There’s some hubbub that near the end of 2016 the world will see Fiat Chrysler’s Italian influence on the Jeep Wrangler. After all, the current JK platform, dates back to 2006, when German Daimler-Benz had a hand in Jeep.
Expected exterior styling changes are likely to be evolutionary, dual solid axles will soldier on, and production will remain in Toledo, Ohio.
For the Swansong of the JK rendition, Jeep is offering “Special Editions” of Wrangler with names like “Black Bear“, Rubicon “Hard Rock“, “Freedom“, and “Willys Wheeler“.
Back in 2012, when the JK Wrangler was stuffed with the new 280 hp Pentastar DOHC V-6 powertrain, “Drive…He Said” bounced over corn stalks in the fear-no-boulder Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon .
Recently “Drive…He Said” took another ride up to visit our friends at Halter Wildlife Hunt Preserve in Pleasant Prarie, Wisconsin . Turns out even the “Snazziest” of “Trail Rated” Wranglers, the 2015 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Altitude can traverse trail ruts and ford filled gulleys with authority.
The mid-size 2+3 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Altitude doesn’t pretend to decadence in the Range Rover vein. But leather seating heated in front, a 9-speaker 500 Watt Alpine sound system, shiny gloss black wheels bumpers and brush guards, more sound deadening, quieter tread, highway sanity saving Bridgestone Dueler A/T RH-S tires, and greater paved trail compliance lends civility to the capable civilian “Trail Rated Ute.”
BTW: Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Altitude becomes the largest convertible sold in the U.S.. A fact not even the extinct Nissan Murano cabrio could change.
FYI: Using the provided Torx hex driver set, 2 people should be able to remove all doors & tops in 30 minutes. Pressed for time? One person can remove the twin front Freedom roof panels in about 7 minutes.
The “Snazziest of Jeep Wranglers” ain’t cheap basing at $36,395. Our 2015 Wrangler Unlimited Altitude topped out at $41,715. Yet somehow it doesn’t seem right to drive around in a Range Rover with dried mud clinging on the undersides and in the wheel arches.
**** Special Thanks to John Burke for the hospitality at Halter Wildlife Hunt Preserve in Pleasant Prarie, Wisconsin . ****
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