Small changes to the design of the all-new 2018 Jeep® Wrangler yielded big improvements in the vehicle’s aerodynamics.
The new Wrangler stays true to the original design with a wide, muscular stance, trapezoidal wheel flares and the legendary seven-slot grille.
Jeep’s design team built upon this iconic design with subtle changes to improve the vehicle’s fuel efficiency.
These enhancements include an updated look to the legendary seven-slot keystone-shaped grille, sweeping it slightly back, for improved aerodynamics. The windshield also was angled slightly back to improve airflow over the vehicle.
“Its heart is still a Wrangler, it’s still boxy looking,” said Brian Leyes, Jeep Wrangler chief engineer, as he was discussing the new Wrangler’s aerodynamics in the FCA US Aero Acoustic Wind Tunnel. “A lot of people will say it’s a brick, and I will joke and say I’ve made an aerodynamic brick.”
Leyes added that aerodynamics is one area designers always look to improve as they move from one generation of a vehicle to another. Typically, that improvement is in the 3-5% range. With the all-new 2018 Jeep Wrangler, the design team was able to find a 9% improvement.
“The fact that the team was able to find 9% on this vehicle, and it still looks like a Jeep and it still looks like a Wrangler, was a pretty impressive feat by the whole team,” he added.
There are some additional features that are not as immediately noticeable, but still improve aerodynamics.
- Looking down on the vehicle from above, the vehicle tapers in a little bit starting at the C-pillar, creating a better flow of air around the vehicle
- The side mirrors are roughly same size, but also were redesigned to increase efficiency
- Another feature designed to reduce turbulence on Wrangler is a lip spoiler on the hard top model, which is angled slightly down and helps with the airflow over the top of the vehicle and around the back
“It’s about shaping the air you are going through,” added Leyes. “We wanted to give fuel economy improvements to our customers and be environmentally responsible.”