Chrysler Jeep unveiled the first-ever four-door Wrangler at the New York International Auto Show last week.
Featuring a one-of-a-kind, four-door open-air design, the Wrangler Unlimited expands the most utilitarian range in the Jeep pantheon.
The Unlimited has room for five adult passengers – a Wrangler first – the most cargo space ever offered in a Wrangler and combines proven off-road capability with everyday practicality.
Jeep says the 2007 Wrangler Unlimited grows to mid-size SUV proportions, and offers more comfort and space, more versatility, more open-air options, more off-road capability, and greater on-road refinement, convenience and Jeep's global brand marketing boss, George Murphy, says the Wrangler Unlimited has the potential to take Jeep's core values of freedom, adventure, mastery and authenticity to a broader range of customers - people who always wanted a Wrangler, but also needed more space and versatility.
The Unlimited has a 2946mm wheelbase, achieved by adding 523mm to the standard all-new 2007 Wrangler’s 2423mm. The additional length allows for a larger rear seat that can carry three passengers, and provide more hip, leg and shoulder room. In addition, Wrangler Unlimited offers a large rear cargo space.
The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited uses the same five-link solid-axle suspension configuration as the standard 2007 Jeep Wrangler.
It also retains the Wrangler’s removable full-framed or half doors, exposed hinges, fold-down windscreen and removable and convertible tops.
Jeep's body-on-frame product team boss Mike Donoughe says that whether it’s used as "a daily driver or for extreme rock crawling, (the) Jeep Wrangler Unlimited has the ability to turn mountains into molehills, while comfortably carrying passengers and gear.”
Its four doors are front-hinged, with inside and outside handles, and windows that travel all the way down. Rear doors feature exposed forged hinges, open a full 90 degrees, and provide a 673mm-wide opening.
Rear seats split 60/40, and easily fold flat, creating 2.35 cubic metres of total storage volume. A new lockable underfloor storage area secures personal items out of sight.
Identical to the standard all-new 2007 Jeep Wrangler, the Unlimited has an all-new instrument panel, centre stack and high-backed front bucket seats.
An all-new, three-piece modular hardtop – Jeep’s Freedom Top – features three removable panels for a variety of open-air driving configurations. The left and right-front passenger panels can be stored inside the vehicle, while the rear section can remain in place or be removed separately.
A standard Sunrider softtop includes a sun roof feature as well as the full top-down option. The softtop provides a second open-air option by folding back completely over the first and second-row occupants, creating a large sunroof opening.
Jeep says that even with the additional 523mm wheelbase length, the Unlimited offers leading edge off-road ability.
Good ground clearance combined with short front and rear overhangs enable it to navigate the most rigorous off-road trails.
It has an approach angle of 44.4 degrees, breakover angle of 20.8 degrees, and a 40.5 degree departure angle.
It also has an electronic-disconnecting front stabiliser bar – Active Sway Bar System (ASBS) – delivering a 28 percent increase in wheel travel.
Donoughe says the Unlimited has beefy axles and heavy-duty transfer cases with low gear ratios and locking differentials.
On its underbody are three skid plates, protecting the fuel tank, transfer case and automatic transmission oil pan.
Jeep says the 2946 mm wheelbase, all-new 100 percent stiffer frame, 50 percent stiffer body and five-link coil suspension improve on-road behaviour.
New steering and suspension geometry provide better ride and handling characteristics, and new sound-deadening techniques reduce cabin noise by more than 20 percent.
Ride balance achieves minimal body lean when cornering and braking, thanks to the five-link coil suspension’s new upper and lower control arms and full-width forged-steel track bars. Lower suspension spring rates provide a softer, more comfortable on-road ride.
The Wrangler Unlimited’s new recirculating-ball steering configuration features a robust cross-car steering linkage system, providing the stiffest possible steering linkage in a solid-axle vehicle. A decreased scrub radius significantly reduces steering wheel inputs, such as bump steer from uneven road surfaces.
Standard on the all-new 2007 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is an Electronic Stability Program (ESP), which helps maintain vehicle directional stability in severe driving manoeuvres on any type of surface. ESP features three modes – “full on”, “full off” and “partial on”.
The Unlimited gets a 3.8-litre overhead valve V6 engine developing 153kW. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, with a four-speed automatic optional.
Stabdard safety gear includes a mnulti-stage airbag system, Anti-lock-braking System, Brake Assist, Electronic Roll Mitigation, Electronic Stability Program (ESP) and seat-mounted side airbags.
Will it come here? Watch this space.