Clues on the Jeep Wrangler redesign

jeep wrangler concept car

Jeep has begun searching for the extra bodies to mount its next big project: the redesign of the Jeep Wrangler. And the job opening descriptions provide some clues as to the changes planned for it’s next generation.

With just one exception, the job descriptions posted on the Web site don’t identify the Wrangler by name. But given the updated five-year product plan Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne revealed in January, some of the jobs identified appear to be for the next-generation Wrangler, due in 2016.

It appears that Jeep has decided to put the next-generation Wrangler on a serious diet, just as Ram did for the 2013 Ram 1500 pickup.

If that’s the case, then the lightweight Wrangler Stitch concept that engineers revealed in March for this year’s Moab Easter Jeep Safari was a harbinger of things to come.

The job descriptions point to Jeep seeking to use advanced high-strength steels for its frame, a feature that pulled 30 pounds from the weight of the Ram. It also looks as though the Wrangler could lose some steel body panels in favor of aluminum.

It’s also likely to pick up the air suspension system used on the Grand Cherokee and Ram. That would provide added clearance when needed and reduce drag on the Wrangler’s rolling brick design at highway speeds and increase fuel economy.

It’s also likely for Wrangler to add the Ram’s pulse-width modulation technology, which pulses the electrical load from the alternator.From a powertrain standpoint, the job descriptions — and executive statements — point to the inclusion of a diesel engine variant into the Wrangler, as well as the adoption of Chrysler’s eight-speed automatic transmission, or a next-generation variant.

Engineers also will look at the Wrangler’s unique closure systems — the clip-down hood, for example, or its somewhat-inviting-to-thieves exterior door hinges.

What’s not clear is whether the next Wrangler might include a permanently fixed wind screen. Only a small percentage of Wrangler owners ever go through the trouble of dropping their wind screen, but eliminating the ability to do so would allow engineers to increase its rake and with it, the Wrangler’s fuel economy.

In many ways, the next Wrangler will be the ultimate engineering test for Jeep under its new Fiat ownership, and its biggest potential trap.

Keeping the off-roader’s capabilities and customizability is paramount from a sales standpoint, while increasing its fuel efficiency is required by ever-tightening corporate average fuel economy standards.

It’s going to be a big, tough job, and it’s good to see Chrysler reaching out early to add the expertise it will need to get it done.


New HorsePower episode: Edelbrock’s supercharged Mustang gets Ford Racing suspension

The Ford Racing Handling Pack
The Ford Racing Handling Pack

This week on a NEW episode of HorsePower, we celebrate Edelbrock’s 75 years of high performance with a special build on a new 5.0-Liter Mustang! This pony car will be getting a new E-Force supercharger, Ford Racing suspension, exhaust and much more!

“A supercharged Mustang needs a super suspension to handle all the extra power, and that’s exactly what we’re gonna give it with this Ford Racing handling pack. … It’s designed to give the car more road course attitude without sacrificing any of the handling,” said HorsePower host Mike Galley.

Not only is HorsePower building the ultimate performance Mustang, but we will be giving it away to one lucky PowerBlock viewer! Want your chance to win? Click here: Edelbrock Mustang Giveaway

You can catch this episode of HorsePower at 9:30 a.m. EST Saturday and Sunday (April 27-28) on Spike TV. Check your local listings for specific times.

Want to see parts from this episode? Click here: HorsePower Parts


Edelbrock Mustang 3

Edelbrock Mustang 2

Edelbrock Mustang 1


Also, we will be tweeting LIVE this weekend with NEW shows on POWERBLOCK! Make sure you’re following us on Twitter because we want to hear from you! Follow us here: @PowerBlock TV.


New episode of HorsePower features parade of LS engines and tech tips!

There’s so much going on this weekend on a NEW episode of HorsePower! In addition to showing you some budget tech tips, we explore some of the new LS engine innovations in a ZL1 Camaro. Plus, we take a look at Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s new-old, reproduced 1970 Chevelle that gets its power from an LSA Crate powertrain system! Then we highlight some of the power and performance at Holley’s LS fest, which includes a high-pressure LS engine swap competition.

You can catch this episode of HorsePower at 9:30 a.m. EST Saturday and Sunday on Spike TV!

To see parts for this episode, click here: HorsePower Parts

Thoughts? Leave a comment below, or send us a tweet to @PowerBlockTV.

Take a look at what else we’re featuring on PowerBlock this week!

