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Sub Model: 7
Exterior Color: Orange
Interior Color: Black
Charlotte, North Carolina, United States
Jeep CEO Mike Manley would rather soft-pedal the seven-figure prognostication for now, but Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne won't have it, proclaiming in an interview that Jeep will sell one million units worldwide this year. Manley has called that come-hither number "a stretch," the history of recent gains perhaps reason for his caution: in 2011 the brand sold 568,317 units, followed by the record-breaking tally of 701,626, then another record in 2013 with 731,565 units moved.
That kind of gap means everything will need to go magically for Jeep to record a 37-percent increase this year - amazing Cherokee sales, a brilliant launch for the little Jeep arriving in Europe later this year and a heavy wave to raise sales in US, European and Chinese markets. Manley is confident about the prospects in 2015, though, with the Cherokee in full stride, the Fiat-based Jeep on its way to the US and expanded global production. It's not as though Marchionne's prediction for Jeep's 2014 sales is unexpected, since he first made it last year. But even if the number ends up a little short for 2014, there's no doubt it will be impressive.
Perhaps it's because we've seen so many kitted-out examples over the years, but it seems to us that the Jeep Wrangler tends to wear its special-edition duds better than most models. It might be the icon's familiar rectilinear proportions or the inherent bolt-on look of its extremities - bumpers, mirrors, lighting, and step rails - but we've seen precious few factory specials that look anything but excellent.
Case in point: this new Jeep Wrangler Polar unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show. This European-market limited-edition model is said to be a celebration of winter driving, which evidently works out to a body-color hardtop, black-accent seven-slot grille, 18-inch gloss black wheels, Trac-Lok limited-slip differential and a hard hat for the spare tire. Finished here in Hydro Blue (Billet Silver Metallic and Bright White are also available) and a black interior with Polar White accents, the Polar edition features badges displaying 78° S and 106° E longitude and latitude coordinates for Vostok, Antarctica.
This new Jeep will be available in both standard and Unlimited formats with either the 3.6-liter Pentastar gas engine or the still-not-for-US 2.8-liter turbodiesel when it bows early next year. For further details, check out our gallery above and the press release below.
As we mentioned, Jeep is bringing a quartet of concepts to the Beijing Motor Show this year. Its largest model, the Grand Cherokee, is nowhere to be found, but its smallest is. That, of course, would be the new Renegade, which has been done up as the Zi You Xia design concept.
Taking its name from the Mandarin word (or words) for "rebel," the Zi You Xia takes its inspiration from the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, with a Warm Chocolate Gray paintjob with contrasting dark bronze trim. The roof, grille and mirror caps are color-keyed to match the rest of the exterior, riding on 20-inch alloys in the same dark bronze finish.
Inside it's all Piano Black, Anodized Copper and brown leather with plaid fabric inserts. Scope it out in the high-res image gallery above and the press release below.