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Jeep reshapes iconic Wrangler with slippery brick styling

December 15, 2017

 

The engineers of the Jeep Wrangler had a conundrum: How do you redesign one of the most iconic SUVs on the road to survive tougher fuel economy standards without abandoning the brick-like shape that’s essential to its appeal?

 

At first glance, the styling of the next-generation Wrangler doesn’t appear to have changed much. But a bend here and a curve there improved aerodynamics by 9 percent just to start.

 

Changes to the exterior, combined with lighter material and a less fuel thirsty engine are just some other upgrades you will see on this Jeep.

 

Here’s a look at how Wrangler engineers preserved the model’s looks while still managing to make the SUV a little more slippery through the air:

 

Powering a car down the road is essentially like punching a hole in the air. The vehicle’s size and shape determines the scale of the hole, and then aerodynamics affect how efficiently the vehicle gets through it.

 

The side mirrors of the 2018 aren’t any smaller than on the current model, but they are shaped -- in conjunction with the hood and windshield -- to allow air to pass by more smoothly.

 

The ability to slip through air also is made a little easier by a slight taper in the Wrangler’s roof that makes it an inch or so narrower at the back than in the front. The rearmost pillar of the SUV is more rounded, compared with the previous model.

 

Now take a peak at the Jeep Up Close and Personal.