Fanboy.Defined by Urban Dictionary: An extreme fan or follower of a particular medium or concept, whether it be sports, television, film directors, video games (the most common usage), etc. I am an Apple Fanboy. I have been exclusively, un-objectively all Apple since 1996. A lack of objectivity, even a small one, is tacit with being a fanboy. My brother had an Apple logo tattooed on his arm. Sibling Fanboy. Why all the discussion about cult-like adoration? It ties into the theme of my article, on why I am all-in on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL.
FCA introduced the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL this past Wednesday. The JL will carry the Jeep baton foreseeably for the next decade. No other vehicle will have a bigger impact on the automotive aftermarket. It is the successor to the most successful “Jeep” (in terms of units sold) in history. The JL won’t just carry that baton. It’s going to Carl Lewis circa 1994 that thing into the record books.
The timing for the new JL is utterly perfect. The way vehicles are bought and sold is so different from ten years ago, when the previous Wrangler debuted. Today brand managers can speak directly to their target audience in a way never before possible. Millennials place a high value on experiences, and no other vehicle platform delivers experiences like the Wrangler.
Before my JK, I didn’t camp. I didn’t own a bike. I had never kayaked. This February will mark 2 years since I bought my 2008 Wrangler. I have since bought all those other items, and a cool off road camper. In sales, that’s what you call “Coat Tails.” A Jeep Wrangler has long coat tails, and so much fun rides along behind on those coat tails. Buy a Wrangler, and it wont be long before you’re looking for ways to personalize it, and maximize it to match your lifestyle, or, the lifestyle you always wanted to live and perhaps never knew it.
According to the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), there are 1.3 million modified Jeeps on the road. 62% of the previous 2 Wrangler versions (JK and TJ) are modified. That’s fandom. Enter the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL.
So as a fanboy, I was glued to my computer (watching the livestream of yet another Jeep fanboy) on Wednesday. Jeep brand Manager Mike Manley (can’t make this up) evoked the late Steve Jobs as he revealed the JL at the LA Auto Show.
The event was so similar to Apple’s iPhone launch events in many ways. You had an audience filled with those so passionate about the brand that they pretty much knew every detail that they were about to see and hear. They’ve read every leaked report. Drooled over all the renderings. Yet there they sat, hanging on Mike’s every word.
Highly emotional video footage displayed on large video screens as the first glimpses of JL ownership came into view. The excitement built to a fever pitch. Then, at long last a JL Unlimited Sahara rolled out to center stage. Mike kept talking. Words were coming out, but he was drowned out by 4,000lbs of beautiful machinery. The most capable 4×4 in the family, the Rubicon was next to the stage.
So if you aren’t a fanboy (or fangirl?) yet, perhaps you don’t know all the new details on the JL. Here are some notable highlights:
- The JL will be available in two and four-door models. Two door trim levels include the Sport, Sport S, and Rubicon. Four door models are available in the same trim levels, as well as Sahara.
- The premium Sunrider soft top provides easy access to open-air driving without having to fully take the top down.
- FCA’s 4th generation Uconnect audio/video system is available with up to an 8” touchscreen, and the interior has been tastefully updated.
- The 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 returns as the standard JL Wrangler engine, but with the addition of new features to deliver 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft. of torque.
- A Highly anticipated 3-liter EcoDiesel V-6 and all-new 2-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engines join the Wrangler lineup soon after rollout.
Many dealers are taking pre-orders now for the JL (the Apple similarities keep on coming), with delivery expected to some dealers starting later this month! Get to know the JL and if you’re not already, perhaps you two will become a card-carrying member of the Seven Slot Nation.
Head on over to JLWranglerForums.com and read up on all the specs of the new models and trim levels, and stay tuned here, as I will be hot on the trail for aftermarket accessories for the new Jeep Wrangler.