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First Look: 2007 Jeep Wrangler JK

The all-new Wrangler wants to be the biggest thing on the trail

Mark Williams
Jul 24, 2006
Photographers: The Manufacturer
Looking to remain champ of the Rubicon Trail, this all-new Wrangler, designated the JK, picks up a more refined interior and better handling characteristics on--of all things--pavement. "More" is Jeep's guiding principle here: more off-road capability, more on-road refinement, more room inside, more power, more safety, and more convenience. Until we get one in our hands, all we can do now is show you what's changed and why.
The chassis has a two-inch-longer wheelbase, a 3.5-inch-wider track, and a frame that's exactly 100 percent stiff. As a result, the springs and shocks can be tuned more effectively for a better on-road experience.
Bigger wheels and tires, new electronic axle lockers, an electronic disconnecting front anti-roll bar (think Power Wagon), and beefed-up transfer cases make the JK even more trail capable than before.
The longer wheelbase and wider track translate into more space for passengers and gear.
Narrowing nose, sloping windshield, and raked grille help the new Wrangler cut a smaller hole in the wind, thus improving stability and fuel economy.
Jeep will offer several different door and roof configurations, which themselves will be reconfigurable. A new three-piece Sunrider softtop can work with the factory hardtop or can be a stand-alone choice.
The rear seat has a fold-and-tumble feature that allows access to a lockable under-floor storage area where small items can be hidden. With the rear seats tumbled forward, there's almost 30 cubic feet of useable storage behind the front seats.
The all-new 3.8-liter OHV V-6 is stronger, lighter, and more fuel efficient than the 4.0-liter I-6 engine it replaces. The new V-6 offers 205 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque and is estimated to get 17 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway.
The seven-slotted grille will forever be part of the Jeep face, as will the round headlights. More serious option packages include integrated foglights and protective skidplates.
Stability control (ESP) and roll-mitigation software were integrated to limit the possibility of rollover. Dual-stage front and side-mounted airbags are designed to help if a rollover occurs.
The windshield will still fold flat to the hood by removing a few screws and latches.
Photo 2/2   |   2007 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited side View
The Next Wrangler Unlimited?
by Mark Williams
photo by Brenda Priddy

Last year, Jeep showed the Gladiator pickup concept, though the company still hasn't made a final decision on whether it'll go into production. We hope it gets the green light. In the meantime, there could be bigger plans for a four-door Wrangler. Shown here during cold-weather testing, the longer wheelbase (we're guessing nearly a two-foot stretch from the JK's) will no doubt please fans of the old Cherokee, but it seems it wouldn't take too much work to the frame to get a pickup bed on that chassis. Maybe a few Rubicon Dana 44 axles and a 4.7-liter V-8? We'll keep you posted.
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