Is This a 2018 Jeep Wrangler Prototype? Spy Shots Reveal Front Axle and Chassis [Spied]

2018 jeep wrangler prototype
2018 Jeep Wrangler prototype front axle (by Kraig S.)

The next generation Jeep Wrangler is getting ever closer to its official debut and production. The company needs to do more real-world testing, and we’re getting to see more prototypes testing in public. These latest shots come to us from TFL viewer and reader, Kraig S. This prototype appears to be exactly like a current generation (JK) Wrangler Unlimited Sahara. The body and the interior are nothing new. However, the prototype is wearing manufacturer license plates, an obscured front grille, and lots of computers and testing equipment on the inside. So what’s the big whoop? Let’s take a look underneath.

This vehicle has a frame and solid axles front and rear. The design and the geometry of the front axle appear the same as the current JK, but there are differences with the underside of the engine, transmission, and exhaust system.

2018 prototype (by Kraig S.)

Things get more interesting when you get to the back. Take a look at the 12-bolt rear differential housing.

2018 prototype - rear axle (by Kraig S.)
2018 prototype – rear axle (by Kraig S.)

Considering that this prototype has an obscured front grille and testing equipment, it may very well be testing a new engine/transmission combination for the upcoming Wrangler. Getting better efficiency on the Wrangler is the name of the game. It could be an updated 3.6-liter V6 Pentastar mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. There are also rumors of a 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder (codename: Hurricane) that could produce as much as 300 horsepower. The next Wrangler may also offer a turbo-diesel version. The 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 is a likely choice.

We will continue to search for more prototypes and bring you additional details about the upcoming 2018 Wrangler.

Here are the axle and chassis images underneath a 2016 Wrangler Sport.

We cannot wait for the next generation Jeep Wrangler. In the meantime, check out this prototype spied and our Top 10 predictions for what the vehicle has in store.