8-speed auto confirmed for 2017 Jeep Wrangler, 9% more efficient

Brett Davis

It’s been confirmed, the next-gen, 2017 Jeep Wrangler will finally come with a modern eight-speed automatic transmission, replacing the existing outdated five-speed.

2014 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th anniversary

With an eight-speed on board, the new model will offer improved fuel economy and improved overall driving performance. The news was revealed in a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission, stating,

“The eight-speed transmission is currently paired with gasoline and diesel engines in the 2014 Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee and is also featured in the new 2014 Dodge Durango. We plan to use this transmission in all of our rear-wheel-drive vehicles, except for heavy-duty versions of the Ram pick-up truck and the SRT Viper.”

Borrowing foundations from transmission specialist ZF Friedrichshafen, the new unit will be built by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and tuned to suit certain applications. The company says the gearbox reduces fuel consumption by over nine per cent compared with the current five-speed.

The current 3.6-litre naturally aspirated Pentastar V6 petrol Wrangler is stamped with an official average fuel economy rating of 11.7L/100km. With the new gearbox, this figure is likely to drop below 10.7L/100km.

It’s understood the company did have plans to introduce the eight-speed in the current Wrangler, however, it apparently doesn’t fit. With the all-new model, which is set to receive a fresh aluminium body, engineers have the freedom to infuse optimum packaging techniques.

Aside from the clever new transmission, the next-gen Wrangler is expected to be the most advanced, showcasing a lighter overall kerb weight, downsized engines including potentially a turbocharged V6 under 3.6 litres, as well as a more modern interior with increased connectivity and on-board functionality. Market entry is slated for 2017, probably wearing a MY2018 plate.

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