2014 Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler Edition

According to rumors that have wafted into Road & Track’s offices, the fourth-gen Wrangler may lose its retractable top and full-size, rear-mounted spare tire.

The folding windshield may get the axe in order to improve the next Wrangler’s safety and lessen its complexity. Deleting the rear-mounted spare tire in favor of a hidden space-saver would lower the off-roader’s weight and increase its fuel economy.

Pure sacrilege, right? Grab your torches and pitchforks before the Wrangler goes the way of the Explorer and Pathfinder.

Here’s what Jeep is considering adding to the next Wrangler’s options list: a power-retractable top. Speaking from a business perspective, a power top would widen the Wrangler’s appeal, albeit to a demographic that refuses to spend four minutes on YouTube learning how to retract the soft top.

From a Jeep purist’s perspective, adding the power-retractable soft top, and deleting the folding windshield and full-size spare is like tossing a Wrangler and fabric softener into the dryer, and coming out with a Volkswagen Beetle Convertible.

There is no word on when the fourth-gen Wrangler will hit the market, but hopefully it will arrive without those rumored changes.