Next Wrangler Will Be Lighter, with Possible Diesel Option

Fiat-Chrysler exec promises approval within weeks; claims current demand is unprecedented.

Speaking to journalists at the Detroit Auto Show, Fiat-ChryslerCEO Sergio Marchionne claimed the company should approve the next Jeep Wrangler within the next ten weeks. The upcoming model, he said, would bring updatedarchitecture and improve on current weights, a common complaint among critics. As the staple model of what Americans consider ‘the mostpatriotic US brand,’ Jeep has been struggling to keep up with current demand.

In 2013, sales rose 10 percent to reach 155,502 units - allequipped with the current 3.6-liter V6 and six-speed manual or automatictransmissions. Beyond the weight loss, there has also been talk of Jeep addinga new diesel engine to the lineup to further improve fuel efficiency. But whatreally worries Wrangler enthusiasts is the thought of the signature front axlebeing replaced by an independent front suspension. Marchionne didn't commenton that possibility, leaving fans with another few weeks of concern until the finaldecision is announced.

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