2018 Jeep Wrangler Roof Design Previewed in Clay Models

JAY

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We've obtained high resolution photos of the JL Wrangler clay model proposals which were first posted last week. More importantly, these new shots show the one design feature that will make it to the production version of the 2018 Jeep Wrangler.

The photos were snapped during a Friends & Family gathering at the FCA Headquarters. While it's clear that the clay model on display is an early JL Wrangler proposal with front and rear fascia design details that have since been rejected and that do not match the spy photos or leaked dealer preview we showed you, based on the information we have gathered the one element that will largely make it to production is the new roof design proposal incorporated into this clay model.

The 2018 Wrangler will feature a fixed roof structure with 3 large and separate removable full-width panels -- the first two of which are over the first and second row seating, and the third separate panel which covers the rear cargo area. This design is also consistent with a member's JL roof sketch which has been confirmed by insider sources to be accurate. Each removable roof panel also features what is possibly a smaller removable center piece for a skylight look and functionality.

While the current JK Wrangler offers a three-piece hardtop, two of the three pieces are the separate panels over the front seats so only two sections of the JK Wrangler are open to the sky.

This 3-piece separately removable roof of the JL Wrangler will offer something more expansive, namely an open sky over all three sections including the cargo area. A fully removable roof expanse would not only enhance the open-air feel capable with the bulk of the hardtop in place, but it would also enhance that functionality and flexibility of the cargo space to allow taller items to be hauled.


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Biker Dan

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So it's true that the roof will be mostly fixed. I guess this replaces the sport bar completely?

My question is whether this is going to be standard for all models?
 

Jeep XXL

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I wish they made it two panels instead of three. The crossbar between the first and second panel is going to be an eyesore and take away from a totally open air feel. Also wish the third panel extended farther back to the very edge right before the third brake light. Interested to see if this is the final roof layout.
 

Joe Camel

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I wish they made it two panels instead of three. The crossbar between the first and second panel is going to be an eyesore and take away from a totally open air feel. Also wish the third panel extended farther back to the very edge right before the third brake light. Interested to see if this is the final roof layout.
The three panel design might have to do with rollover structural protection? Or maybe designers thought having only two panels might result in pieces too heavy to easily take on and off. Can't quite tell if I like it yet, have to see it with all the panels and side windows removed to see how open air it looks.

I kinda like the look of those roof grab handles but can't think of what those would actually be used for?
 

ManGraveyDavey

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I wish they made it two panels instead of three. The crossbar between the first and second panel is going to be an eyesore and take away from a totally open air feel. Also wish the third panel extended farther back to the very edge right before the third brake light. Interested to see if this is the final roof layout.
So based on this, the new generation wrangler will only have the 3 roof panels that we can take off? Can you not completely remove the cargo area/rear windows?

Thanks gosh we know that this front grill will not be what we see in production. As a previous post said, it's ugly AF. Even looks like the Renegade.
 

geekyrocketguy

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What is the purpose of the handles on the sides of the roof?
 

opsfox21

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What is the purpose of the handles on the sides of the roof?
To me it looks as though the only steel structure is the white framework around the doors. I believe that the entire black roof portion on this model is meant to be removed, making it not much different than what we have now (maybe even better). The handles should be for lifting the top in two parts, the rear with the glass, and the forward portion over the first two rows. If you look closely, there does not appear appear to be a seam in the top between the first and second rows. It also looks like they place two very convenient divots in the sheet metal under the rear windows to help you lift the rear portion.

I also had a thought that if those handles were solid attachment points it would be a great place to install roof rack crossbars, but if they are part of the top that might not be a good idea.

Try to imagine this with the confirmed top options... the glass panels and the power retractable 'sky slider' style soft panels. You would have a great many top options depending on how you were feeling on any particular day. If the over sized windows on this model carry over I think that we should be in good shape, just please lose that grill (confirmed)!
 

dmarker

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A few things I am seeing in that design:

1. The smaller shapes on the top of the roof structure can be an option. Either traditional hardtop material or glass. Glass will be a nice option to let in sun in the winter.
2. The rear side glass for the cargo area pops out separately, similar to how the current soft top sides unzip out. This allows for an open air feel with the top panels on for sun/rain protection.
3. The top's rails, notice how they are continuous from front to rear, allow for a slider power soft top down the entire length of the roof structure. Undetermined is how it will bunch/store into the rear cargo area.
4. Undetermined if that rear glass pops out like the side glass. It needs to.
 

Rockcrawler

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To me it looks as though the only steel structure is the white framework around the doors. I believe that the entire black roof portion on this model is meant to be removed, making it not much different than what we have now (maybe even better). The handles should be for lifting the top in two parts, the rear with the glass, and the forward portion over the first two rows. If you look closely, there does not appear appear to be a seam in the top between the first and second rows. It also looks like they place two very convenient divots in the sheet metal under the rear windows to help you lift the rear portion.

I also had a thought that if those handles were solid attachment points it would be a great place to install roof rack crossbars, but if they are part of the top that might not be a good idea.
Nice analysis! I really hope you're right that the entire black portions of the roof can be removed (the grab handles would then make functional sense) but if they are then why bother cutting out those 3 middle pieces?
 

ModdedJK

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Nice analysis! I really hope you're right that the entire black portions of the roof can be removed (the grab handles would then make functional sense) but if they are then why bother cutting out those 3 middle pieces?
My guess is the roof can be removed in several different ways. Either just the panels if you want semi-open air like a sun top or the entire roof along where the handles are.

The cool thing about this design is it allows for some factory attachment options for rack accessories etc. The handles themselves could be one of them.

I do wonder if this spells the end of the soft top as we know it. What do you guys think?
 

opsfox21

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If the final JL top is fully removable like this one it should at least be possible in theory to offer a traditional soft top. Where the rear could have soft windows and bows like we have now, and the front slides forward in a track between the steel parts. With this design leaks around the doors should be greatly reduced.
 

Midnight2d

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I'd like to believe everything including the roof edges can be removed too but if you look at the sketches they show how they envision the roof opening up. None of them show the grab handles area to be removable even when the doors are off.

The sketch on the upper top right seems to show the entire hard steel structure..


 

Ernie

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If it's a fixed roof they should build it taller and extend the rear to add more utility and presence. It also allows them to create a single barn style fixed rear door that swings out.

Basically I'm looking for the Africa concept, ever since they showed it at Easter Jeep Safari I've been secretly hoping it's secretly a preview of the JL. Even better if the roof is almost completely removable but has a solid structure for some optional rails or other goodies.





The Defender is supposed to be revived in a few years, this would be great competition.
 

Ernie

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If the final JL top is fully removable like this one it should at least be possible in theory to offer a traditional soft top. Where the rear could have soft windows and bows like we have now, and the front slides forward in a track between the steel parts. With this design leaks around the doors should be greatly reduced.
I love the track idea. Could make it extremely customizable and allow for that power top we keep hearing rumors about.
 

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