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Jeep Wrangler 2018 revealed ahead of Los Angeles show

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The new Wrangler exterior features the model's renowned keystone-shaped grille, round headlights and square tail-lights.
The new Wrangler exterior features the model's renowned keystone-shaped grille, round headlights and square tail-lights.

Jeep has revealed the next Wrangler ahead of its public debut at the Los Angeles motor show on November 29, with the rugged off-roader adopting an evolutionary but modern approach for its fourth generation.

The US carmaker is holding back full details for now but promises ''even more legendary Jeep 4x4 capability "with" a modern design that stays true to the original''.

A quick glance at the new Wrangler's exterior shows that the classic keystone-shaped grille, round headlights and square tail-lights are present once more, with the latter two now featuring LED technology.

Revealed in three-door Rubicon and five-door Unlimited Sahara guises, the Wrangler will offer more open-air options than before, including the fold-down windshield seen on the Rubicon model, as well as the removable roof and doors.

Aerodynamics have been improved overall thanks to its less-boxy shape, while dozens of windshield, roof and door combinations are in the pipeline.

According to Jeep, the JL-series Wrangler will come ''loaded with more safety features and advanced technology than ever before'', paving the way for likely driver assist systems including auto emergency braking and adaptive cruise control among others.

Meanwhile, ''advanced fuel-efficient powertrains'' are on the cards, with American reports saying the 2.0-litre 'Hurricane' turbocharged four-cylinder and 3.6-litre 'Pentastar' atmo V6 petrol engines from the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) family will be available.

A 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 is also expected eventually, replacing the 2.8-litre unit employed by the current model.

Manual gearbox and automatic transmission options are highly likely.

As previously reported, Jeep executives confirmed the Wrangler will retain its ladder-frame chassis but with the addition of high-strength steel and aluminium to reduce weight and improve efficiency.

Interior changes are likely to be headlined by the addition of FCA's 'Uconnect' multimedia system, likely projected onto an 8.4-inch touchscreen.

FCA Australia expects the latest Wrangler to arrive Down Under around the end of 2018, with FCA Asia Pacific head of PR and corporate communications Lucy McLellan adding: “We’re really excited about the re-launch of our icon.”

It will also form the basis for the Scrambler, a long-wheelbase dual-cab pick-up that has been spied testing in the US recently, providing greater load carrying capacity than the standard Wrangler.

The existing JK-series Wrangler has been on sale since 2007, with 798 units sold to the end of September this year, representing a 17.9 per cent decrease over the 972 sales it achieved during the same period in 2016.

Has Jeep done a good job of balancing the new Wrangler's classic with modern elements? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

Justin Hilliard
Head of Editorial
Justin’s dad chose to miss his birth because he wanted to watch Peter Brock hopefully win Bathurst, so it figures Justin grew up to have a car obsession, too – and don’t worry, his dad did turn up in time after some stern words from his mum. That said, despite loving cars and writing, Justin chose to pursue career paths that didn’t lend themselves to automotive journalism, before eventually ending up working as a computer technician. But that car itch just couldn’t be scratched by his chipped Volkswagen Golf R (Mk7), so he finally decided to give into the inevitable and study a Master of Journalism at the same time. And even with the long odds, Justin was lucky enough to land a full-time job as a motoring journalist soon after graduating and the rest, as they say, is history. These days, Justin happily finds himself working at CarsGuide during the biggest period of change yet for the automotive industry, which is perhaps the most exciting part of all. In case you’re wondering, Justin begrudgingly sold the Golf R (sans chip) and still has plans to buy his dream car, an E46 BMW M3 coupe (manual, of course), but he is in desperate need of a second car space – or maybe a third.
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