Home / Auto News / News article: 2016 Jeep Wrangler May Ditch Solid Axles - AutoGuide.com News
 |  Oct 28 2013, 12:20 PM

Jeep Wrangler Slim

It comes as no surprise that the 2016 Jeep Wrangler will be losing weight thanks to strict new government fuel economy regulations, but the exclusion of solid axles is now being reported as a possibility due to the weight savings. 

Mike Manley, Jeep brand boss let slip to Automotive News that the deletion of the Jeep’s solid axles is a possibility due to the weight savings. An independent suspension system would be used in place of the current coil-link suspension setup.

That would be a major change in the eyes of Jeep fans and loyalists who love the current suspension setup thanks to its easy to customize nature and durability. Manley says that Jeep engineers are working rigorously to make sure that the Wrangler meets its new requirements, while also keeping its hardcore off-road roots intact.

SEE ALSO: Next-gen Jeep Wrangler to be Inspired by 2013 Moab Concepts

Other possibilities that may be implemented to help the Wrangler’s quest for improved fuel economy are improved aerodynamics and the further use of lightweight materials, both of which were seen on this year’s 2013 Jeep Moab Concepts (Wrangler Stitch Concept shown above). The introduction of a diesel engine for the Wrangler has also been hinted at by Manley, and could be borrowed from the Grand Cherokee diesel.

[Source: Automotive News]

Discuss this story on our Jeep Forum

  • Kurt Muzio

    the second they get rid of the only thing currently standing between a Jeep and a minivan, im out.

  • PavePusher

    If you’re that stupid, don’t ever ride in a HMMWV.

  • PavePusher

    Heh, some people complained when it switched over to coil springs too…. Turned out to be the a good thing. I want to see their proposed wheel travel specs, and who will immediately have a lift and long-travel kit for it. And how much that will cost. Urgh…..

    What really concerns me is the part where they might make it “more aerodynamic for better fuel efficiency”. No-on buys a Jeep for either of those qualities, you friggin’ idiots. Seriously, does the term “market research” mean nothing to them? No wonder we have to bail these turds out every 10-20 years.

    5 minutes ago · Like

  • Ryan Dunbar

    Have you ever driven an h1? I drove one from San Francisco to Pittsburgh. Absolutely horrible. We wheel with a guy who has one. Horrible.

    The guy that won king of the hammers did it in a solid axle rig.

    You obviously have no idea what you’re talking about.

  • Chris

    oh gosh no! come on pretty please no.

  • PavePusher

    Different techniques for different applications. I.S. has it’s purposes.

  • http://snarkypenguin.blogspot.com/ Badtux

    My Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, almost stock (all I’ve added is a spacer above the coils to get a bit more room under my belly), goes places a H1 will never be able to go. I know that for a fact because I’ve seen someone trash a H1 trying to go someplace that I’ve gone. ‘Nuff said.

  • http://snarkypenguin.blogspot.com/ Badtux

    Yes, the purpose of I.S. is for driving on highways. It simply cannot flex in the rocks like solid axles due to fundamental laws of geometry (the pivot arm for a solid axle rig is *the other wheel*, not some pivot barely inside the wheel well), and thus can’t go places that solid axle machines have no trouble going.

  • AtomicZHP

    There’s always the ol’ TTB…

  • freeskier93

    You might not care about fuel economy and aerodynamics, but the auto manufacturers who have to abide by CAFE standards sure care. Every year average fleet fuel economy requirements go up, and as a manufacturer if you fall below that requirement you’re paying the government money.

  • freeskier93

    IFS is good for go fast trophy truck type stuff but that’s about it…

  • Jon Kelley

    Fine. If you’re going to ditch SLA for IWS to meet CAFE requirements, let’s do it right! Go with a Dieselectric hybrid (technology’s been around forever – ever wonder how freight and pax trains work?) with a drive motor for each wheel. You can run a Diesel engine and dynamo combination with drive wheels that would weigh less than the gasoline engine, transmission, transfer case, driveshafts, and drive axles (SLA or IWS – either way.)

    You also have the ability to stop worrying about gear ratios, since electric motors give you full torque just about immediately.

    And, going Dieselectric means you don’t need to putz around with all the batteries that electrics require. And, you get better range and more rapid refueling (recharging) than you get with plug-in electrics. A small Diesel engine also means you can run a smaller fuel tank (8-10gal, vice 16-20 – cut in half!) which means less fuel weight.

    Wheel travel and articulation would still be an issue (IWS works better for “road manners,” SLA has the advantage of the lever arm between wheels to help “force contact” when tipped,) but if you’re going to worry about stuff like this, it really needs to be approached using a clean sheet of paper. Leave the body & frame alone (since that’s just ducky either way,) but scrap everything in the drivetrain and start over, instead of adapting it here and there.

    That’s the same sort of thinking that gave us PPACA/Obamacare, and we all see how /that/ is coming out…

  • TOYOTA 4×4′s are more fun

    Lol, its ridiculous how huge and cumbersome the H1 is. It’s not built to be a serious 4×4; its meant to safely transport troops safely through rough, open terrain. The second you get to a forest with tight trails and big rocks, your going to have a hard time.

