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Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Preview

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Preview
Sagar Bhanushali Sagar Bhanushali Friday 05 February 2016, 17:49 PM

Following a couple of major delays and a few hitches, Jeep finally stepped onto the Indian shores at the 2016 edition of the Auto Expo. And the brand did it in style by showcasing three of its most popular models and promising customer deliveries by second half of 2016. While both the Grand Cherokee and the Grand Cherokee SRT are more road biased and supremely luxurious, it’s the Wrangler Unlimited that harks back to traditional Jeep pedigree of hard-core off-road potential.

Introduced in 1986, the Wrangler is currently in its fourth iteration as the Wrangler Unlimited. It’s the spiritual successor to the iconic Willys Jeep which, as we know, has led to the rise of several Mahindra off-roaders in the past. This means that the Wrangler bears a familiar yet far more muscular appearance. Interestingly, removable top and doors help turn this machine into the only open-air off-road vehicle in the market.

Inside, the Wrangler Unlimited has washable interiors to keep the mud and dirt at bay. The steering wheel is leather-wrapped with controls for touch-screen entertainment and navigation system. The Wrangler Unlimited is fitted with an Alpine premium audio system and comes with the Command-Trac shift-on-the-fly all-wheel drive system.

Under the high-riding bonnet sits a 2.8-litre turbo diesel in-line four-cylinder engine powering the wheels through a 5-speed automatic transmission. It’s capable of tackling the rough off-road terrain with Jeep’s capable all-wheel drive system. Besides this, Jeep is also offering Hill Start Assist (HAS) and Electronic Roll Mitigation (ERM) system to ensure that the drivers stay on the road. Helping matters further off-road, especially at slow speeds, is a lower crawl ratio. The Wrangler Unlimited will be ‘Trail-rated’. The Trail Rated badge on Jeeps represents a series of tests that prove its off-road capability on some of the toughest trails on the planet.

The Wrangler Unlimited will be sold starting mid-2016, along with the Grand Cherokee and the high-performance SRT version with a monstrous V8 engine and a quick-shifting 8-speed gearbox under the hood. Now Jeep has announced their plans to invest approximately $280 million in Fiat-Tata’s Ranjangaon manufacturing facility in Pune, Maharashtra. The investments made will support the production of a new Jeep vehicle which is expected to roll off the production line in 2017. Coming back to the Wrangler Unlimited, this tough looking model will be projected as a niche product in the Indian market which means it will be sold at a premium and price-wise, will be competing with a bunch of road-focussed SUVs and crossovers from Europe.

 

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