The roots of America’s love affair with Jeep can be traced to World War II, as the one-of-a-kind vehicle dutifully served the U.S. military with its durability and ruggedness. The affinity for Jeep gained traction as the first civilian Jeep (“CJ”) vehicles – the Willys-Overland CJ-2A – reached the public in 1945. The CJ-2A, and successor CJ-3A, was immortalized for its go-anywhere capability and strictly functional amenities.
Beginning early next year, when the new 2014 Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler Edition arrives in Jeep showrooms, customers can connect with the original Jeep vehicle’s rugged and purely functional capability. The latest Wrangler special edition makes its debut at the 2013 Los Angeles International Auto Show.
“The new Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler Edition is a Jeep purist’s dream, delivering a Jeep vehicle that harkens back to the original, classic CJs of the 1940s,” said Mike Manley, President and CEO – Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “This new Jeep vehicle delivers pure functionality and rugged capability in a unique package that recognizes the origins of the brand.”
Based on the Wrangler Sport model, the Willys Wheeler Edition features upgraded hardware, including a Dana 44 rear axle with Trac-Lok limited-slip rear differential and 3.73 gears, BF Goodrich KM Mud Terrain LT255/75R17 tires, rock rails and a new Jeep Trail Rated Kit that includes a D-Ring, tow strap and gloves in a Jeep-branded bag. This works with the Jeep Command-Trac 4×4 part-time, two-speed transfer case with a 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio to give the Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler Edition its improved off-road chops.
Special exterior design cues include a gloss black grille with black Jeep badge, gloss black front and rear bumper appliques, historic satin black “4 Wheel Drive” rear tailgate decal and “Willys” hood decals and unique high-gloss black 17-inch aluminum wheels. The Willys Wheeler Edition comes standard with a Sunrider soft top and deep-tint sunscreen rear windows. A premium Sunrider soft top and black-splatter Freedom Top are available.
Willys Wheeler Editions feature the Connectivity Group with SiriusXM satellite radio, and Sport S-based models have the Power Convenience Group and Premium Tire Pressure Monitoring System as standard. Jeep Wrangler’s iconic half doors are an option.
The 2014 Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler Edition features the award winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine that produces 285 horsepower and 260 ft.-lbs. or torque. It is available with a standard six-speed manual or an available five-speed automatic transmission, and delivers up to 21 miles per gallon on the highway.
Available in any Jeep Wrangler color, the Willys Wheeler Edition has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail price (MSRP) of $25,795 for two-door models and $29,595 for Unlimited (four-door) models. The 2014 Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Wrangler Unlimited are built at the Toledo Supplier Park in Toledo, Ohio.