    If you want to run technical rocky trails, your going to have a much easier time with a live axle than you will with IFS. Anyone that says IFS is just as good in the rocks as a live axle needs to go out and see the difference in person. We did a trail run at “Slickrock Trail” near Lake Alpine, CA a few months ago with a group of live axle LandCruisers and one IFS FJCruiser and the only one who had any trouble with not flexing out enough and getting a bit tippy was the IFS rig. Without his locker, he would have been stuck a few times, whereas my live axle FJ60 with open diffs was able to get through most of everything with any problems.

    However, if you want to go fast over open, rough terrain like gravel and sand washes in the desert, IFS is going to be your friend. The reduced unsprung weight is also a bonus in this situation.

    When you start getting into K.O.H. type racing,… the only thing tough enough, and flexy enough is a live axle setup. …K.O.H. is nuts.. :D

  • Darren Hurst

    At least there might be a Diesel version. Then we can just rip off the Independent suspension crap and put some rockjock 60s under it instead :)

  • Ryan Dunbar

    it does. and that’s getting the soccer mom to the mall…

  • Mike B

    I agree for the most part, but you haven’t been paying close enough attention to KOH. More and more guys are switching over to IFS. How many years now has Shannon Campbell been in the top 3 winners list with his IFS rig?? He almost won it last year if it wasn’t for him getting lost, doing donuts, and popping a tire.

  • Gary Westover

    And so ends ANOTHER GREAT AMERICAN ICON, like the presidency, everything American is going down the toilet….

  • Dino Galdamez

    I love my Jeep Wrangler 2007 … Hope Jeep will take the right decisions to keep it looking great and more fuel economy … I will might upgrade mine :-)

  • Ron

    But how much would that make th sticker price?

  • Jon Kelley

    I’m sure it would cost less to actually re-engineer the thing to do it properly from the off than to figure workarounds and adaptations for every bloody thing.

    Also, figuring that a small Dieselectric hybrid drivetrain would have rather good fuel economy, I’m sure the sticker price would be offset by savings in fuel (Diesels are more efficient at low crankshaft speeds than gasoline engines, and won’t spin too fast anyhow. You could run a Dieselectric engine at about 1800-2200rpm as long as it has fuel! (Think of a ship’s Diesel – they probably turn those off about once every five years. Many of them have oil systems designed to allow changing oil with the engine running…)

    How would I do it?
    - Leave the body intact, a Dieselectric drivetrain should fit into it.
    - Modify the frame as needed to suspend the drive motors, and to support a small (3 or 4 cylinder) Diesel engine and dynamo.
    - Scrap everything else.
    - I’d probably use a small Perkins Diesel, or maybe a small Komatsu (both are quite reliable.)
    - Dynamo by Hobart – I’ve worked with plenty of their stuff (Aircraft GPUs,) and I find it solid.
    - Drive motors would probably be downsized versions of locomotive motors. If gear reduction is desired, construction similar to “portal axles” can be used – with the axis of the drive motor at the top, driving a pinion to drive a ring gear. The motors could probably be adapted to allow for “regenerative braking” to keep the batteries topped up in town.
    - Brakes would be powered by an auxiliary pump, akin to “Hydroboost.” (But, I’d prefer to split the systems if possible, I’m just funny that way.)

    Fuel economy would be at least half again that of a comparable gasoline-engine setup, and you would have the advantage of full torque pretty much immediately – electric motors are nice like that (why do you think the Dieselectric system is used for locomotives?) Towing, hauling, and obstacles wouldn’t be a big problem.

    I’d design the control system to run on any cut of Biodiesel/greasel – from B5 to B100. As an option, I’d offer a parallel fuel system to run WVO (a Diesel engine running on WVO will not /start/ on WVO, you have to start it on Biodiesel or Petrodiesel, then switch it over once it’s warmed up – say, 3-5 minutes’ runtime. This could be done automatically, with a “low fuel” trap to “fail over” to the primary Diesel tank if no driver action is taken when the WVO tank reaches, say, 1/8-tank.)

    As long as I’m about it, the engine oil would be filtered by both a full-flow element (change every 5,000 miles and top off) and a bypass filter (change element every 25,000 miles; change oil every 100,000 miles. Works fine for heavy Diesels…)

    The smaller Diesel would warm up faster and would be easier to cool – both are advantages.

  • Jeepy

    Goodbye Jeep, I’m sorry it had to end like this. Thanks for helping us win WWII, and giving Daisy something to drive, but once the solid axle is gone, so then are you.

  • DTOM LOD

    Yet another example of government mucking around outside the scope set for it by the Constitution. Piss off, FEDGOV!

  • kma

    If Jeep ditches our solid axles, I am afraid I will no longer purchase Jeep products.
    They are already screwing Jeep owners by cheating them out of their lifetime powertrain warranties. I’ve bout had enough.

