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Auto blogMon, 18 Nov 2013 15:30:00 EST
The Jeep Wrangler might be the reigning king of special editions, but with sales records being broken almost all year, this plan is obviously resonating with buyers. Joining new models like the Dragon Edition and Polar Edition, the 2014 Jeep Wrangler is adding a new Willys Wheeler Edition to pay homage to Jeep's military heritage.
Getting ready for its big debut at the LA Auto Show, the 2014 Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler Edition is inspired by early Willys CJ (Civilian Jeep) models with exclusive styling and upgraded off-road goodies. Starting with a Wrangler Sport, these upgrades include a Dana 44 rear axle with limited-slip differential and 3.73 gears, along with meaty BF Goodrich KM Mud Terrain tires mounted to the Willys Wheeler's black 17-inch wheels. For more of a classic Jeep look, this model adds a gloss black grille, "Willys" hood stickers and rock rails to protect the side sills. Jeep is also tossing in a D-ring, tow strap and gloves that are all kept in a special carrying bag.
When it goes on sale early next year, the Wrangler Willys Wheeler Edition will start at $25,795 for the two-door model, while the four-door will start at $29,595. There's an official press release posted below, and we'll be sure to have live images of the special-edition Wrangler live from the LA Auto Show floor later this week, so stay close.
Well, no one should ever accuse the government of not giving things plenty of thought. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is still debating whether it will retest any of the 1.56 million 1992 to 1998 Grand Cherokees and 2002 to 2007 Libertys that were part of a recall regarding fires after rear-end collisions. And yes, this debate has been going on for over a month. In other news...
The recall dustup started in early June, when Chrysler took the unusual position of refusing a recall request from NHTSA regarding placement of the fuel tank on the effected vehicles. NHTSA said a collision could cause a fire, a position Chrysler took issue with. Extensive negotiations ensued, with Chrysler agreeing to fit certain Jeeps with trailer hitches, which it said would provide some protection to fuel tanks mounted behind the rear axle in the event of a collision.
Part of the issue rests with the amount of data that needs to be processed, according to The Detroit News. NHTSA administrator David Strickland said during a Washington Auto Press Association meeting, "There's a lot of data and Chrysler is being very cooperative in giving us more data." Until that information has been sorted, it looks like re-testing will still be up for debate.
You may remember that Jeep's unusual fix for this recall involves fitting a trailer hitch.
The recall of about 1.5 million models of the 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty and 1993-1998 Grand Cherokee over fuel tanks may finish far sooner than originally estimated. In a new filing from Jeep's parent, Chrysler Group, with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the company says that it can complete the repairs for the affected vehicles by March 2015, much sooner than the previous estimate of sometime in 2018. Jeep predicts the total cost of the campaign will be around $151 million.