Jeep introduces Wrangler Willys Wheeler Edition

Throwback model features additional off-road hardware for increased capability

Published: November 20, 2013, 6:00 AM
Updated: November 22, 2021, 4:06 PM

Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler Special Edition

The roots of Jeep's extraordinary commercial success date back to World War II, when the purpose-built original Jeep was the acknowledged workhorse of the U.S. military.

The Jeep love affair that began with GIs continued when the first civilian Jeep ("CJ") – the Willys-Overland CJ-2A – became available to the public in 1945. And the legend has grown from there, through various generations to the current Wrangler.

The latest Wrangler special edition model, which makes its debut at the 2013 Los Angeles International Auto Show, is the 2014 Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler Edition, which is said to connect customers with the original Jeep’s rugged and purely functional capability.

It will arrive in Jeep showrooms early next year.

"The new Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler Edition is a Jeep purist’s dream... that harkens back to the original, classic CJs of the 1940s," said Mike Manley, president and CEO of the Jeep brand. "(It) delivers pure functionality and rugged capability in a unique package that recognizes the origins of the brand."

Based on the Wrangler Sport model, the Willys Wheeler Edition features upgraded hardware, including a Dana 44 rear axle with Trac-Lok limited-slip rear differential and 3.73 gears, BF Goodrich KM Mud Terrain LT255/75R17 tires, rock rails and a new Jeep Trail Rated Kit that includes a D-Ring, tow strap and gloves in a Jeep-branded bag.

It also features Jeep's Command-Trac 4x4 part-time, two-speed transfer case with a 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio to enhance off-road capability.

Special exterior design cues include a gloss black grille and front and rear bumper appliques, satin black "4 Wheel Drive" rear tailgate decal and "Willys" hood decals and unique high-gloss black 17-inch aluminum wheels.

Standard equipment includes a Sunrider soft top and deep-tint sunscreen rear windows. A premium Sunrider soft top and black-splatter Freedom Top are available.

Other features include a Connectivity Group with SiriusXM satellite radio, and Sport S-based models get a Power Convenience Group and Premium Tire Pressure Monitoring System as standard. Jeep Wrangler’s iconic half doors are an option.

Power comes from Chrysler's ubiquitous 3.6-litre Pentastar V-6 engine, with 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard with a five-speed automatic available as an option.

The Willys Wheeler Edition, which is built in Toledo, Ohio, is available in both two-door and Unlimited (four-door) models.