Wrangler: An American Icon Since 1941

December 11th, 2020 by

An orange 1955 Jeep CJ-5 is parked in the grass after leaving a Jeep Wrangler dealer near Lexington.

If you are on the hunt for a Jeep Wrangler dealer near Lexington, you probably already know about how amazing the Wrangler is as an SUV. However, how much do you know about the history behind the Jeep Wrangler’s success. The Wrangler is commonly known around the world now, evolving from a World War II necessity to its hybrid-powered future.

The Wrangler is immediately identifiable as the direct descendant of that iconic Army 4×4 and built with the same hard-working attitude. It is the icon that started in America to support the troops in World War II but has become a worldwide phenomenon. No other sport utility vehicle has the fanbase or legacy of the Wrangler. The 2021 model brings even greater innovations and improvements to the history of this incredible vehicle.

The 1940s: Where It All Started

Jeep has been part of American history since 1941 when Willys-Overland worked to create an off-road capable troop transport vehicle for the US Army to use in World War II. The engineers who designed the original Jeep needed a vehicle that was tough, easy to modify, easy to repair fast, and capable of an ever-changing and challenging environment. The result was a vehicle that could be made into an amphibious assault vehicle, reliable utility transport for troops and gear, and even a moving artillery with gun mounts. It was a massive success, and after the war, commercial production began, and the Jeep name became trademarked by Willys-Overland. By 1945, Willys marketed the CJ 4×4 to the public, and it took off. While the model was initially intended to be useful for farmers, the general public soon began to see its appeal.

The 1950s-1980s

After the war, Americans experienced a surge in disposable money and free time. The CJ became popular among campers, hikers, and other wilderness explorers. Despite all the years since then, the old CJ is still identifiably a Jeep and closely resembles even the modern Wrangler. From the ’50s through the ’70s, Jeep performed well in sales. The off-road SUV was more of a niche vehicle for enthusiasts, and aside from a few competitors, the Jeep was the trendsetter.

As other models faded into obscurity and foreign cars and manufacturing became more popular, off-road capable vehicles became even less popular, but the Jeep didn’t give up. It stuck with its guns and went on to develop into one of the most popular vehicle models in the world. In the ’80s, the first Wrangler debuted at the Chicago Auto Show in 1986 as a replacement for the longstanding Jeep CJ series. Unlike the previous Jeep models, which were rather uncomfortable and really only intended for tumbling around the sand or crawling up mountains, this model featured comfortable interior features that made it an option as a daily driver instead of the weekend warrior it had earned a reputation as.

Since the arrival of the Wrangler, the iconic Jeep has gained an incredibly loyal and fierce fanbase all over the world. The brand’s commitment to their driver’s needs and close attention to ensure they never stray too far from what set them to success has solidified entire generations of brand loyalty. The Jeep Wrangler quickly soared to the top as the go-to go-anywhere vehicle.

A close up is shown of the 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon engine.

The Modern Wrangler

The Wrangler is famous for being able to take on any terrain or off-road challenge. It has a fantastic ground clearance for river fording and massive tires combined with an incredible rear locking differential for applying torque exactly where it needs to be in order to overcome any obstacle set in your path. It has the iconic boxy front grille and removable doors and roof that Jeep is known for with modern aesthetics that don’t lose sight of the original formula. The newer features and additions to the 2021 Wrangler have us incredibly excited and are set to change the industry and push the competition.

The starting MSRP for the 2021 Wrangler is pretty affordable. Standard pricing starts at $28,315. The base Wrangler is still competitive in the market with great power and features, but there is still plenty of room to boost the capability and add modern upgrades. Plus, even the base Wrangler has removable parts to make your driving experience one of a kind.

At the Rubicon trim, a brand new 6.4L HEMI V8 engine is available, which supercharges the expectations of the Jeep for the new model year and raises the bar against new competition like the returning Ford Bronco. Even without the most powerful engine, the Wrangler is still a beast with the 2.0L Turbo gas engine with 270 horsepower and up to 295 lb-ft. The broad range of power and capability from the base engine to the V8 gives options for all kinds of Jeep drivers. From the daily driver that enjoys rock crawling on the weekends to the regular outdoorsman who is plunging over dunes, there is a build right for you. Even more impressive and unexpected from Jeep than the V8 is the new hybrid engine.

A grey 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe is shown from the rear in the desert with mountains in the distance.

Hybrid 4xe

The hybrid engine is an exciting new option being offered with the 2021 Wrangler 4xe. This revolutionary engine features the first Jeep brand hybrid in North America. It is remarkably fuel efficient while sacrificing almost no significant performance and power capabilities.

The new fuel numbers for the 2021 Jeep 4xe are impressive, with the manufacturer’s estimated fuel efficiency at 50 miles per gallon and an estimated 400 total driving range. That is a lot of miles for uninterrupted adventure. You’ll be able to plug in the hybrid electric engine and lean on it to give your gas tank a break.

An added bonus of the electric half of the engine is reduced noise from under the hood so you can enjoy the sounds of nature. The new hybrid engine doesn’t sacrifice on power and capability either. This isn’t a flimsy green engine option. The 4xe gives 470 lb-ft of torque, 375 horsepower, and can climb from 0-60 in about 6 seconds. It is an exciting addition to the portfolio of achievements the Wrangler has and is sure to impress a lot of people when it launches.

Wrangler: History Still in the Making

The Jeep Wrangler is the greatest example of the evolution of Jeep and its dedication to providing the best in engineering for an ever-changing world. From the battlefield of Europe to the dunes and mountains of the good old USA, the Wrangler is a testament to the innovations and hard work of Jeep manufacturing through the decades. If you are looking to get behind the wheel of the 2021 Jeep Wrangler or any other Jeep vehicle, trust the folks at Dan Cummins of Georgetown to get you on the road and off.

Start Your Adventure at Dan Cummins of Georgetown

No other dealership near Lexington has a more knowledgeable staff. We have an unbeatable selection of new and pre-owned vehicles. With our special RAM and Jeep lease deals, you get the benefits of the DC advantage to get the best deals possible. We have made it our mission to provide you with the highest quality service and competitive financing rates. Our experts will find the best payment plan for you and deal with the banks, so you don’t have to. Of course, our service to you doesn’t end when you drive off the lot. Our service and parts center is available to you, so you don’t need to stress when it comes to regular maintenance or major repairs or checkups.