It was more than a year ago when we heard Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne say that while the next Wrangler won’t go all-aluminum, a large portion of the reputable off-roader will indeed make use of the lightweight material. Fast forward to present day, the folks from JL Wrangler Forums have received from an Alcoa employee an interesting document about the 2018 Wrangler (codenamed “JL”) and the body parts that will make the switch from steel to aluminum.
According to the internal document sent out this week within the company, Alcoa is going to be in charge of providing its “6022” alloy which is usually for closure panels. In the case of the Wrangler, it will be used for the doors and the hood. In addition, Alcoa will also supply its 951 pre-treatment bonding technology for aluminum sheets. The same document has also revealed the vehicle will represent the first application of Alcoa’s C6A1 high form alloy.
"A team in the Farmington Hills (Michigan, USA) Aerospace and Automotive Products group is leading a new profitable growth opportunity with the 2018 Jeep Wrangler program. The next generation Jeep becomes the first to utilize our C6A1 high form alloy; we are currently the only supplier of this high form product.
Alcoa will also supply 6022 and A951, including front and rear door inners, hood outer and inner."
It doesn’t necessarily mean the doors and hood will be the Wrangler’s only aluminum bits taking into account other suppliers might provide the material for different areas of the vehicle. It will be interesting to see how much fat Jeep will be able to shave off by adopting aluminum for its iconic model which we already know from spy shots will be available for the first time ever in a pickup body style.
The regular Jeep Wrangler and its four-door Unlimited counterpart are set to enter production phase in 2017 at the revamped Toledo factory in Ohio where FCA is investing $700 million to get it ready for the fourth-gen Wrangler. As for the pickup, it’s probably due to hit the market at some point in 2018.