Sun is out, the sky is blue, got me a Rubicon.
[LAUGH] And a bunch of skid plates.
The Jeep Wrangler has been synonymous with off road since about World War II, so a really long time.
And I've come out here to the beautiful Rubicon Trail to see if its namesake, the Jeep Wrangle Rubicon,with the two liter turbo engine Has what it takes to conquer it?
So, lets get on out, saddle it, get to the trail ahead, and see what this baby can do.
Now, I know you may find this hard to believe but I have never been on the Rubicon Trail before.
I know, it's crazy, right?
So what came first, the Rubicon Trail or the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon?
This is an old Native American walking trail that went from the Sacramento Valley to Lake Tahoe and it was rediscovered by some settlers in the mid 1800s.
And then by 1890 it was used Used as a regular road, this is just a road, it's crazy.
Could you imagine running a covered wagon on this thing?
And basically right now, i'm in a riverbed.
Like, it's just all rocks.
It's just a riverbed of rocks.
And it's like, yeah sure, we can go on that, no problem.
I mean, it's slow, don't get me wrong.
You could walk faster than we're going in this thing.
But, it's still amazing.
The fact that there is a vehicle in this world, stock, off the showroom floor.
Stock wheels, stock tires, stock suspension, everything, that just does it.
Now the last generation Wrangler, the JK, was a really solid vehicle.
But this one, the JL, is Even better, I know it's tough to believe but let's check it out.
The new JL is about 150 pounds lighter thanks to the use of lightweight aluminum and magnesium.
But the Rubicon remains the top dog in the line up with a four to one low range.
For 2018 that famous seven slot grille got a bit of a redesign and it kinda takes on a retro Jeep CJ look which is pretty cool.
Last year's 32 inch BFG KO2 tires have been replaced with larger 33s and the ground clearance is up three quarters of an inch to 10.8 inches, while the wheel base has stretched just a bit as well.
Magically, that breakover angle increased up to 23 degrees for the four door.
An improved Sunrider soft top is easier to deal with, yeap.
no more zippers.
It's not really a Wrangler unless you can take off the doors.
A half door will be available in 2019 but going full on doorless is the most fun way that you can get really, really dirty.
The approach angle is up to 44 degrees on the Rubicon so feel free to hit most obstacles straight on.
New this year is a 2 liter turbocharged engine with 295 pound-feet of torque.
That's more twisting power than the standard V6.
But I could sit here and talk specs with you all day long, and what really matters with the Wrangler and especially with the Rubicon is how it makes you feel.
I mean, I feel so incredibly powerful, it can take me anywhere.
I have the freedom to do what I want when I want to do it, and that my friends is priceless, so I look at some of these things that they have us do, and I'm like you're out of your mind, so right now, we're going through essentially, a crevis
That's super steep on one side, and I cannot believe I'm gonna do this.
[LAUGH] Okay, yeah, yeah, thumbs up, okay, sure.
I'm sure it's fine.
I'm in the rut now.
Look at that coming out.
Yeah, I can't see my wheels, I can't see the front end.
I have no idea what's happening, but it's so much fun.
I feel so powerful.
My green Jeep.
My Miss Hulk.
She's spitting rocks out cuz she's so strong Ms. Hulk.
I love it.
Love it, love it, love it.
I did not know that it was this difficult.
I did not know that it was this rocky.
I did not know that it was this slow.
I'm amazed at what this stock vehicle is doing number one.
But number two, [LAUGH] I'm amazed that I have the ovaries to do it.
There is no way I could be getting this right, but I guess I am.
So of course the Jeep had a two speed transfer case, right?
You're not going to be doing all of this rock climbing in four high.
So we are in four low and the cool thing about it is in this automatic transmission, I have a final crawl ratio Of about 77 to 1.
Okay, well what does that mean?
Basically that means that I've got all of this torque just multiplied, multiplied, multiplied so that by the time it gets to my wheels, I don't even really need to use the gas at all.
I mean I can just, I'm going uphill here, so I do have my foot on the gas, but I can just kind of lift my foot off the gas, like I'm doing right now, And the Jeep just does it's own thing.
So there's all kinds of outer body protection which is allowing me to go over these rocks and not have to worry about putting hole in my transfer case.
But I guess the Jeep can take it.
So the JL has increased the wheel base by about two inches, but through the magic of packaging, they were able to keep or even better the breakover angle.
So it's at about 28 degrees of a Breakover angle, which is really good when you're trying to get over peaks that are like this.
Approach angle is 44 degrees so you can really hit steep things straight on with a lot of momentum if you need to.
And departure angle is about 37 degrees, so again when you're coming off of things you've got a lot of room there to kinda slide your **** down the rock and not damage the rear of your car.
So the Rubicon comes standard with a sway bar disconnect, which is gonna give me a lot of articulation going up and over some of these rocks.
And the new JL has got a better turning radius than the JK.
So I'm able to get through some of these really, really tiny, tiny spots and not have to do a three-point turn.
It's like the Neverending Story but it's the Neverending Rock Crawl.
All right, so now we're gonna go from the river bed, the Neverending River Bed, onto some slick rock granite.
So this is gonna be a real test of these tires because we have not aired down.
So I have not as big of a contact patch as I could have, and I'm going uphill, starting really slowly.
He's just gonna stand there in front of me?
My God, that was amazing.
On to the right now.
That was amazing.
So we've been on the trail for I don't know, six hours maybe.
We've probably gone five miles, six miles.
I doubt we've gone six miles.
We've probably only gone five miles.
[LAUGH] One after another after another, it just beats you up, both man and machine.
But it comes down to this.
Would I buy the new JL?
And it really depends on what you're gonna use it for, right?
So for me I know that I'm gonna need to tow stuff.
The Jeep's got a tow reading of about 3500 pounds.
That's just on the edge of what I need to tow.
So it doesn't really allow me for any extras.
So if you know you're gonna be going out and you want to like bring your toy hauler or something like that it's not gonna happen.
When you go out in your jeep it's basically just you.
You're gonna be camping.
You're not gonna have any of the comforts of some kind of fifth wheel or anything like that.
So if you know you're gonna be towing you might be better off with a truck.
A Raptor, Chevy ZR2, a Toyota Tacoma, something like that.
But would I take any of those vehicles stock on the Rubicon trail?
No I would not.
There might be other trails out there that have more difficult obstacles than the Rubicon, but they don't have the same consistency of obstacles.
This is just bang, bang, bang, one bite after another.
Constant banging on your body and on your Jeep.
And yet here we are, off the trail.
I've driven on the pavement for a few miles.
And this baby tracks perfectly straight.
When it comes to just wanting to really beat up on your vehicle, there's nothing for it but a Jeep.