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Jeep is walking a very fine line with the next-generation Wrangler. On one hand, they want to bring the model into the 21st century. But they also want to retain the details that make it an icon of the brand. CEO Mike Manley is well aware of this and has a clear mission statement: Don't screw it up. One of the key items that make the Wrangler so iconic is the shape. The boxy shape has mostly remained the same since the first Willys MB was sent off to war. Automotive News says new spy shots reveal the next-generation Wrangler featuring a more aerodynamic shape - the front grille and windshield feature a steeper rake. But as Manley tells AN, the boxiness will still be there. "You have to be very careful with the aero of Wrangler, because at the end of the day, it needs to be recognizable as a Wrangler. To some extent that restricts you on some of the aero that you can do. But with weight and a number of the changes that we've made, you're going to see that we've really pushed that vehicle forward in terms of its fuel economy," said Manley. That last sentence tells us Jeep has been working on a weight-loss program for the Wrangler. Automotive News says the next-generation model will feature a new frame that will not only be stronger, but lighter. Various body panels will be made out of aluminum to cut weight even further. There will be new engines, including a new turbo-four capable of producing 300 horsepower and a new eight-speed automatic. What won't be changing is the Wrangler's body-on-frame construction and solid axles. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
William Maley posted an article in JeepThe Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Trackhawk has been one of the worst-kept secrets in the automotive industry in a few years. As we learned back in January, Jeep CEO Mike Manley confirmed the existence of it in a video interview (which we have below). Manley has confirmed the Trackhawk again in an interview with Australian outlet, Wheels. “We talked about launching a higher performance vehicle which we’ll do next year which will feature the Hellcat engine,” said Manley at the New York Auto Sales. Manley wouldn't say whether or not if the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk would have the full 707 horsepower of the Hellcat V8. As we reported in the rumorpile last year, engineers were having issues with the driveline not being able to handle the Hellcat's torque. There was talk of dropping the all-wheel drive system or using a detuned version of the Hellcat. Source: Wheels