Jeep unveiled a diesel version of its four-door Wrangler SUV at the Texas State Fair, promising impressive fuel economy numbers.
“The Jeep Wrangler EcoDiesel is going to deliver the best fuel efficiency and also the best driving range on one tank of fuel of any Jeep Wrangler ever. Period,” said Brandon Girmus, Jeep’s brand manager.
The so-called EcoDiesel powertrain option will be available in all trims of the four-door Wrangler, from Sport to Rubicon, but not on the two-door version.
That’s because Jeep wanted to put the diesel engine in its best-selling version. The four-door model accounts for about 80 percent of Wrangler sales. Moreover, Jeep engineers needed space for the diesel fuel tank and other components required for the powertrain. The four-door architecture worked best, they said.
The EcoDiesel model will use an 18.3-gallon fuel tank alongside a diesel exhaust fluid tank. Diesel vehicles use the fluid for the selective catalytic reduction emissions-reducing system.
A gas-powered four-door Wrangler has a 21.5-gallon tank. But the tank in the two-door model holds only 17.5 gallons. A Jeep spokesperson told Trucks.com that adding the diesel engine and DEF tank to the two-door model would have required a fuel tank that was too small for customer needs.
Jeep owner Fiat Chrysler Automobiles used the 3-liter turbocharged EcoDiesel engine in the Ram 1500 truck.
The diesel powerplant is the third-generation version. The engine will produce 260 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque in the Wrangler. Due to changes in the front end set to give the Wrangler off-road and fording capability, that’s less than the 480 pound-feet of torque in the pickup truck.
The diesel Wrangler comes standard with an engine stop-start to save fuel. It also uses a new eight-speed automatic transmission designed to handle increased torque output.
‘A LOT GOING ON’
“There’s a lot going on in this thing to handle all that torque,” Girmus said. “When you put this thing into four-low and first gear, it’s going to just go. It’s going to be awesome for rock crawling and out on the trail.”
Exact fuel economy numbers and pricing for the EcoDiesel Wrangler were not yet available. They will come out before the vehicle goes on sale by the end of the year.
At the fair, Jeep also displayed a new Wrangler trim level: the Wrangler Willys. Named after the company that built the original Jeep, the brand has offered Willys trim packages previously. But this is the first time Jeep is offering the Willys package on the current Wrangler JL, which was introduced in 2018. Girmus said it was a popular option on the Wrangler JK, and Jeep enthusiasts have been waiting for it to appear on the JL.
The Willys package adds standard heavy-duty brakes and rock rails as well as a limited-slip rear differential. The shocks are the same as on the Wrangler Rubicon. The Wrangler Willys will be instantly noticeable thanks to an all-gloss black front grille and black wheels wrapped in 32-inch Firestone mud terrain tires. There are also Willys decals on the side of the hood and a “heritage-inspired” 4-wheel drive decal on the back. The package also includes LED headlights and fog lights and all-weather slush mats.
“This bad boy is pretty much going to be unstoppable on most of the off-road trails in America,” Girmus said.