To call the Jeep Wrangler “iconic” would be something of an understatement. With a body shape that traces all the way back to that World War II workhorse, the Willys, the Jeep is an enduring symbol of Americana. Ten years ago, to counter accusations of the brand having gone "a bit soft," Jeep introduced the hard-core Rubicon Wrangler variant, named for one of America’s toughest mountain trails. Now comes the Anniversary Edition, packed with even more off-road ruggedness and ability – and a nice bit of red leather.
The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition is available as a two-door Wrangler or four-door Wrangler Unlimited, with a choice of standard six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission mated to a 3.6-liter V-6 engine producing 285 horsepower and 260 ft.-lbs. of torque. The Jeep part-time four-wheel-drive system has electronic-locking front and rear axles that receive power through a transfer case with a “4-Low” ratio of 4:1. A 4.10 axle ratio front and rear is also standard, as are locking diff. With a six-speed manual transmission, the vehicle has a crawl ratio of 73:1.
A one-half inch increase in ride height versus the standard Rubicon model provides the Goodrich KM2 265/70R17 tires more room to claw at the scenery. The tires are mounted on 17-inch aluminum wheels painted satin black with polished faces and a red Jeep Wrangler “icon” logo on the outside lip.
Black front and rear steel off-road bumpers toughen up the exterior, with the front bumper featuring removable end caps and a winch-capable design. These removable end caps are designed to help the Wrangler climb obstacles without hindrance, and reduce the damage potential to the bumper system. A dual-intake domed hood helps aid in engine cooling and gives a more aggressive appearance. Red tow hooks adorn the front and rear, and rock rails give added protection from trail damage. “10th Anniversary” badging on the fenders and a red-silhouette “Rubicon” decal on the sides of the hood add the finishing, somewhat loud touches on the exterior.
The Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition comes standard with a soft top and is available with a black three-piece hard top or body-color hard top. Available exterior colors are Billet Silver, White and 10th Anniversary Edition-exclusive Anvil – a kind of steely blue.
The interior has a few custom touches as well, such as red leather seats with “Rubicon 10th Anniversary” embroidered into the front seat backs just to remind you what you’re sitting in. Red stitching adorns the leather-wrapped steering wheel and the center console, while a unique gauge cluster features the Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) with various read-outs such as oil pressure, oil temperature and tire pressure. The passenger grab handle includes a “Rubicon 10th Anniversary” badge and features silver accents that are also found on the vent rings, steering wheel spokes and door pulls.
Final design touches include slush mats, and axle locker and sway-bar disconnect switches for the really rough stuff.
Limited production (limited to what we don’t know) starts in the Spring of 2013. Price will be around the US$35,000 mark.