Also, we will be tweeting LIVE this weekend with NEW shows on POWERBLOCK! Make sure you’re following us on Twitter because we want to hear from you! Follow us here: @PowerBlock TV.


Edelbrock’s 75th Anniversary on PowerBlock!

In our world, if you looked up “high performance” in the dictionary Vic Edelbrock’s picture would be there! This weekend Courtney helps celebrate Edelbrock’s 75th anniversary with Vic himself. You’ll get more details on how to win Vic’s 75th anniversary Mustang GT tricked out by our HorsePower guys — You know, it includes an E-Force Supercharger! Plus, the winner gets an expense-paid trip for two to the SEMA show in Las Vegas and dinner with Vic. Plus, we’ll look back at the history of Edelbrock starting with the company’s first part in 1938, an intake for the Ford Flathead.

It’s all on PowerBlock March 9 & 10. To enter the Edelbrock 75th Anniversary Mustang Giveaway go to or enter here @

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Bully Dog helps Hemi produce more power

This weekend on PowerBlock, Courtney is joined by Bully Dog president Michael Klassen with some tuner numbers you Hemi owners will love! Michael will announce their new tune for cars and trucks with Hemi’s. It’s been 2 years in the making! They expect you’ll see about 20-plus extra horsepower with better drivability. Bully Dog also has a new tune for 2011, 2012 and 2013 Jeeps.

But the big news is with the downloader for professional big rig trucks. Trucks! did a test with Pilot Transportation that showed a 15% increase in fuel economy and an 18% increase in horsepower. So if the average rig drives a 120,000 miles a year at $4 diesel fuel, that’s more than $12,000 a year savings per truck! Check it out on PowerBlock February 16 & 17. For more go to

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PowerBlock shows off father-son resto project on ’61 Impala

As we close in on Christmas and all the other holiday festivals, PowerBlock is showing off a gorgeous ’61 Impala and automotive art made out of wood! Courtney welcomes the father-son builder team of Ray Phillips and Joey Gambrel. Ray has has been building cars for other people most of his life and finally found a rare Bubble Top that Joey wanted to build to thank Ray for mentoring him in cars. In an 8 month frame–off resto, they dropped in a Chevy 454 that’s bored 30 over. The paint is PPG “Silver Star” paint with a “Red Hot Red” accent stripe. The interior is equally gorgeous with red ultra-leather and alligator inserts.

Also, Courtney features artist Steve Brandenburg who makes automotive art out of wood. You’ll have to see some of his creations to believe it’s genuine wood! Check it out on PowerBlock December 22nd & 23rd. For more on Steve visit

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More Diesel Horsepower on PowerBlock!

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This weekend Snow Performance president Matt Snow is PowerBlock’s guest. He’ll announce the results of a new lab study and how water-methanol injection can add 70 horsepower to a diesel, increase fuel economy 12-30%, and lower EGT’s using his system… and it doesn’t leave a signature on the computer! Plus he brings his 2012 Ford F-350 test rig too. Check it out on The PowerBlock September 15th & 16th. For more on Snow Performance go to

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BimmerWorld Racing races into PowerBlock!

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Courtney is joined by Grand Am racer James Clay this weekend along with his CRC Brakleen BMW 328i race car as we explore the world of road racing. James started BimmerWorld to fuel his passion for racing by selling used parts. His one-car team has grown into a 3-car team, and the business has transformed into selling a full line of BMW parts, OEM, stock parts for you and me and performance parts to build professional race cars. The Grand Am cars are mostly stock and look like cars you’d buy from the dealer showroom, except for the safety equipment. You can check it out on PowerBlock August 4 & 5. For more on James, go to &

Paint Secrets!

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Master painter Ted Swan joins Courtney this weekend to talk paint! Ted will share his experience using Summit’s base coat/clear coat system and why. Cost is one, ease of application is another. The system offers 40 custom colors and they’re based on trends in the custom industry. The cost is low compared to a paint company that has to match thousands of factory colors. Summit has 40; including Gun Metal Silver, Pearl White, plain White, Hot Rod Satin Black, Orange Pearl, Red Pearl, solid color Reds, and even a Turquoise for someone who’s going old style. Plus we’ll check out this gorgeous ’32 Ford Coupe with a 350 smallblock and a 6-71 Weiand blower and polished aluminum Edelbrock heads. It rolls on Billet Specialty Wheels and Michelin rubber; 15’s in the front, 20’s in the rear. See it all on PowerBlock February 4 & 5.