2018 Jeep Wrangler Aluminum Parts Confirmed by Alcoa

JoKer

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JTman

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Taimaishu

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Only aluminum parts are mentioned. Any chance aluminum will be used as part of the frame construction?
 

N.Stark

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Only aluminum parts are mentioned. Any chance aluminum will be used as part of the frame construction?
No. Aluminum frame would be too expensive. And aluminum is inherently not that strong. In order to reinforce it and use enough of it to be as strong as steel, it'd already weigh as much as steel, negative the advantage of using aluminum in the first place. And that's just for a regular car. A Wrangler has much higher strength demands than a regular car.
 

Joe Camel

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The new roof structure will add more weight yes but it will also reduce the need for strengthening and bolstering the rest of the body (for rigidity), so that could save some weight. Sorta like how a convertible is heavier than coupe/sedans because they need more body strengthening to make up for lack of a roof structure.

But you have a point, I think what'll happen at the end of the day is the JL Wrangler won't be much lighter, if at all.
+1 I think we'll probably see a pretty similar weight for the JL compared to the JK.

The efficiency gains are going to come from the new engines and transmission. The turbo 4 paired with new 8 speed should be a nice improvement on current MPG.
 

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There's more gains to be had through the powertrain than any weight lost program. It'd also be more cost effective to improve the drivetrain compared to switching to aluminum. But glad we'll be seeing gains using both approaches.

Before seeing the spy pics I was thinking they could benefit from shrinking the car some to reduce weight. The Wrangler's gotten pretty big (my JKU included). But the prototypes look just as big if not bigger than the JK.
 

KirkS

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There's more gains to be had through the powertrain than any weight lost program. It'd also be more cost effective to improve the drivetrain compared to switching to aluminum. But glad we'll be seeing gains using both approaches.

Before seeing the spy pics I was thinking they could benefit from shrinking the car some to reduce weight. The Wrangler's gotten pretty big (my JKU included). But the prototypes look just as big if not bigger than the JK.
Even cylinder deactivation and direct injection alone could give you a couple MPG improvement. But hey if FCA can built a partial aluminum Wrangler that's lighter and more gas efficient without bumping up the cost to us consumers then even better!
 

Sport11

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I love my Wrangler but never felt like weight was the limiting factor for fuel economy. Aerodynamics are a tough thing with the Wrangler with the loyalists dictating the less than optimal grill and windshield design. I do welcome a lighter Wrangler. I wouldn't mind if they shrunk it to get some of that savings. A 4/5th scale version of the current model would be great.
 

Rockcrawler

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There's more gains to be had through the powertrain than any weight lost program. It'd also be more cost effective to improve the drivetrain compared to switching to aluminum. But glad we'll be seeing gains using both approaches.

Before seeing the spy pics I was thinking they could benefit from shrinking the car some to reduce weight. The Wrangler's gotten pretty big (my JKU included). But the prototypes look just as big if not bigger than the JK.
I think powertrain engineering have made many auto makers lazy. Yea vehicles in general have all grown in size due to people demanding more utility/space, safety regulations, and people getting bigger overall (?) but we now have an industry full of bloated vehicles. Even go fast cars like Mustang and Camaro are nearly double their original weight and Jeep is no exception. More fuel efficient engines are great but they do nothing for handling and overall feel. All to say that while advances in turbo and diesels would be welcomed, reducing weight would help across the board no matter what is under the hood.
 

Doyles

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Will be interesting to see what the real world weight difference will be. I think my JK front doors are heavy so even 5 pounds lighter each would make them easier to take off and on.
 

Dackel

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Will be interesting to see what the real world weight difference will be. I think my JK front doors are heavy so even 5 pounds lighter each would make them easier to take off and on.
Yea the JK doors are heavy especially with power windows and locks. I'm all for aluminum if it makes them lighter but hope it doesn't increase NVH and hope the door skin stays steel for better dent protection.
 

Dackel

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I think powertrain engineering have made many auto makers lazy. Yea vehicles in general have all grown in size due to people demanding more utility/space, safety regulations, and people getting bigger overall (?) but we now have an industry full of bloated vehicles. Even go fast cars like Mustang and Camaro are nearly double their original weight and Jeep is no exception. More fuel efficient engines are great but they do nothing for handling and overall feel. All to say that while advances in turbo and diesels would be welcomed, reducing weight would help across the board no matter what is under the hood.
Of course reducing weight is ideal, but it's also the most by far the most expensive approach. Just look at the JL rumors. The safety regulations just make it harder and harder to do any real lightweighting without huge billion dollar investments and even then it might not meet the targets, just like the F-150.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/arti...el-the-f-150-has-a-big-problem-after-overhaul

It's possible with a redesign but without decreasing the size of the vehicle significantly which doesn't seem to have happened based on the spy pics I think we'll see the weight stay about the same. It'll be left to the turbo/diesel and a more efficient Pentastar V6 to pull the weight (no pun intended) for real MPG gains.
 

Biker Dan

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the TJ is plenty light compared to JK (~400 lbs) but the JK gets +4 MPG more due to the 3.6L Pentastar. weight reduction has other advantages but for MPG they can do more with powertrain upgrades.
 

Emoto

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I think powertrain engineering have made many auto makers lazy. Yea vehicles in general have all grown in size due to people demanding more utility/space, safety regulations, and people getting bigger overall (?) but we now have an industry full of bloated vehicles. Even go fast cars like Mustang and Camaro are nearly double their original weight and Jeep is no exception. More fuel efficient engines are great but they do nothing for handling and overall feel. All to say that while advances in turbo and diesels would be welcomed, reducing weight would help across the board no matter what is under the hood.
1967 Camaro Z-28 (V8) 2-door coupe: 3520 lbs. per http://www.oldride.com/library/1967_chevrolet_camaro.html

2016 Camaro SS (V8) coupe: CURB 3760 lbs. per http://www.caranddriver.com/compari...ng-performance-data-and-complete-specs-page-4

Just sayin...
 

SteveC

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I don't like repeating CAFE complaints that I see online so often, but this could be a case where CAFE regulations costs the Wrangler buyer upfront (higher msrp?) and in repairs than the savings from efficiency gains.
 
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