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Test Drive: Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Edition 75th Anniversary

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Test drive-Jeep is celebrating, celebrating 75 years since the birth of Willys, with special editions of its entire line. However, if Jeep is involved, we know that there is only one that represents better than anyone this long tradition in off-roaders, the Wrangler.

75 years ago , let’s say 1941, was born the Willys Jeep, which at that time was not a Jeep as such. And its origin was related to Ford. Its versatility. And agility made it a gift of the military in the United States during the Second World War, until the model derived in a more civilian format.

From then on the CJ evolved into the Wrangler, a model that carries the full heritage of the original Willys, both in design and in mechanical skills. Of course, it has had to adapt to the new times. But in spirit it is still the true all-rounder. Even more so with the death of the Land Rover Defender and with the current positioning of the Mercedes G-Class.

To celebrate this important milestone, Jeep has released special versions of all its current models. In the case of the Wrangler. The platform is based on the Unlimited Sahara 5-door and with special commemorative equipment, at a price of $ 28,990,000 .

Technical and mechanical characteristics

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The changes in the Wrangler of the 75 Years are mostly aesthetic. But they look pretty good. They have to do with commemorative badges, a bonnet with vents, specific tires of 17 ” and inserts  in bronze color for the exterior. And the addition of a new color, Sarge Green, as tribute to the past glories of Willys. Rubicon’s lateral rock fenders and a set of Goodyear Wrangler tires with Silent Armor technology are also added. Which includes an additional layer of Kevlar in the compound of the tire, a polymer that as we know is highly resistant and also absorbs part of the noise in the highway.

Its dimensions are quite close to what can be an average SUV, with 4.7 meters in length and a battle of 2.9 meters. Although its overall distance is a little shorter, it compensates with a wider distance between tracks. Benefit achieved by its axes positioned at the ends of the chassis, which also gives the best angles of attack (42 °). And output (33 °) for a vehicle of this profile and a wading margin of 76 cm, unbeatable when facing nature.  Its load capacity is over 360 liters, enough and expandable when folding the rear seats.

The Wrangler is powered by a V6 3.6 Pentastar VVT 24v engine. Which delivers 284 Hp at 6350 RPM and 347 Nm of torque at 4300 RPM, associated with a 5-speed automatic transmission and a 4WD Command Trac locking system mechanical, Dana 30 front axle and Dana 44 rear axle extracted from the Rubicon, for a more robust traction delivery.

Test drive habitability and comfort

For those who have never climbed a Wrangler. They will have a very particular driving experience, basically due to the deformation we have when driving modern cars, with ergonomics, design. And materials designed for comfort and simplicity of use. The Wrangler throws everything out the window and sticks to its traditional past. Right angles, high driving position, large steering wheel, the short console and above, move away completely from comfort. Hard plastics, large buttons and commands arranged in unusual positions will not be to the liking of many. Although we repeat, is a Wrangler, military heritage and designed for off road.

For example, the doors are tied with braces, so that they do not open by 180 °. These doors can be taken out. The buttons of the electric glasses are at the center of the console, in a part where the water does not reach them, like the speakers, placed on the top of the console or above, in the cage. The roof is designed to be removed. Information screens? A very small one under the tachometer and that seems taken from a calculator. Visibility? Complicated Plastic? The hardest

The seats now feature leather upholstery with 75-year-old emblems. As well as other mesh-type fabric inserts, orange / pearl stitching and other minor inserts in bronze. The front seats are relatively soft. But do not have much lateral support. Heating is provided for both front seats, something that is appreciated with the cold. The rears, by their nature off road, which are easy to fold. Or take out are almost auxiliary. Although they offer excellent habitability for any type of adult, they are frankly uncomfortable after a while.

Another technological benefit to comfort is its 6.5-inch touchscreen audio system, Uconnect program for Bluetooth and hands-free. USB ports and a powerful Alpine audio system with 9 speakers and a waterproof subwoofer in the boot, which does not occupy useful space. Of course, the multimedia system has a very unintuitive and ugly design interface.

Driving impression

Here it happens the same as in the interior. That is, we know what we are going for. Suspension of floating touch, assisted steering that offers no connection with the front wheels, little stability in curves, braking with pitch. It’s an old-fashioned all-rounder and these are the classic flaws of one as such. Can you live with them? Of course. They are not insufferable, but do not expect the refinement of a crossover.

On the powertrain, we will say the same. It is designed to reconcile the fact that it is an all-rounder. But that it has to live in the city. For this reason, thanks to the advances in the automatic gearbox and the valve lift of the Pentastar. Now you do not spend so much on the road. Although in city, the thing changes remarkably. With consumptions of 6 to 8 kilometers per liter of constant way, a brutality for these times.

It accelerates little in daily use, but if you step on it, it responds with all the strength of its V6, although it takes a while to react. The reserves of torque and power are used more in the off road. The manual mode of the automatic transmission is strange, because the lever raises. Or lowers the changes when moving the lever from left to right, very unnatural. Needless to say, the manual mode is only to block any change in a driving situation, as it is stubborn in its urban use.

At the wheel, the driving sensation empowers you, being a high vehicle. It is very easy to test drive. And pleasant in town. The psychological factor also plays a lot, the fact of knowing that you walk in an iconic. Highly recognizable model and for which you are always going to look, feels very good.

On the traction system, this being mechanical. The rear-wheel test drive mode will always be better, until we face snow or mud. There the central differential locks and with mode 4H, the Wrangler will open step without any problem of grip. And when circumstances demand it. The 4L mode blocks all the differentials so you can climb the odd embankment or stones, with constant force. It simply humiliates many more modern models with the potential it offers.

Conclusion

Test drive- The Jeep Wrangler is a car icon in automotive history, a very special one for keeping practically intact the sensations and the usability of the original CJ ​​or the Willys. Thought for the adventure. You can take out its roof or its doors, take it to the beach, to the countryside, to the snow and it will never leave you bounced. For lovers of the outdoors, all its apparent defects are privileges and luxuries in times like these. Where the SUVs are really dying, by improving the roads. The accesses and where consumption is a main reason for purchase.

However, this comes with a cost: the only jungle where the Wrangler is not king, is in the concrete, being a car squeezer and little ergonomic. As well as expensive, for the specific amenities it offers in terms of comfort. Its durability. Its unique skills and that classic style, have their reasons for being and finally give it personality, something that we hope never to lose, being ad-portas of a new version for 2019. It is a fascinating car and that we have to respect, After all, if the original formula turns 75, it must be for something.

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