Jeep Evolution Video Shows Why the Wrangler Is Such an Icon

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The Jeep Wrangler is due for a new generation with the JL version set to debut at the end of this month when the Los Angeles Auto Show kicks off. That means it’s the perfect moment to remember why the Wrangler has this halo following it everywhere.
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In the end, it all comes down to its predecessors and how it uses its design to maintain a strong link with them. It might be 2017 (and nearly 2018), but if you showed a modern Wrangler to a U.S. Army from World War II back in 1945, he would still be able to identify it as a Jeep.

He might be in awe at some of its rounded surfaces, its neat paint job and, most of all, at its interior, but all the lines that hark back to the 1940 Bantam Reconnaissance Car are still there, one way or another. It even has a folding windshield, after all.

But even though it had its birth in a conflict, the Wrangler managed to project a different image over the years and is now seen as an adventure vehicle, one that gives its owner the freedom to go wherever they please. That’s a great achievement and one that, for instance, the Hummer H1 never managed to pull off.

The animation follows a few of the most important moments in Jeep’s history, focusing most of all on the early stages. It includes the 1945 Willys CJ2a, the first one to feature the seven-slot grille and also the time the name “Jeep” was trademarked.

There’s still a debate going on over the roots of the Jeep name, one that’s likely to remain unsolved forever. But the important thing is what it stands for now, and that’s a very successful brand – the most valuable one in the FCA portfolio – that’s launching one competitive model after another without diluting its essence.

The 2018 Jeep Wrangler is just around the corner, but if you’re looking for a brief reminder of how we got where we are, look no further than this clip. The JL/JLU doesn’t make an appearance, but it does have the Scrambler pickup truck that will follow it next year. For more information on the all-new Wrangler as well as an exhaustive photo gallery including its redesigned dashboard, you can check out this article.


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