The Wrangler has a special place within the Jeep brand.
The latest generation of the Land Rover Defender is a complete overhaul from past versions by becoming a softer, less rugged vehicle to attain greater general appeal among buyers. Don't expect the Jeep Wrangler to follow this path of becoming more civilized, according to an interview with Jeep global design boss Mark Allen from Cars Guide in Australia. He described the chances of a softer Wrangler happening by saying: "It could… but we’re probably not going to."
"The Wrangler is really protected inside the brand," Allen told Cars Guide. "We made the car more efficient and also held on to what we love about it. We can almost get whatever we want [when it comes to design]." In Allen's mind, the two models have similar general missions, but the ability to remove the roof and doors from the Wrangler makes the Jeep "closer to that original Defender now.”
Gallery: 2020 Jeep Wrangler JPP 20 at the Chicago Auto Show
Allen understands that the customers' desires change over time. He cites the Wrangler starting as a two-door and now being available as a four-door, which is the more popular option among buyers. He doesn't see the model's purpose changing in the future. "Maybe Wrangler stays and something else comes in. I don’t know, we do a lot of war games," he told Cars Guide.
Regarding what's next for the Wrangler, the current rumor is that it would get a Mojave trim like on the Gladiator pickup. The upgraded equipment should include improved shocks, a wider track, increased ride height, reinforced frame, and stronger axles.
Land Rover isn't done introducing new versions of the Defender, either. Spy shots show the company developing a V8-powered variant that might be a limited-run performance flagship, according to rumors. For more efficiency-focused customers, there's also a plug-in hybrid powertrain coming.