The Long History Of The Jeep Wrangler | Jeep Canada

THE LONG HISTORY OF THE JEEP WRANGLER

2021-02-12
A Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, a 1944 Jeep Willys-Overland MB and a Jeep Wrangler Sahara
The Jeep® Wrangler is one of the most recognizable nameplates in the industry and the model’s history is quite fascinating. Although the Wrangler was officially introduced in 1986, it can trace its origins back much further than that.
The Wrangler’s history dates back to World War II, when the U.S. Army asked a handful of companies to build a small and powerful vehicle with four-wheel drive that would be used as a reconnaissance vehicle around battlefields on different fronts. Willys ultimately won the contract and began building the Willys MB. The popularity of the MB soared back in the United States with President Eisenhower once saying it was “one of the three decisive weapons the U.S. had during World War II”.
This led Willys-Overland to create a commercial version of the MB, dubbed the CJ. The first, built in 1945, became the world’s first mass-produced four-wheel drive vehicle. Over 1.5 million Jeep CJ units were built until 1986.

Jeep® Wrangler Unveiling at the 1986 Chicago Auto Show

Although the Wrangler isn’t a direct replacement to the CJ, many of its elements such as the body-on-frame design, open top and solid axles are consistent with the CJ. The first Jeep® Wrangler was introduced at the 1986 Chicago Auto Show and since, there have been four generations of the famed model.
The side badge of a 2021 Jeep Wrangler

Jeep® Wrangler YJ

The Jeep® Wrangler YJ was a two-door model exclusively and was produced until 1995. Promoted as more comfortable and usable, the Wrangler YJ had distinctive square headlights as opposed to round headlights which would define every Wrangler generation since.

Jeep® Wrangler TJ

The Wrangler TJ was introduced in 1996 as a 1997 model. One of the most notable changes brought on by the arrival of the TJ was the switch to a coil-spring suspension as opposed to a leaf-spring setup. The TJ generation also saw the introduction of the first Unlimited model which was still a two-door version, but with a longer wheelbase.

Jeep® Wrangler JK

The Jeep® Wrangler JK arrived in 2006 and was completely redesigned, specifically the body, frame, and suspension. The JK was also the first Wrangler to offer a four-door Unlimited model.
A Jeep Wrangler 2021 driving in a muddy terrain

Jeep® Wrangler JL

Unveiled in 2017 and arriving as a 2018 model, the current Jeep® Wrangler JL received new powertrain options that today include a turbocharged four-cylinder and the EcoDiesel engine as well as a plug-in hybrid engine in the Wrangler 4xe. The JL was also designed to be more refined and comfortable for daily use.
The 2021 Jeep® Wrangler continues the tradition of excellence associated with the Wrangler name, a name that every automotive enthusiast knows very well.

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