  • UKJeeper

    “The introduction of a diesel engine for the Wrangler “. Hello, and welcome to 2007.

  • Wally Allen

    I’ll keep my 2006 Wrangler as long as parts are available….don’t want the new stuff!!

  • Jeep lover

    They are ruining Jeep
    Solid axles are so much tougher then independent you might as well call it a Hummer h2 or FJ if you do that A you said it mall crawler Yuppies do not know the meaning of a real Jeep it just blows my mind.

  • Jeep lover

    Next it will be the 7 slots are to much weight make is 2 idiots or round headlights are not aerodynamic I mean really.

  • Jeep lover

    I hope fiat goes belly up

  • HKopp

    Independent suspension? It’s over.

  • HKopp

    I feel like a cave man in my CJ. But I’m keeping it.

  • Cornchip

    They could always do a good portal axle design. It would still be independent, but with an edge.

  • Dunebasher

    If the feelings of hardcore Jeepers actually mattered, all Jeeps would still have leaf springs – because, as has been pointed out, when they announced the switch to coil springs all the hardcore Jeepers started wailing that the sky was falling. Like it or not, the majority of Wranglers sold never go off pavement, and it’s quite possible that an IFS Wrangler will sell better because it will ride better. It may not be as hardcore an offroad vehicle as SFA Wranglers, but that’s life – everything has to progress eventually, and unfortunately too American car manufacturers have stuck with Stone Age technology for too long. That’s why American-built cars have such a poor reputation around the world for build quality, ride, handling and fuel economy.

  • d

    I have a ’95 Wrangler, a 2013 Highlander, a 2004 Highlander, a 2010 TDI Jetta, a 2000 TDI Jetta, and a BMW F650ST…… I drive the Wrangler by far the most and I mostly drive it on the road. 10 years ago I would have been slobbering over a diesel Jeep, but now, I can’t justify owning the two VW diesels with the tax burden on diesel fuel. The economics of a new diesel anything just doesn’t work.

    On the topic of an independently suspended Wrangler……Anyone remember the M151 MUTT? It would turn over on an airport tarmac sitting still!!!!!

    No thanks. If you want a good driving, light weight, fuel efficient road car, you should buy one. I’ll keep my Jeep!!!!!

    d

  • nzpete

    I lived in Europe for over 10 years and can tell you they will sell their souls for a Jeep…or anything 4×4 and American made.
    Sometimes reputations are a bit overstated.

  • Lester E Bingle

    I have 1980 cj5 and love it will never part with it!!

  • snowden

    Death of the Jeep.

  • JoeKlip

    I am keeping my 1st Gen JK because it is the last of the breed, especially after FIAT bastardize the Wrangler brand.

  • knowledge

    look up the words axle articulation…

  • Eric

    If Jeep gets rid of the solid axle, I will never buy a new Jeep. Independent is only supposed to be on street vehicles, not off road. First 4 cylinder engines now this? I could care less that I get poor gas mileage now, I just grin and bear it

  • Eric

    It won’t be long, those things are terrible.

  • sidebar78

    Let’s just hope that Chrysler has the foresight to allow the Jeep to be fitted with solid Axels for hard core off roaders. I mean we change every thing any way, If the Brackets are there for the leafs still, we’ll be OK

  • DonBC

    I will continue to drive my 89 Comanche pickup until I die. After living in a cold climate area where I would have to replace split CV joint boots every spring I swore that I would never own an IFS 4 x 4 again. I wanted a small pickup and the Comanche was the only one available with a solid axle. It took me a while to find a good used Comanche and I love it. My wife cannot understand I keep fixing it and not buying a new truck.

  • The_Pilgrim

    Next thing you know, they’ll put rectangular headlights on it…

  • Jim from AZ

    I will never buy an IFS Wrangler

  • Blaidd Drwg

    Change can be a good thing. People scoff at ifs being incapable offroad, yet the Humvee has always been ifs and is more capable from the factory than any Jeep that rolls out of the factory. I love my YJ, and to the guy who said “if the brackets are there for the leafs”, FYI there haven’t been leafs on the Wrangler in almost 20 years. I think it’s a chance for the company to continue with a model that people will always love, as was the original Wrangler in 1987. People hated the idea of rectangular headlights, yet there are a great many of us YJ owners who love it and wouldn’t trade them for anything. Give it a chance guys, everything has to move forward to keep up with the times and Jeeps aren’t any different.

  • James C

    IFS is terrible offroad. They just don’t have the articulation offroad. So you could say IFS = goodbye rock crawling to a 2016+ Wrangler unless you do an solid axle conversion swap.

  • GTR

    Wait till they ask me to drop a few pounds that’s where I draw the line

  • Fred Johnson

    When they make those changes I suppose the price goes up another $2500. If you want a diesel, then it’s closer to $4000.

