What it Is
Jeep Wrangler Ultimate Concept Preview – SEMA Show: Jeep has been busy upgrading the Wrangler Unlimited from a vehicle that can go anywhere to a vehicle that can go anywhere in style. Usually “pimp my Jeep” means it will never see dirt again, but with the Wrangler Ultimate, Jeep upgraded the exterior and the interior while maintaining the Wrangler’s off road capabilities. Chrome, leather, and upscale paint take the looks uptown while a 3-inch lift, 35-inch tires and a Hemi engine enhance the Jeep’s performance to take it even further up trail.
by Vernon Heywood
Photo Credit: Jeep
Why it Matters
For years, Jeep enthusiasts who wanted more comfort and room have had to hang up their soft tops and removable doors and move into Libertys, Grand Cherokees, or worse: other manufacturer’s vehicles. With the launch of the Wrangler Unlimited, Jeep discovered that given an option, some of those Jeep fans were able to find their way back into the adventure vehicles they sold for the sake of family. If adding two doors brought some people back, making the rough and ready 4x4 a little more comfortable in the form of the Jeep Wrangler Ultimate ought to win back even more
What’s Under the Hood
That thing got a Hemi? Yup. Chrome and comfort aside, just slapping in the Mopar 392 Hemi alone earns the Jeep Wrangler Ultimate high marks. The Wrangler Unlimited may be unlimited on the trail, but is definitely limited on the pavement, especially when it comes to long hills and passing power. Taller tires would make the 3.8-liter V6 seem outright anemic, so lower gearing or more power became a necessity in the Ultimate. We’ll take more power any day of the week.
What it Looks Like
The Jeep Wrangler Ultimate is tough and pretty—Lara Croft on wheels. It looks like your basic Wrangler Unlimited only taller and shinier. A 3-inch lift gives it a more menacing stance and allows room under the fenders for the 35-inch BF Goodrich Mud Terrains. The reason you'll need sunglasses to look at it comes from the chromed fuel filler door, taillamp guards, tubular side steps, exterior mirrors, tow hooks, door handles, hood hinges, and fascia overlays. Custom, polished Alcoa Forged 18-inch wheels compliment the Liquid Charcoal Pearl Coat paint.
Adventure is sewn right into the Jeep Wrangler Ultimate’s orange mesh fabric and slate gray Nappa/Province leather seats with heavy black leather baseball stitch which gives them a rugged and sporty feel. The durable and comfortable seating is a great place to enjoy the DVD screens positioned in both the front and rear passenger seats and sounds are pumped in from the MyGIG Multimedia Infotainment System. Orange rubber grips adorn all the controls from the steering wheels to the gear selector, and set off the Argent Pearl and Satin Silver paint on the instrument panel.
What Jeep Says
“Beginning with the all-new Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon®, the design team set out to create the best of the best – combining high style and materials with the best off-road machine ever offered by Jeep.” There is no arguing the trail prowess of the Unlimited Rubicon. Adding more power, a lift and bigger tires with improved interior materials and exterior looks in the Jeep Wrangler Ultimate is a no-brainer. Who doesn’t want more comfort and performance from their vehicle?
What We Think
More amenities make sense from the standpoint of wanting to sell more Wranglers, but we think that while the Jeep Wrangler Ultimate will attract some non-Jeep owners, Jeep will most likely be stealing customers from its own product lineup, namely Liberty and Grand Cherokee buyers. We’d love to see an upscale Wrangler brought to market, it may take away a few in house sales for the adventure vehicle manufacturer, but it will give upscale shoppers who demand style and performance an alternative to the Hummer H3.