OK, so the others might be putting out something that can hang with the Wrangler on the trails but be more refined on the roads. My opinion is they won't be as capable as the Wrangler.There's been so much movement in this regard that I thought it might be worth an update. Especially now that AEV has moved not just beyond Jeep with full-size overlanding in the Ram Prospector, but past FCA altogether with the new Chevy ZR2 Bison.
I've been an off-road enthusiast for more than 20 years- I watched as rock crawling became the pinnacle of the sport and how recently go-fast off-roading started to chip away at that in the form of the Raptor, but Overlanding seems to be the hot new thing. Even the JL has an optional shelf for the tailgate to cook etc...
With these changes in mind i ask again, how do you think Jeep will respond? Those saying that there will be no off-road war I truly believe are being naive and complacent. I certainly hope Jeep doesn't follow their path. Jeep is facing more competition than it ever has and only more is coming. Traction control is catching up to lockers in it's abilities to maintain momentum and IFS equipped competitors not only offer a better ride, but some of them also have more power.
Mid-size trucks are a real threat to the Wrangler. If you've got 4 doors in a mid-size truck and a camper topper for the bed you've essentially got a structure similar in concept to a Wrangler. A brief view of the landscape below-
Toyota's Shot at the Wrangler- a snorkel equipped 4Runner with Terrain management and a Tacoma-
Ford's Ranger Raptor- I take this as a script for how the upcoming Bronco will end up; if it also has a removable top, Jeep has a real competitor-
Chevy really missed an opportunity with that cross-over Piece of S..t. they are unfortunately attaching the Blazer name to, but they knocked it out of the park with the AEV ZR2 Bison- great suspension, front/rear lockers, AEV collaboration- sound familiar?
Land Rover Defender- iconic- set to return to the US and is confirmed to include an SUV and perhaps a light truck version and an SVX off-road version-
It looks like a Tacoma TRD Pro, Chevy ZR2 Bison, Ford Ranger Raptor and Jeep Scrambler/Rubicon JT shoot out will be here within a year or so!
I can't wait to see a comparison between a Wrangler Rubicon, a Bronco Raptor, a TRD 4Runner and a Defender SVX! It's high times for off-road enthusiasts and anyone who thinks that Jeep is not in the middle of an off-road competition has got their head in the sand thinking that if they don't see the lion it must not be there.
But here's the one big thing I noticed in all the articles you linked to... not one of them is a roll cage on wheels, that has multiple top/topless configurations, has all doors off, solid front axle.
They may be capable but they still can't hold a candle to the OVERALL being of a Wrangler. I get it, some people want to throw $40k down and don't want those COOL features... weirdos.
IMO, IFS is not a plus. OK, it gives you a bit more comfort on the road but it is a weak link off road. Three weeks ago a $70k Raptor blew his front end apart slamming over a rock on the trail at the park we were at. I didn't here of any Jeeps doing that on that day. I get it maybe it was driver error.