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LA show: Jeep Wrangler to lose V6 diesel for Oz

Old power: It may be a new-generation model, but the Australian-spec Wrangler will have to make do with a modified version of the existing Pentastar V6 used in the current version.

Jeep drops manual and V6 diesel from new-generation Wrangler

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Jeep logo30 Nov 2017

By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS in Los Angeles

JEEP will release its completely redesigned, lighter and quieter Wrangler in Australia late next year without the new V6 turbo-diesel or manual gearbox option, as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Australia strives to streamline its popular American-built four-wheel-drive range.

Speaking to GoAuto at this year’s Los Angeles motor show, FCA Asia Pacific head of PR and corporate communications, Lucy McLellan, revealed the decision, but she did not provide further details on model specifications prior to its fourth-quarter 2018 Australian launch.

“All I can confirm is that we’re not getting the 3.0-litre diesel because it’s North America only, and the other thing is that we’re not getting a manual transmission as that’s also North America only,” she said. “We’ll be getting the new eight-speed autos instead.”

Dubbed EcoDiesel, this third-generation V6 diesel unit related to the engine powering other Jeeps such as the Grand Cherokee was co-developed with VM Motori, which is owned by FCA, to specifically meet US emissions regulations in the wake of the Volkswagen diesel emissions crisis. It delivers 194kW of power and 599Nm of torque.

Ms McLellan also declined to talk about the new 200kW/400Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine variant slated for the North American market, so it is likely that, initially, Australian buyers of the JL-series Wrangler will not see that fresh powertrain option either.

This leaves a modified version of the 3.6-litre Pentastar petrol V6, which in North American guise produces 209kW at 6400rpm and 353Nm at 4800rpm, as the local Wrangler mainstay – as well as a 2.2-litre four-pot turbo-diesel of as-yet unknown outputs.

This is said to be an all-new powertrain that may also appear in a range of other FCA models in time.

Later on a petrol-electric hybrid version will be launched in North America, but there are no other details about this powertrain.

Along with the two- and four-door wagon bodies as per the outgoing range launched more than a decade ago, the new-generation Wrangler will also gain the long-rumoured utility version. That is expected to be announced later next year as a mid-2019 arrival in Australia.

While FCA is referring to the 2018 Wrangler as the fourth generation, it is actually the sixth if you count the 1941 World War II-era Willys and its Civilian Jeep (CJ) replacement from 1944 to 1986.

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