What is it? Ten years as the toughest Jeep made, the Wrangler Rubicon continues to go where other SUVs fear to tread. How tough is tough? This top-level Wrangler is fitted with electronic-locking front and rear Dana 44 axles that receive power through a “Rock-Trac” transfer case with a “4-Low” ratio of 4:1. A 4.10 axle ratio front and rear is also standard, as are Tru-Lok locking differentials. The company claims that these rock crawlers, when fitted with a six-speed manual transmission, have a crawl ratio of 73.1:1 that makes this stock Wrangler one of the most unstoppable off-road vehicles ever.
The standard powertrains motors along with the division’s familiar 285-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6. A five-speed automatic transmission is also available. You can choose between two- and four-door models (or technically no doors, since they’re removable).
What is new or notable? Steel winch-ready bumpers with removable end caps, increased ground clearance, new rock rails, and BF Goodrich KM2 off-road tires. This special edition also gets unique 17-inch wheels, "10th Anniversary" badges, red leather seats, and various trim bits that set it apart from more commonplace Jeeps.
CR’s take: Despite the ultra-low score the Wrangler typically gets in our tests, this Jeep sells in big numbers and remains hugely popular. We can’t imagine that the big dog Rubicon—with its hard-core suspension and rugged tires—will make the on-road ride and handling any more civilized. But that’s not the point. Be ready to shell out big bucks for the privilege, though, as a tarted-up Wrangler quickly approach a $40,000 price tag.
When will it be available? Spring 2013.