New 2012 Jeep Wrangler: A New Heart, the Same Soul. All-new 3.6-liter V-6 powertrain provides more fuel efficiency, improved on-road driving dynamics and refinement, more power and torque – and even more legendary capability
Jeep Wrangler – the most capable and recognized vehicle in the world – becomes even more capable both on- and off-road for 2012, courtesy of an all-new, more fuel efficient and more powerful 3.6-liter V-6 engine, and a new five-speed automatic transmission – both of which it shares with the award-winning Jeep Grand Cherokee.
The all-new 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 and five-speed automatic transmission dramatically enhance Wrangler’s on-road driving performance – delivering up to 21 miles per gallon, 40 percent more power and 10 percent more torque – while also taking the vehicle’s legendary off-road capability
to a new level.
“Jeep Wrangler – the most capable and iconic vehicle in the world – has a new heart but retains the same soul for 2012,” said Mike Manley, President and CEO – Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “Our new 3.6-liter V-6 engine gives the ever-capable Wrangler a completely new, more refined on-road driving experience – complete with more fuel efficiency, power and torque.
“Available in 2-door and 4-door models and boasting an untouchable combination of efficient design, open-air freedom, significant towing capability, improved real-world drivability, and unique 4x4 systems that deliver unmatched off-road prowess, Jeep Wrangler once again resets the benchmark and offers consumers the ultimate vehicle for any driving adventure,” Manley added.
Chrysler Group’s 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine – winner of the prestigious Ward’s 10 Best Engines award – delivers 285 horsepower (209 kW) and 260 lb.-ft. of torque (353 N•m), with greater fuel efficiency. The improvement, when compared to the previous 3.8-liter V-6 engine, is 40 percent in horsepower and 10 percent in torque. Additionally, for refined shifting and greater performance, the Jeep Wrangler migrates from a four-speed to a new five-speed automatic transmission. The 2012 Jeep Wrangler also features the company’s first application of a manual transmission to the Pentastar V-6.
The Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited will continue to be available in four models: Sport, Sport S, Sahara and Rubicon. Combined with an all-new interior for 2011, the 2012 Jeep Wrangler is virtually all-new over the past two model years and will excite core Jeep followers while appealing to new customers.
The 2012 Jeep Wrangler delivers unmatched off-road capability with legendary four-wheel drive and is produced with more than seven decades of 4x4 engineering experience. Wrangler continues to offer a body-on-frame design, front and rear five-link suspension system, live axles, electronic lockers, and is one of the few mid-size SUVs that offers a six-speed manual transmission – in addition to its new five-speed automatic transmission.
The new automatic transmission benefits the 2012 Wrangler as much as the new engine with more refined shifting and gear selection. By increasing the number of speeds from four to five, the transmission allows the engine to operate in a more efficient RPM range, which helps increase fuel economy. More speeds also enable the engine to remain in the torque curve, increasing acceleration. The 2012 Jeep Wrangler boasts a 25-percent improvement in 0–60 mph time, which is now 8.4 seconds. Also, a lower first-gear ratio in the new automatic transmission gives the Wrangler more off-road capability via a lower overall crawl ratio.
Jeep Wrangler is now available with more axle gear ratios allowing customers to optimize fuel economy and/or vehicle capability. Wrangler is available with 3.21, 3.73 or 4.10 ratios depending on model. Also, Wrangler offers towing capability up to 3,500 lbs.
A best-in-class approach angle of 44.6 degrees, breakover angle of 25.5 degrees and best-in-class departure angle of 40.6 degrees, helps the Jeep Wrangler scale the toughest terrain.
The capable driveline of the Sport and Sahara models include a Dana 30 front axle and Dana
44 rear axle. The Command-Trac® NV241, part-time, two-speed transfer case, features a 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio. In addition, an optional Trac-Lok® limited-slip rear differential provides extra torque and grip in low-traction environments such as sand, mud or snow.
The Wrangler Rubicon model features heavy-duty Dana 44 front and rear axles and the Rock-Trac® NV241 two-speed transfer case with a 4.0:1 low-range gear ratio. Rubicon also includes electric front and rear locking differentials, disconnecting front sway bar and 32-inch tires, taking the Wrangler to the highest level of capability.
In 2011, Jeep introduced an all-new interior to Wrangler that combines rich styling, versatility, comfort and improved feature use. Highlights include upgraded materials, automatic temperature controls, heated seats, power mirrors and steering wheel controls for vehicle systems. Larger rear windows are engineered for greater visibility. A USB port connects to the media center, 12-volt accessory outlets are located throughout the Wrangler and a 115-volt AC outlet is available to power select two-pronged home electronics.
Jeep Wrangler’s signature features include classic round headlamps, seven-slot grille, trapezoid wheel flares, removable doors, exposed hinges, a fold-down windshield and innovative removable and convertible tops and half-doors that allow the Wrangler to retain the brand’s iconic appearance and function. New for 2012, Wrangler Rubicon models now share a body-color hardtop option with the Sahara model, offering a premium appearance.