  • BW

    Totally wrong. In fact, you have no idea how wrong you are. IFS is not only weak compared to solid axles, but (and most importantly) when you “put a tire on it” (rock, whatever) ONLY the one tire raises, it does not raise the entire vehicle (articulation) to clear other underbody obstacles. Shear physics. Also, the H-1 was designed to “blow across” desert sands, NOT rock crawl. The H-1 is a HORRIBLE rock crawler, I know because I experienced it first hand. I will NOT “give it a chance” because even as capable as Jeep engineers are, they cannot defy physics.

  • Ken

    Well.. It kinda sucks if they do it. But probably 90+% of Wranglers never see anything but a dirt road. I don’t really see how changing it will get better mileage. Once your rolling on the highway it’s mostly aerodynamics that cost the fuel not the weight. The weight only really affects city mileage. It think they would do better to try and make it more aero and the diesel will help a bit in the city side. But they will need to be careful not to change the look too much.

  • MH-Sixty Pavehawk

    If they are going to give the Wrangler an independent suspension system then they need to make the Mighty-Mite street legal as well… Or am I misunderstanding this?

  • Rhodri

    Nobody Rock Crawls with a stock jeep anyway. Mod kits will be available within 6 months after they make the change.

  • Dunebasher

    There’s no need to “sell their souls”, because there are plenty of American 4x4s available in Europe, at low prices due to their below-average reliability and high fuel consumption. In Europe, Japanese and European SUVs are where it’s at – better build quality, better reliability, better gas mileage.

  • nzpete

    Ahhh! And why do they have “some” American 4×4′s available now? BECAUSE THEIR MARKET DEMANDED IT!
    They will still pay a premium for a Big 3 American 4×4 truck and even those that are available through their domestic market are expensive.
    So, again, sometimes reputations are a bit overstated….and sometimes reputations are misunderstood.

  • ThEEV

    Meh. Jeep makes its money off of Wranglers. They are cheap to manufacture and they charge a premium: $40k for a high end model frame on body, solid axles, all right angles on body stamps, etc. I think the diesel will be the test. I am predicting another 5 mpg, AT LEAST, bringing a stock JK into the mid 20s (I get 18 on a relatively stock JKU Rubicon with about 250 lbs of rock sliders and other skids). I will buy a diesel the moment it comes out! Awesome gas mileage and low end torque will be the best thing that happened to the JK since losing leaf springs IMHO. If everyone buys the diesel they will work harder to make solid axles a reality. Finally, someone already mentioned this, but the real sacrifice will have to be losing us driving a brick around. I think they will get very clever with aero to add another couple MPG and I’m confident that removing the aero for the wheelers will be bolt off – I replaced my front skidplate and gained 1 mpg average after *adding* about 30 lbs. Also, do we really need a flat, almost vertical windshield? No. It can be done differently, but it is like it is because of styling, not engineering or utility. How about replacing the hood or doors with aluminum? Or how about a more solid body and losing the roll cage for people who don’t seriously go offroad? The roll cage is there to ensure the ability to take the doors off and open up cabin to the air. Again, it would be easy to engineer a bolt off solution to that, or even reduce the scope of the cage, which adds a ton of weight. Finally, there is a massive aftermarket for Jeep and they have been making inroads into this highly profitable market segment. The ability to customize your JK is a huge part of the brand DNA and can be a huge profit center for Jeep. Because of this, engineering modularity into the new model will be an absolute requirement. Well, fingers crossed, anyway! :)

  • MailMom

    I’m with you

  • Billie Bob

    An independent suspension system would be used in place of the current coil-link suspension setup

    That would be a major change in the eyes of Jeep fans and loyalists who love the current suspension setup thanks to its easy to customize nature and durability

    ——————-
    Thats what happens to products when the hard core enthusiasts become a fringe buying group. The JKU with 4 doors brought Jeep to the masses…. and sales show hard core Jeepers are no longer important to Wrangler sales. So Jeep is responding to that new demographic of mall crawlers and making the Wrangler more urban friendly. Sure they say they will keep it rugged but that is just spin to keep the fringe quiet.

    2015 is looking like the last year of the “legendary” Jeep.

  • Chromey

    Why do all Old jeepers bitch when change comes. Some of the best handling vehicles have independent suspension.
    Keep driving your CJ5 and leave the new toys too the bigboys

  • 07,jk rub.

    might be a good thing. gives a good reason to switch to portal axles and no more controversy

  • Dan

    Who cares!?!?? Jeeps are WAYYYY overpriced as it is because they are for the “main-streamers” now anyway. I have owned my 90 YJ for almost 20 years and it is STILL going strong(knocks on wood). Now, it’s just the cool thing to own a jeep…

  • oknahs

    My Jeep Commander is the 65th edition model celebrating 65 years of Jeep history in 06.
    I installed a stainless steel mesh grill chrome hood protector dark tinted windows and mich. tires. The paint is the light khaki and I get some great comments when getting gas and at some cruises I at hit in the summer. I love my Commander. And no I don’t drive it off road.

  • Dan

    // See, this is exactly what I’m talking about… //

  • Danny

    Goodbye, Jeep as we know (knew) it. I’m so sick of this plastic computer with wheels with the Jeep logo on it trying to pass as a real Jeep. I think even Jeep knows that what it is doing isn’t good, otherwise why would they label these new Jeeps as the Just Kidding model?

