6-Speed Manual, 8-Speed Auto Spotted in 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL

Jun. 24, 2016 By Josh Burns, Photos by Brian Williams/SpiedBilde
The gear shifter points to a new six-speed transmission compared to the current version used in the 2016 Wrangler.

Spy photographers recently captured images of the next-generation Jeep Wrangler testing, and the newest shots confirm the 2018 Wrangler JL will still offer a manual. A six-speed manual transmission was found in a test mule recently, which comes on the heels off recent shots also showing Jeep engineers testing an eight-speed transmission (like the one found in the Grand Cherokee) in the Wrangler as well.

The new six-speed manual was spotted testing in this next-gen two-door Wrangler.

The news of a manual transmission will appeal to some enthusiasts, but most specifically this test unit squashed the rumors after that an eight-speed automatic transmission would be the only option on the JL for the sake of efficiency. The photos also suggest the 2018 Wrangler will use a different transmission than the unit found in the current Wrangler JK model, with a new shifter design and reverse relocated to the upper left position.

This 8-speed shifter was spotted testing in a next-gen Wrangler recently.

We expect the six-speed transmission to be available on lower Wrangler trims, most likely offered with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine but not offered with the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6. Earlier this week, it was confirmed by an inside source that the 2018 Jeep Wrangler will feature an eight-speed automatic after shots surfaced of a test mule featuring the same shifter used on models like the Dodge Challenger & Charger, both of which have the ZF eight-speed automatics.

Comparing the 2016 shifter to this test unit in a 2018 Wrangler mule.

When the eight-speed shifter was spotted in these photo, it was confirmed the trans was hooked to the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 that is featured in the Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500. Itís safe to assume the eight-speed and 3.0L diesel pairing will help improve the fuel economy on the next-gen Wrangler.

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