If the 2017 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Recon is to serve as the current model's swan song, that's all right with us. With a beefier front axle and a half-inch lift right from the factory, it's the most capable Wrangler the off-road brand has ever created—and Jeep tells us that owners can fit 35-inch tires without any modifications.
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It's based on the already rather mountain goat-like Wrangler Rubicon, but the Recon takes things about as far as the factory can do without attracting undue attention from Jeep's legal department. With an upgraded Dana 44 front axle with strengthened tubes, heavy-duty end forgings, and a cast cover, the Recon is begging for larger tires. To that end, Jeep shortened the Rubicon-spec body-protecting rock rails to accommodate 35-inch tires. A half-inch lift completes the Recon's functional upgrades.
The ability for a buyer to fit 35-inch tires instead of the 32-inch BFGoodrich KM off-road tires that are fitted to the Recon when it leaves Jeep's Toledo, Ohio, assembly plant is a big boon for serious off-roaders.
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Setting it apart from the rest of the Rubicon lineup, the Recon features its own 17-inch alloy wheels painted in a dark grey shade, black and red styling touches outside, and red interior accents inside. Jeep will offer a choice of grey or color-coordinated fender flares, too.
Jeep plans to offer the Rubicon Recon in seven shades: Black, Bright White, Billet Silver, Firecracker Red, Gobi, Rhino and Granite Crystal.
After being displayed at the Chicago auto show this week, the Rubicon Recon hits dealers later this month in both two-door and four-door Unlimited configurations. Prices start at $40,140 for the two-door and $43,940 for the Unlimited including a mandatory $995 destination charge.