  • urmomlikesit

    have you ever actually wheeled a jeep? oh wait. i already know the answer

  • urmomlikesit

    have you ever actually wheeled a jeep? oh wait. i already know the answer

  • Lush Rimbaugh

    I think 2006 was the last year of the “legendary” Jeep.

  • American

    for some reason they have been looking to bastardize the jeep brand for quite some time so its not too much of a suprise

  • Jerry Normandin

    I am so glad I bought my 2013 Wrangler. I am not going to trade it in ever. It will be my off-road vehicle for the rest of my life. I don’t have a lot of confidence in FIAT on keeping the Wrangler true to it’s roots. The plans to change the suspension, lighten the chassis, convert the tub to aluminum… all do not interest me at all. Where I go off road I need a chassis that’s strong enough to deal with the terrain I drive on. Do you know why the fenders are made of plastic ??? It’s basically off road training wheels.. when you go off road hard core it’s easy to get some trail rash. It only costs $145.00 to replace them all. Once your done learning you can get some sweet low profile fenders.

    An aluminum tub… sure it won’t rot, but if you hit the trails it’s not going to take a beating.

    Here is a message to FIAT. When you design the new Wrangler you better take it off road in Moab UT, Ouray CO, Rubicon Trail, CA, and where I go a lot… the fire roads along the White Mountains, NH. Also We don’t care about aerodynamics. I wish the windshield was flat like it used to be. Do you know why the windshield flaps down ? So someone can truly ride shotgun! It’s also great when you take the kids to a drive-in movie or watch the fireworks from the Wrangler. You can still take the window down in the current JK, but there’s over 20 screws and the interior A pillar cover must be removed.

    The only change I would truly like to see is a Cummins Diesel engine available. That would be cool. Even with the existing 4000lb weight the Wrangler could get 27mpg with a 2.9L Cummings Diesel Engine… maybe even better. No need to dumb down the Wrangler with an aluminum chassis , lighter chassis and suspension. If FIAT does that the Wrangler would no longer be a Wrangler that you can take rock climbing or any other serious trails.

  • Jerry Normandin

    Nahh.. the 2013 3.6L does get some decent torque to the wheels.
    I was a hardcore 4.0L fan too. My son’s 96 cherokee (his first vehicle) blew an engine at 325k miles. When I pulled the engine apart I noticed that the rod on cylinder 1 seized up. No sign that there was a need to replace the oil pump. One day on a trip up to NH the oil pressure dropped and by the time the vehicle was brought to the side of the road the damage was done… pop pop pop bang… done.

    My son drove my 2013 JK. His response was “it it feels like it’s powered by an 8 cylinder engine”. It’s not bad 285HP, 260LB of torque. Not bad at all. The hardest trails I’ve hit so far are the fire roads off the Kancamangus Highway in White Mountains, NH. So far no issues at all.
    I waited until the kinks were worked out the the Penstar. In 2012 the heads didn’t dissipate enough heat away.. so this lead to bearing failure.
    So far.. the engine runs fine… and does not overheat while mudding or climbing off-road.

  • Jerry Normandin

    H2 and H3 Hummers suck at off roading. Have you ever seen the video of a H2 attempting to do an easy rock crawl along a river bed ? They loose the front axle.

  • Jerry Normandin

    AMEN! I live in a cold climate too. New England gets cold. I used to own a Honda Element. A CV boot cracked when it was 2 years old. It wasn’t a true 4×4. It was really AWD. But I attempted to drive it as a 4×4.. which lead to a cracked windshield.

    That’s another issue.. if Jeep lightens the chassis.. anyone driving a wrangler of the new design risks cracking a windshield.

  • Jerry Normandin

    I’m jealous… I really like the old CJ series.

  • Jerry Normandin

    ahhh.. I owned a 2010 Wrangler.. it was always dependable NO issues. Now I own a 2013. No issues so far.

    And if a part ever fails I always go with overkill in the repair!

  • Jerry Normandin

    go ahead and go rock crawling with a 4×4 equipped with independent suspension. Don’t forget to fire up the gopro and post the video. It will be a good laugh.

    If you want something that won’t go off road.. then fine. Go with IDS.. but when you hit serious trails that are washed out and craters everywhere, you are going to want solid axle.

  • Jerry Normandin

    agreed

  • Jerry Normandin

    The 2.9L Diesel Wrangler has not made it to the US market yet.
    Rumor has it this summer we may start seeing them.

  • Jerry Normandin

    Dude,
    I’ve got room for a military collapsible shovel, roled up chain link fence (use as traction if I am in deep in sand or mud), tow rope and a cooler. I don’t have room to carry a battery array!

    A 2.9L Cummins Diesel Engine will get the job done and get awesome MPG when not off roading. As it is my 3.6L gets 20 mpg for the daily drive to work (18 miles round trip LOL) and 14mpg when I am off road on the trails. For 3:73 gearing that’s awesome! I’ve driven to Bar Harbor Maine from South Eastern MA and averaged 22mpg. That includes hitting the fire roads!

