International demand has delayed the Australian launch of the all-new JL Wrangler back to Q1 2019, after initial expectations of a December 2018 debut.
Speaking with CarsGuide at the international launch of the new Wrangler in the USA this week, FCA Australia and Jeep Asia Pacific boss Steve Zanlunghi explained that the Wrangler's sales success in the USA has meant right-hand drive markets like Japan and Australia will have to wait longer than expected.
This means we'll be at least 12 months behind the US, and more than a year after the JL Wrangler made its public debut at the LA motor show last November.
It should be worth the wait though, with the first all-new model since 2007 promising more off-road ability, safety, fuel efficiency, power, tech, and refinement than ever, while also reducing weight.
The Wrangler is set to include AEB on all variants, which means a maximum five star ANCAP safety rating is a possibility.
All of these advancements have been made without compromising the Wrangler's core ruggedness, with a solid axle front end and fold-down windscreen remaining on the features list after 77 years of evolution since the first Willys Jeep.
Australian drivetrain details are yet to be finalised, but we expect to see a revised version of the existing 3.6-litre V6 petrol engine and a new 2.2-litre turbo-diesel to replace the existing 2.8-litre unit. US versions also feature a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four and a 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel.
We will continue to get both short-wheelbase two-door and long-wheelbase four-door Unlimited versions, with a variety of trim levels including the most off-road focused Rubicon at the top of the range.