SEC filing leaks eight-speed transmission for all rear-wheel drive models going forward

There might be some big changes coming to the Jeep Wrangler when it’s finally designed, and heavily re-engineered, for 2018.

According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing unearthed by Automotive News, the next Wrangler, as will the rest of FCA’s rear-wheel drive offerings, will be equipped with an eight-speed ZF-sourced automatic transmission. The filing states, “We plan to use this transmission in all of our rear-wheel-drive vehicles, except for heavy-duty versions of the Ram pick-up truck and the SRT Viper….”

The addition of the eight-speed automatic, along with rumoured aluminum body construction, should help FCA with CAFE targets while still retaining the Wrangler’s go-anywhere capability.

However, thanks to possible tightening roof strength standards, there’s a chance the next Wrangler won’t be available as a convertible. While it’s highly unlikely, Allpar states NHTSA may change its “convertible exception” that allows for open-top vehicles to resist less force than their closed-roof counterparts.

If the rules are changed, Allpar posits the Wrangler to sport removable roof panels instead so the SUV can pass the new standards while retaining its open-air feel that makes it so popular.

2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition

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