With room for five adults, Jeep Wrangler Unlimited remains the only four-door 4x4 convertible on the market.
Wrangler’s signature features include classic round headlamps, a seven-slot grille, removable doors, exposed hinges, a fold-down windshield and innovative removable and convertible tops that allow Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited to retain the brand’s coveted core values of freedom, adventure, mastery and authenticity.
A flat, clamshell hood meets trapezoid fender flares, which are more resistant to dents and corrosion. The fenders are bolt-on and can be removed allowing customers to customize their vehicle.
With an exposed gas-filler cap and tailgate mounted spare tire, the rear of the Jeep Wrangler maintains its rugged appeal. Taillamps are placed on the body rather than flush mount – a time-honored Jeep Wrangler characteristic – and are reminiscent of the 1941 Jeep Willys' design.
Additionally, Wrangler is available with half doors or full doors, and a choice of hard, soft or dual tops. Doors include traditional check straps, which also house wiring for optional power window and door lock features.
Sahara models include side steps and Rubicon models come standard with heavy-duty rock rails. All Wrangler models feature step assists mounted to the body with a diamond plate texture on the surface for added step-in traction.
Three new colors are available on the 2012 Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited: Dozer Yellow, Deep Molten Red and Crush Orange. Wrangler also is available in Natural Green, Deep Forest Green Pearl Coat, Black Crystal Pearl Coat, Bright Silver Metallic Clear Coat, Flame Red Clear Coat, Sahara Tan, Cosmos Blue and Bright White.
The 2012 Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited interior highlights include an ergonomically designed instrument panel and plenty of storage areas with quality materials. A lockable console and door armrest areas boast comfortable touch points for elbows and Wrangler now features coat hooks.
A well-designed center stack is easy to reach and operate. Heated seats and heated power mirrors are available and drivers and passengers will enjoy automatic temperature controls as well as outstanding visibility courtesy of large rear windows.
The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited's 102.9 cu. ft. of total interior space features plenty of room for five adults and delivers a number of cargo storage areas and seating configurations. The rear seat splits 60/40, and easily folds flat, creating 86.75 cu. ft. of total storage volume. The two-door Wrangler includes a removable, fold-and-tumble seat creating additional versatility and storage capacity up to 61.2 cu. ft.
With room for five adults, Jeep Wrangler Unlimited remains the only four-door convertible on the market.
The steering wheel includes controls that allow the driver to operate radio, cruise control, handsfree phone and other vehicle functions while keeping their hands on the wheel. A USB device interface connects to storage devices (thumb drives and most MP3 players) for use with the vehicle’s stereo system, which includes Bluetooth® streaming audio.
Twelve-volt accessory outlets are located throughout the Wrangler and a 115-volt outlet is available to provide power similar to AC outlets in the home.
In line with traditional Jeep design, hex-head bolts are utilized throughout the interior, and are used to mount a “Jeep Since 1941” inlay onto the passenger grab handle.
Safety and Security
The 2012 Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited are available with an array of safety and security technology features. Standard electronic stability control, electronic roll mitigation, Trailer-sway Control, Hill-start Assist and brake traction control are among two dozen available safety and security features. Jeep safety systems are engineered to improve handling and accident avoidance while providing occupant protection, allowing Jeep Wrangler customers the ability to safely "go anywhere and do anything."
Following are available safety and security features in the 2012 Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited:
- Anti-lock braking system (ABS): Senses and prevents wheel lockup, offering improved steering control under extreme braking and/or slippery conditions
- Advanced multi-stage air bags: Offer enhanced protection for a range of occupants
- All-speed traction control: Senses drive-wheel slip and applies individual brakes to slipping wheel(s), and can reduce excess engine power until traction is regained
- BeltAlert: Periodically activates a chime and illuminates an icon in the instrument cluster to remind the driver and front passenger to buckle up if a vehicle is driven without the driver or front passenger being properly belted
- Brake Assist: In a panic brake condition, the system applies maximum braking power, providing the shortest possible stopping distance
- Brake/Park interlock: Prevents an automatic transmission or transaxle from being shifted out of Park unless the brake pedal is applied
- Brake traction control system (BTCS): Helps to keep driving wheels from spinning during acceleration from a stop or during slow speeds by applying individual brakes to the slipping wheel(s)
- Child seat anchor system: Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH) is designed to ease installation of compatible aftermarket child seats
- Child-protection rear-door locks: Disables the rear doors' inside-release handle via a small lever on the door-shut face
- Constant force retractors (CFR): Distribute force or load exerted on a seat belt, and then gradually release the seat-belt webbing in a controlled manner
- Crumple zones: Designed to compress during an accident to absorb energy from an impact, decreasing transfer of that energy to occupants
- Electronic roll mitigation (ERM): An extension of the electronic stability control (ESC). Uses input from ESC sensors to anticipate if the vehicle is at risk of entering a potential roll situation then reacts immediately, applying the brakes individually and modulating throttle position as needed to attempt avoiding a roll situation
