We were treated to a distinctly clandestine-feeling look at the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL today, as one photographer captured these images of two different bodies-in-white covered up.
While we’ve seen renderings and leaked images of the new Wrangler before, these photos prove a few things about the SUV’s evolutionary new design.
First, the sculpted fender vent is immediately noticeable. Photos of the vehicle without attached fenders seem to suggest the vent will be purely cosmetic, as it doesn’t look like it leads to any kind of engine bay heat extractor or intake. Nestled just aft of the vent will be a prominent “Trail Rated 4x4” badge, a neat signature that Jeep reserves for its best off-roaders.
Spotted on the rear end of one of the bodies is the Wrangler’s new door handle design, oriented vertically here for the side-swinging tailgate. Jeep is abandoning the Wrangler JK’s thumb button design for a conventional pull handle. Although we wish they’d bring back the utilitarian paddle handles found on the first two generations of the Wrangler, the JL’s pull handles will likely be easier to use than the JK’s thumb buttons. We wonder if owner feedback motivated the change; one of this author’s relatives couldn’t operate the JK’s exterior door handles after undergoing wrist surgery.
Clearly visible on one of the bucks is the new JL’s LED lighting up front. Replacing the current Wrangler’s grille-mounted turn signals will be block-shaped LED strips mounted to the leading edge of the front fenders. The relocated turn signals and kinked seven-slat grille both give the JL a little throwback style, hearkening to the first-generation Wrangler YJ and its Wrangler TJ successor.
We can’t wait to see the Wrangler JL in the flesh, undisguised, and uncovered, but unfortunately, we’ll likely have to wait until the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show in November to get a good look.
Source: KGP Photography