A week after Jeep trolled Ford with the 392 Hemi teaser, we’re getting our first look at a production four-door Wrangler mule wearing Rubicon duds. The unassuming black JL prototype has the same hood scoop as the concept Jeep revealed at the Gladiator Mojave launch, plus chunky beadlock wheels and a distinctly SRT-ish chin spoiler. And although the ram-air hood scoop has Rubicon stickers, it doesn’t appear to have a big opening like the concept’s.
As for the exhaust, it has a switchable active sports mode that opens the flaps at full throttle to let in more sound. This feature works well, although it makes highway cruising a bit louder than I’d like. I prefer leaving the system in its normal state, which lets the pipes emit a powerful throb that’s just right for rock crawling.
The Jeep Wrangler 6 4 Hemi Spy Shots also has the same off-road upgrades as the concept, including a set of BF Goodrich T/A KO2 all-terrain rubber that’s a little taller than what you’ll find on most stock JL models. That means the JL YJ-inspired SUV should be supremely capable off road, especially with approach, breakover and departure angles of 51.6, 29.5 and 40.1 degrees, respectively.
This prototype also has a Warn winch installed behind the steel bumper, which is a welcome addition for anyone who’s planning to go deep into the backcountry. Jeep claims the production four-door will be able to ford up to 34 inches of water, too, thanks to the deep-trenched tires and high ground clearance.
Lastly, the production model will get Jeep’s new rear-view camera that’s integrated into the tailgate. The cameras offer a view of what’s happening in the back of the vehicle and can even be used to monitor the cargo area during trailering. It’s the perfect way to keep tabs on your gear while you’re off the beaten path.
In terms of interior tech, the production four-door gets the Uconnect 5 infotainment system with a larger 12.3-inch touchscreen. It’s a lot faster than previous Uconnect systems and includes wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone-mirroring capability. It’s easy to use, too, with physical analog knobs for volume and tuning that are easier to reach than a touchscreen or steering-wheel buttons when you’re bouncing around off-pavement.