    What FIAT should do is leave the Wrangler alone, design a small 4×4 with high mpg

    and use that to reduce the fleet mpg to get around this stupid government mandated bull crap. Let the mall crawlers buy that. I prefer solid axles. I don’t want a hybrid Wrangler.

  • Jerry Normandin

    There’s some of that buy them because they are really only the real off road capable vehicle left. It’s my 4×4, fun in the snow, mud, and in the summer I take the doors and top off. You can’t do that with anything else now.

    I’m just lucky enough that a 2013 has a frame that is still easy to rebuild. Tub and chassis construction is easy to restore. You just need to be willing to do that off chassis restoration in 17 years.

  • Jerry Normandin

    The Jeep 4 Door is too long to go offroading. That’s why I prefer a 2 door. It’s easier to maneuver on the trails. So FIAT is going to destroy what a Wrangler is ? I hope not.

  • Dan

    Don’t get me wrong, I know there’s still people who buy a Jeep for what it actually does, but I think that is a VERY low percentage of buyers.

  • AR

    Sorry bub..the Jeep is NOT the only real off road capable vehicle. This is why Jeep morons get the bad name. At least they are not all like you. Narrow minded moron.

  • Scott

    I seriously hope they are joking. Independent suspension is a pile of ass offroad. First they release that sack of crap and put a Cherokee label on it, and now this?

    Fiat. Kiss my ass.

  • SCrunneron42′s

    So the Jeep guys will actually have to bust out an angle grinder and fire up the welder like us Toyota guys have been doing since 1986. Welcome to the club :) LOL

  • Scott

    Old jeepers bitch because we use our Jeeps offroad the reason they existed in the 1st place. New jeepers want handing so they can navigate parking lots easier.

    Tell you what. I will give you $20 if you can follow me for 1 trail in a modern independent suspension rig. (And not destroy your vehicle doing so)

    Independent suspension will NEVER work as well offroad as solid axles. Its physics not preference. A couple years back a few of the desert racers tried to bring their ifs trophy trucks into the rock crawling world. Go ask them how well that worked out for them.

  • Scott

    Fiat owns Jeep now. Hence all the stupid changes, and the terrible abomination that is the new Cherokee.

  • Blaidd Drwg

    I said Humvee, not those wannabes.

  • Blaidd Drwg

    Who said anything about rock crawling? You can’t go straight from showroom to rock crawling in a Jeep anyway, there are always modifications that need to be done. Put a lift on it to raise your ride height and you would clear most trail obstacles. If you want a crawler you best just modify it to straight axle or, here’s a thought, don’t buy one.

  • That’sMe

    Correct. Real offroad vehicles are built, not bought. Once you replace the weak D44′s in a Rubi (unless you like to run blue trails on 35′s) – you might as well of bought a Yota and swapped in Mogs/60′s or the like so at least every other mechanical part is reliable. LOL

  • Ken

    God Forbid they had of stuck the diesel into them that Europe and Australia has always had.

  • Jon Kelley

    I understand you on “road essentials” (you should see my kit – but I hadn’t thought of the chain link fence. Brilliant!)

    However, a proper Dieselelectric drivetrain would not require a bloody great “battery array,” and would be done with less weight and space than a conventional drivetrain. Even if you were to put Hotchkiss beams in place of the old SLA (to tie the wheels together, and simulate the action of the SLA drivetrain,) you would still realise a minimum 30% weight savings in drivetrain and in probably half the overall space.

    Wouldn’t you consider that an advantage?

  • Vlad

    Damn first the V6 then now no solid axles? Jeep is listening to all the soccer moms now for their offroad vehicles. I guess a shallow grave isnt deep enough, they’re going for the full 6 feet.

  • Vlad

    The Wrangler Rubicon is the best offroad vehicle that can be bought off the lot. period. no one comes close to matching the locked D44s and a 4:1 t-case from the factory.

  • Blaidd Drwg

    Jeeps don’t have provisions for leafs now anyway. Haven’t had for 20 years.

  • Aaron

    If I am not mistaken Humvee or H1 has a portal style hub. Hence a little more offroad capable. Still not as universally capable as properly setup solid axles. I agree if Fiat changes the axles the aftermarket will step in very rapidly! No true Jeeper will settle for IFS. Just sayin.

  • Blaidd Drwg

    I say a true Jeeper is anyone who actually goes out and uses their Jeep to its full capabilities. I do not think any true Jeeper would be caught in a Compass or Patriot, but we have no idea what axle these guys are planning so to completely write off independent suspension is crazy. I have seen some mean rock crawlers that had independent wheel travel that puts any articulation from a Jeep to shame.

  • stephen oehler

    Sorry Jeep i left you behind when you changed to the V6 so good luck with your no straight axle. :(

  • hamr25

    ask shannon cambell how he did at king of the hammers with his ifs rig. he’s won 3 times now. he’s still running an ifs car.

