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First look: Jeep uncovers 2011 Wrangler

Premium feel: Jeep's facelifted Wrangler - complete with a new interior to lift ambience - is set to arrive in Australia next year.

New interior emerges as the biggest change for Jeep’s facelifted Wrangler

23 Aug 2010

JEEP has revealed first images of its facelifted Wrangler, which entered production at Chrysler’s Toledo Assembly Complex in Ohio last week.

Biggest change is a new interior for the upgraded 2011 Wrangler, which has been confirmed for release in Australia early next year.

Chrysler Australia’s senior manager of marketing and corporate communications, Dean Bonthorne, said that as one of the leading markets for Wrangler globally, Australia would get the new Wrangler in both two-door and Unlimited four-door guises.

“Pricing and exact availability will be advised closer to the new model’s launch in the first quarter of 2011,” he said.

Selected versions of both the 2011 two-door and four-door models will introduce a new body-coloured removable hard-top, which like the more upmarket interior is designed to give Jeep’s iconic off-roader a more ‘premium’ look and feel.

Highlights of the facelifted Wrangler’s new cabin are “significantly upgraded” touch surfaces, a redesigned instrument panel and centre stack, new storage areas and the addition of larger rear windows and heated/power mirrors.

9 center imageNew steering wheel controls are designed to allow drivers to operate the radio, cruise control, hands-free phone and other vehicle functions without removing their hands from the tiller, while a new USB interface connects to storage devices including thumb drives and most MP3 players for use with the vehicle’s Media Center, which now includes streaming Bluetooth audio.

The larger rear windows aim to improve visibility, while the new centre stack is said to be easier to reach and operate than before. New electric mirrors, upgraded door armrests and new lockable console also help improve driver comfort and passenger amenity.

In addition to extra 12-volt accessory power outlets, North American 2011 Wranglers will also come with the option of a new 110-volt outlet that provides power similar to AC outlets in (US) homes.

Rounding out the 2011 Wrangler interior – which continues to feature hex-head bolts throughout but is claimed to be significantly quieter after acoustic work for the upgraded model – is a new “Jeep, Since 1941” inlay for the new passenger grab-handle.

A range of new exterior paint colours – including Detonator Yellow, Deep Cherry Red, Sahara Tan, Cosmos Blue and Bright White – will complement the new body-colour hard-top.

CEO of Chrysler Group’s Jeep brand, Mike Manley, said the iconic Jeep Wrangler kept getting better.

“While retaining unmatched, legendary capability, the 2011 Jeep Wrangler boasts an all-new interior that delivers a host of comfort, convenience and versatility features,” he said.

“In addition, Sahara models now feature a stunning, all-new body-colour hard-top for customers looking for a Jeep Wrangler with a more premium appearance.” No mechanical changes are made to the 2011 Wrangler, which should bring the last change to the current JK-series Wrangler – released globally in 2007 – before it is replaced with an all-new model by 2013.

Jeep sales in Australia are up by more than half this year, thanks largely to the current Wrangler’s stellar success in 2010. Chrysler Australia has sold more than 1600 examples of the Wrangler here this year (up a massive 82 per cent on 2009 figures), easily making it the North American car-maker’s single best-selling model in Australia.

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