2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited spy shotsEnlarge Photo
Jeep's next Wrangler won't lose its standard 6-speed manual gearbox, despite rumors pointing toward the contrary.
Demand for the 6-speed is at all-time lows against the optional 5-speed automatic currently offered in Jeep's iconic 4x4. However, new spy photos posted to JLWranglerForums.com show a 6-speed gearbox, albeit one with reverse up and to the left, rather than down and to the right as in the current model.
That likely means that the NSG370 gearbox that has been standard in the Wrangler since 2005 will bite the dust in favor of a new gearbox. The outgoing 6-speed dates back to DaimlerChrysler; the gearbox was adapted from Mercedes-Benz to fit a number of Chrysler products. Its only current application is in the Wrangler. Uniquely, every Wrangler trim level can still be ordered with the 6-speed, but dealers rarely stock them, effectively making the manual a special-order item.
It is expected that the next Wrangler will offer a choice between a new 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder and a 3.6-liter V-6 engine, both fueled by gasoline. FCA's 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 is also likely to make an appearance in a bid to lower the Wrangler's fuel consumption, and the automaker has confirmed a hybrid option. What isn't clear, however, is just which engines will be paired with the new 6-speed and which will utilize the ZF-sourced 8-speed automatic used in FCA's longitudinal engine vehicles.