  • Jon Kelley

    I should think there’s not a lot of reason to crank up the price overmuch – except for corporate greed, bloody-mindedness, and cupidity.

    Upside? Perhaps you’d get a “HOV Lane Access” tag for the rear (although HOV lanes are a stupid idea in the first place…)

  • toyguy

    Im a toyota guy but it will be kinda sad to see the heaps go ifs. It would
    be a kick in the balls to finally get the diesel option only to have it
    in an ifs heap.Theres only one good thing about the whole ifs deal that
    will be an advantage and cure a serious problem with the solid axles in
    the previous models. You wont have to worry about your rear tires
    walking out on you when you break an axle and I wont have to carry
    around a 2×4 and ratchet straps so you can drive out of the trail…..
    lol.

    We just have to start harassing toyota and get em to bring the 70 series land cruiser to north america. It is without a doubt the only real, reliable, quality 4×4 left. Inline six turbo diesel, manual tranny, 9.5″ solid axles… What do we get? The freakinf fj looser…. I blame all of the jackasses who complain that their cup holders wont hold a liter of cola and that their trucks ride too much like trucks. Those are the assholes you see takin their kids to school and hanging out at the mall driving huge trucks and 4 door heaps. Its freaking sad, theyre screwing us and we just take it. Most of them dont even know the difference between a solid axle and ifs so it shouldnt matter one bit.

    All of the Jeep guys will just have to suck it up and start building something cool to wheel not just buying a new jeep and bolting a bunch of warn stuff to it. You guys have to try it, its fun. As a bonus you wont end up with a cookie cutter soccer mom lookin thing and you wont have to put up with passing 15 carbon copies on the way to work each day.

  • toyguy

    Just had to add another comment here. A lot of guys are saying that ifs is ok since that shannon dude won koh with it. Ever take a close look at his set up? Thats some space program shit goin on there. Having owned an ifs tacoma and having priced out long travel for the front I can say that setting up an ifs/irs truck/heap for long travel will cost two arms and two legs (roughly 6000$ for the front end of a 98-04 tacoma). You can lift the current jeep cheap just by adding some coil spacers, I personally know people that are wheeling 35′s with nothing more than an ome 2.5″ lift on their jk”s. Now go price out an lt set up and compare the price to the, what, 1300$ ome kit. Dont forget to include upgraded tie rods, cv’s, and things like that. Also, dont forget that increasing travel on an is rig requires you to either use longer upper/lower a arms or move the lower arm pivot point closer to the center of the vehicle resulting in either a wider heap or a crap load of fab work that the “warn bolt on crew” will never even dream of doing….

  • Indrid Cold

    If Wrangler ever employs independent suspension, I will never buy anything Jeep again. Independent suspension is far more expensive and flimsy than solid live axles. It is also far more expensive to lift, probably 4x more. I know that Shannon won the race with independent suspension but that was by no means a stock suspension. You will not get even close to what he had under his rig if Wrangler goes independent suspension. The more new vehicles Jeep puts out, the tighter I hold on to my aging TJ. I better snatch up a JK before the independent suspension Wranglers come out too. After the independent suspension Wrangler is produced, Jeep will be completely dead to me and I will never consider another Jeep again. I am just so glad I got my TJ. JK is my next and final Jeep. I have always planned on having two Jeeps. I better act now.

  • Indrid Cold

    Now, more than ever, a true Jeep is built not bought. Hold on to your TJ as tightly as you can. When you blow the engine at 400,000+ miles, rebuild it. When the transmission fails, call Atlas. When the body becomes horribly oxidized, call Quadratec for another body and panels. When the big checkout finally comes, pass the old Jeep forward and make the person getting it promise you never to part with it. Have them do the same and so forth.

  • Indrid Cold

    What a run though, 1940 to 2006! I count the Bantam BRC-40 also. I got my legend. I have a solar yellow 2001 Jeep Wrangler with the Dana 44 rear axle. I am keeping it forever! I would only trade it for a TJ Rubicon. However, my old TJ is on its way to becoming a Rubicon equivalent so there may be no need for the TJ Rubicon.

  • Indrid Cold

    Enjoy your mall-wagon.

  • ORJ

    Jeep has been going down the hole for a while now, this just adds to the reasons my jeep will be rebuilt time and time again until I can no longer do anything else with it. The V series motors are terrible for horsepower and torque. I will take the I6 all day any day. If you have ever built or pulled these newer jeeps apart they are TERRIBLE to do, and so many cheaper flimsy parts. I guess us guys/gals that actually go offroad will have to rebuild even more than before….or there is always building buggies :)

  • http://snarkypenguin.blogspot.com/ Badtux

    Uhm, I went straight from showroom to rock crawling in my 2012 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. Ran Nightmare Gulch and Last Chance Canyon with the Gear Grinders out of Ridgecrest, CA. An H1 wouldn’t have a chance. My Jeep had no problem except with one ledge where we had to stack rocks under the rear wheels to clear the rear control arm hangers. Stock Wrangler Rubicons are quite capable rock crawlers, adding more stuff (bigger tires, lift, etc.) just makes them more capable, it doesn’t make a rock crawler from a mall crawler.