- Electronic stability control (ESC): Enhances driver control and helps maintain directional stability under all conditions. Provides the greatest benefit in critical driving situations such as turns, and is especially valuable when driving on mixed surface conditions including snow, ice or gravel. If there's a discernible difference between what the driver directs through the steering wheel and the vehicle's path, ESC applies selective braking and throttle input in order to put the vehicle back onto the driver's intended path
- Energy-absorbing steering column: The manual-adjust steering column utilizes two hydroformed coaxial tubes that can move relative to each other and allow the column to move forward for enhanced energy-absorption during a crash. The steering column employs a calibrated bending element that deforms during column stroke for optimal energy management
- Enhanced Accident Response System (EARS): Makes it easier for emergency personnel to see and reach occupants in the event of an accident by turning on interior lighting and unlocking doors after air-bag deployment. Also shuts off the flow of fuel to the engine
- Height-adjustable seat belts: Allows front seat occupants to raise and lower the shoulder belt. Encourages seat-belt usage by offering a more comfortable fit
- Hill-start Assist (HSA): Assists drivers when starting a vehicle from a stop on a hill by maintaining the level of brake pressure applied for a short period of time after a driver’s foot is removed from the brake pedal. If throttle is not applied within a short period of time after the driver’s foot is removed from the brake pedal, brake pressure will be released
- Interior head-impact protection: Interior pillars above the belt line and instrument panel including areas around windshield and rear window headers, roof and side-rail structures, and shoulder-belt turning loops specifically designed to limit head-impact force
- Knee bolsters: The lower instrument panel and glove-box door are designed to properly position the occupant, enabling air bags to work effectively
- Remote keyless entry: Locks and unlocks doors, and turns on interior lamps. If the vehicle is equipped with a vehicle-theft security alarm, the remote also arms and disarms that system
- Seat-belt pretensioners: During a collision, impact sensors initiate front seat-belt pretensioners to immediately remove slack, thereby reducing the forward movement of occupants' heads and torsos
- Sentry Key® engine immobilizer: Utilizes an engine key that has an embedded transponder with a preprogrammed security code to discourage vehicle theft. When the key is inserted into the ignition, the controller sends a random number to the transponder and the engine is allowed to start. If an incorrect key is used, the engine will shut off after only a few seconds
- Supplemental side air bags: Provide enhanced protection of the driver and front outboard passenger in certain impacts. Each side air bag has its own impact sensor that autonomously triggers the air bag on the side where an impact occurs. Supplemental side air bags are housed within the outboard side of each front seat
- Trailer-sway Control (TSC): Reduces trailer sway and improves handling in adverse towing conditions caused by crosswinds and traffic. The system monitors the vehicle’s movement relative to the driver’s intended path, then applies alternating brake pressure to slow the vehicle and then increases the pressure on one front wheel in order to counteract the sway induced by the trailer
The 2012 Jeep Wrangler stays connected with Uconnect systems, including voice recognition, Bluetooth® streaming audio, navigation and SiriusXM Satellite Radio. The Wrangler’s connectivity systems have improved ergonomics by giving the driver control at their fingertips. Intuitive buttons on the front and rear of the steering wheel control a number of features allowing the driver to keep hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
The 2012 Jeep Wrangler underwent millions of durability testing miles during development in the company’s scientific labs, at its proving grounds and on public roads in various climates.
The Wrangler’s 3.6-liter V-6 Pentastar engine recorded more than 12 million customer-equivalent miles on engine dynamometers prior to production. Testing was increased by 50 percent compared to previous Chrysler Group V-6 engines, to guarantee a long life against severe conditions and accommodate high-load applications such as trailer towing. Reducing noise, vibration and harshness was a key objective for every engine component and was achieved using advanced computer-aided engineering techniques.
As the Wrangler approached production, the company also tested day and night, on- and off-road to put the equivalent of three years of wear and tear on the vehicle in approximately three months time. This accelerated testing occurred on public roads, paved and unpaved, in an attempt to find and fix any issues before the first SUVs were delivered to customers. The test drivers checked all the functional aspects of the vehicle, such as heating and cooling, window operation, convertible and removable hardtop operation and navigation system.
The 2012 Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Wrangler Unlimited are built in the Toledo Supplier Park in Toledo, Ohio. The plant features the flexibility to integrate the all-new powertrain with the addition of new engine carriers and transmission lift equipment.
The 3.6-liter V-6 engine is manufactured at the Trenton engine plant in Michigan. The five-speed automatic transmission is produced in Kokomo, Indiana (ITP2), and the manual six-speed transmission is produced in Gaggenau, Germany.
Wrangler Sahara and Rubicon models offer a body-color hardtop and fender flares. A new paint process was developed to match the body color to the sheet molded compound (SMC) hardtops that exceeds the corporate quality standards of paint adhesion and UV resistance in the harshest environments. The body and top are painted separately with blended and matched paint to assure color continuity.