Will the Next Wrangler Go Aluminum?
Given that the 2015 Ford F-150 will be aluminum-bodied, and that the next Silverado will follow suit, it’s logical to assume that Ram will be getting in on the weight-saving action with its next generation of trucks.
“’We have the capability to do an aluminum body for the Ram, but I have better places to use aluminum in the portfolio,” Chrysler Group LLC CEO Sergio Marchionne said at a recent Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Investor Day press conference.
There’s a silver lining, though. The fuel-efficient metal might find its way onto the next Jeep Wrangler. When asked if there’s a better use for aluminum in his lineup than the famous off-roader, Marchionne said, “No.”
Jeep toyed with the thought of a lighter Wrangler a couple of years ago by making the Stitch concept pictured above. “That rig trimmed off a whopping 1,100 pounds by throwing out everything unnecessary, cutting weight-reduction holes into what was, and using fabric body panels. The effort delivered a power-to-weight ratio closing in on a Grand Cherokee SRT.”
Road & Track doesn’t seem concerned about the Jeep icon’s personality changing too much. It thinks the Wrangler’s frame (which more than likely won’t be a unibody) and roll cage will stay steel, while its body, hood and fenders will be made out of aluminum. All of those changes should translate to higher mpg on the street and easier maneuvering in the rough stuff.
The downside is that we won’t find out if the magazine is right until 2017.
via [Road & Track]