I remember reading that article somewhere.. (IIRC) Jeep said it was to reduce weight to meet the Federal mandate thing for fuel economy, but that the designers are working to ensure it's still a "Jeep".. personally, doing lifts on our Jeeps are SO much easier when compared to independent suspension...
Article a couple months ago, plus a YouTube video featuring the JK's Chrysler product manager, stated JK will be around in the current configuration until 2018 MY. So, this latest thing about IFS or even fully independent is a bit suspect. One thing we know from seeing the abortion they now call the 2014 "Cherokee" (cough, cough) is that Fiat has no qualms screwing around with the Jeep legacy, and will peddle a phony with a perfectly straight face. Their cost managers are probably looking at the Grand Cherokee fully independent licking their chops trying to find a way to spread it around the brand. Put all the components together, front & rear, and the Grand's diffs, axle shafts, control arms, springs & shocks are probabky within a few pounds of the JK's. My bet is Fiat's management won't accept the solid axle ride vs flex compromise and they're trying to hide behind CAFE. So, tell me how they're gong to deal with the same issues with the Ram pickups?
Note that the following vecles have full independent suspensions: Subaru Forester, Honda CRV, Kia Soul, Ford Escape, Toyota RAV 4, Hyundai Sonata. See you on the trail, soccer moms!
The writing is on the wall, and it's not Fiat. The military has long abandoned solid front axles for small vehicles.
It's true solid axles are easier to lift,at least with leaf springs, I suspect that lifting a coil spring solid axle suspension is not that different in difficulty than an independent. There are advantages both ways, but one problem with a solid axle is that the differential is always pretty close to the ground, only changing tire size moves it up. With independent suspension it can be tucked up in the body.
'89 Wrangler YJ
97 Grand Cherokee (ZJ)
87 MB 560SL roadster
seriously getting sick of hearing this every. single. time. Jeep works on a new Wrangler, it never happens.
There's more info out there suggesting otherwise anyway.
First off, Jeep already stated JK production was extended to 2018, why the hell is this still saying 2016? that right there removes all credibility from this STORY. The engineers have gone on record saying the Wrangler will always have solid axles and Marchionne himself even highlighted how precious the Wrangler is in every way possible. One story without even so much as a viable quote and everyone cries bloody murder......
Jeep has indeed diluted the rest, but in order to improve overall efficiency, the product line can afford one to remain as it is (aka Wrangler)...
Jeep garage: 2011 Jeep Wrangler JK - 33" BFG KM2s, 2.5" RC BB, ARB bumper, IPF 900XS, Superwinch EPI 9.0, AEV Snorkel 1995 Jeep Wrangler - 4 cyl, 2.5" lift, BFG AT 30s, Ford 8.8, SYE+CV, AX15 swap, ARB snorkel, Aussie locker + loads more - sold 1978 Jeep CJ-7 - 304 V8, TH400 auto and quadratrac 2007 Jeep Liberty - Mother's Jeep, BFG ATs and....mud?
I remember reading the same thing around 2005 about the new 2007 Wrangler going to IFS. I wouldn't worry until you start seeing IFS wrangler concept vehicles at Auto shows, magazines and blogs are just speculating.