  • F41L

    If they would just drop in something like a 4BT cummins (not the exact one becuase of emissions, but some sort of 4 cylinder diesel), the Wrangler could be seeing 27/33 mpg and all problems solved! Low End torque, good MPG, keep the axles and FINALLY give us a Diesel Motor!

  • heritage jeeper

    Just give us ONE YEAR with a diesel and solid axles! It’s almost a guarantee that once independent suspension goes into a Wrangler, Wranglers will go into a toilet. Consumers might as well get a Cherokee or Grand Cherokee at that point. Solid axles aren’t just easy to modify, they’re also FAR more durable when struck. I believe that the majority of rubicon enthusiasts would prefer a diesel with solid axles than a independent suspension Jeep with a gas option. It doesn’t make sense to buy anything with a gas engine anymore anyways; diesel may be slightly more expensive but the savings on mileage blows the extra price out of the water. Not to mention diesels last longer, they’re more durable, and they have much more torque than gas engines. Isn’t that what customers want in a jeep? I often question how they “test” new Jeeps, because it obviously doesn’t involve going over any obstacles higher than the vehicles clearance which we all know happens from time to time no matter how much lift we have. I don’t believe that Jeep engineers know what real off road trails are anymore; they probably used their vehicles to go to soccer practice and maybe drove through some mud or snow on occasion, which they work great for, but if thats all that Jeep customers wanted, THEN WE WOULDN’T HAVE BOUGHT JEEPS! Anyone who doesn’t need a Jeep for extreme off road conditions shouldn’t buy one, there are other companies that sell all wheel drive vehicles that do everything a soccer mom needs it to do. I don’t even know why Jeep makes vehicles that cater to those needs only.

  • heritage jeeper

    I have had a 99 cherokee for years and I loved it, my heart sank when they drug the cherokee name through dirt (probably not because new jeep owners couldn’t even find dirt) by introducing this new soccer mom car. It looks like a CRV.

  • JoeKlip

    I hope the next-gen Wrangler uses IFS because my current JK will instantly becomes a classic. This is what happened when you mix American meat and potato with spaghetti. It never turn out well.

  • Jamie

    Diesel yes, IFS, HELL NO!!!!

  • Eddie

    Dear Chrysler: As a loyal and big Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep etc, customer and fan, I totally agree with a Diesel option, an 8 or 9 speed would also be innovative, or simply more drivetrain options to help meet government requirements. HOWEVER, there’s a big NO NO to IFS, in fact I will never buy a Wrangler with independent suspension, it’s simply not durable or reliable, parts are expensive, they wear out quickly and it’s too fragile. Solid axles are one of the MAIN reasons people buy Wranglers in the first place. Who cares if its outdated, it’s unique, people want that and it is a lot better and durable, nowadays Wranglers have good sells, so no excuse. Now with the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee in production people have more options if they disagree with the setup. I literally beg Chrysler to Please NOT build Wranglers with independent suspensions. PLEASE!!
    Thank you. A loyal fan and customer.

  • dude

    If the wrangler ends up with IFS then I will never buy a new jeep and furthermore as a punitive measure I will never buy a Chrysler Ram or Fiat anything EVER. Also I shall actively encourage every one I run across to follow suit. Make it aluminum, make it diesel, keep it solid axle or RUE the day…..

  • Frag35

    In all honesty, I’d love for jeep to keep its solid axles. However I also believe “evolve or die trying” I’m actually looking forward to the ifs, as long as it keep or betters it’s off road capability. People threatening jeep by saying the will protest the purchase of any jeep, Chrysler, or ram product just cause of one particular product change. Needs to call their mothers and ask for a nice big warm glass of her breast milk, and call it a day. With the fuel prices going up and up, why not try to evolve. Hell I used to have a jeep yj years back, and people would say to me it wasn’t a real jeep only cause it had rectangular headlights… So really all this is no real surprise. But still people picked them up and loved them just the same. Sure the die hard, set-in-their-ways hard arses just bitched and complaned. Having said that. If they give up their off road capability just to gain a few Clicks per gallon. May the jeep wrangler rot in hell. I also believe it won’t be long before some aftermarket company makes a solid axle conversion kit or makes better than factory ifs parts. All in all I’d like to see what they actually come out with, solid axles or not. Before everybody starts shitting on jeep. After all these years don’t they deserve at least a chance to prove themselves? I guess not :/

  • Skip

    How about we start electing people that are going to get government out of it? Government has no place being involved with fuel efficiency, and most everything else having to do with auto production. CAFE standards are just a way for government to regulate who buys what. We wonder why vehicle and gas prices are so high, but no one seems to want to get government out of either so we can have the vehicles we want and be able to fill up the tank without having to spend a 3rd of a middle class paycheck a week on gas. No it’s not “greedy oil companies”…That is just the popular lie to keep you voting in people that want to run your life.