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When Jeep launched a trio of custom-look special editions in March, one particular member of the family was notably conspicuous by its absence—until now: The 2012 Jeep Wrangler Altitude Edition joins similarly sinister versions of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot in dealerships in May.
“One of the many things Jeep enthusiasts love is the series of limited-volume, special-edition Wrangler models we produce,” said Mike Manley, president and CEO of the Jeep brand. “The new Wrangler Unlimited Altitude builds on the previous models and delivers consumers yet another fun and distinctive Jeep vehicle straight from the factory.”
The appeal of limited-edition Jeeps is especially high for Wrangler fans, too, as proven by the recent success of models like the Wrangler Call of Duty and Arctic. Backed by the popularity of special versions like these, along with a thoroughly updated cabin and powertrain, the Jeep icon has continued to see very strong sales through 2011 and into this year. In fact, sales of the Wrangler were up 43 percent in March and 30 percent in Q1 of 2012.
And these jumps represent serious volume: With 12,557 March deliveries, the Wrangler topped the combined sales of all three of Hyundai’s crossovers by almost 1,900 units.
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Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Altitude Edition: The High Points
The 2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Altitude Edition is based on the Wrangler Unlimited Sahara, with its stylish body-color hardtop, then gets a sharp mix of “black-out” upgrades, including:
- Unique 18-inch five-spoke alloy wheels, with black-painted spokes and polished wheel rings
- Body-color front- and rear-bumper center sections
- A Jeep grille badge in matte black
- Mopar’s black fuel-fill door
- A black “tone on tone” graphic for the Wrangler’s hood
- Black leather seats and interior accents, set off by red stitching
- Black vent rings, steering-wheel spokes, door pulls, berber floor mats and passenger-side grab handle
Four exterior colors will be available for the high-flying Jeep special edition: Deep Cherry Red, Black, Bright White and Bright Silver Metallic. Also, just to be crystal clear, the Altitude Edition only is available in the Wrangler’s four-door, Unlimited configuration—at least for now.
Pricing begins at $33,470—a $7,925 premium over the base price of a 2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited—and as Manley adds, “With a production run of only 4,500 units, we expect the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Altitude to sell out very quickly.”
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A Wrangler Refresher Course
Jeep has lavished a fair amount of attention on the Wrangler since Fiat teamed up with the Chrysler Group, with a comprehensively redesigned modern-day interior getting added to the vehicle for the 2011 model year and a much-improved powertrain coming for 2012. The prime mover is now the automaker’s much-leveraged Pentastar V6, tuned to make 285 hp, 260 lb.-ft. of torque and 21 mpg highway. Those marks represent improvements of 40 percent/10 percent/10.5 percent, and the Wrangler also benefits from the same new six-speed automatic transmission used in the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Pricing for the Wrangler starts at $22,045, with the four-door 2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited opening at $25,545.
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