into one of, if not the, most iconic vehicles we have ever seen.