Jeep’s planned entry in the Indian market in the third quarter of 2013 sure has set off-road enthusiasts’ tongues wagging. The company plans on kickstarting its India innings with two models introduced via the CBU route initially, with local assembly expected somewhere along the line.
The first model to arrive here will be the Wrangler, which is the successor to the famous World War II Jeep also known as Willys CJ (Civilian Jeep). We will get the latest generation four-door Wrangler (code: JK), which will be powered by a 2.8-litre common-rail diesel engine good for 197bhp and 46kgm of torque. What will truly get off-road enthusiasts salivating; however, will be the fact that it will come with front and rear live-axles like the earlier versions of the CJ, which will make it by far the best for serious off-roading. While the latest generation Wrangler still retains its tough-as-nails looks and is still hardcore, it is greatly evolved and touted to be one of the most capable off-roaders in the world.
Despite all this though, the Wrangler is likely to have only a limited appeal in India. Its hardcore mechanical bits are designed specifically for off-road conditions, and that means it won’t make for a very practical set of wheels on an everyday basis. Also, since it will be brought in via the CBU route initially, it is also likely to be quite expensive with an expected price tag of around Rs 35 lakh. Even then, it is likely to deliver much of the appeal of a Hummer, but without the impractical size, and that could appeal to plenty.