If you are a Jeep Wrangler owner, you have probably heard the rumor that a half door option is coming. Although aftermarket half doors have been available since the launch of the current generation JK model, many Jeep owners were hoping that Jeep would offer one as a factory option.
At the original Wrangler (JL) unveiling, Jeep promised that a half-door solution would be offered, but only gave a vague timeline for its arrival. This year, the Rubicon 392 Concept showed a pair of “conceptual” half doors and further fueled speculation that the feature will be offered on production vehicles. Now, spy photos have caught a four-door model wearing Rubicon duds with a set of half doors.
The new half doors feature a fabric window in the middle and front quarter windows. The rear door also features a larger tailgate window that should allow for better visibility when hauling cargo. Jeep hasn’t officially confirmed if these are the real deal, but the design does match what we saw on the concept vehicle.
The other big change that’s been noticed is that the tailgate is wider, which will improve rear visibility when the hardtop is down. Lastly, the windshield is titled forward more than on previous generations, which will improve driver sightlines and cabin comfort.
As for what will be under the hood, it is expected that the Wrangler will continue with its rugged body-on-frame layout and solid axles. Significant amounts of aluminum are likely to be used in order to cut weight and improve fuel economy. Jeep’s 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 should remain the standard engine, but a 2.4L turbocharged inline-4 and a diesel option may eventually be offered.
These prototypes were spotted testing in the off-road capital of North America, Moab, Utah. They were equipped with Rubicon duds, which suggests that they will be part of the production lineup. The camouflage surrounding these mules doesn’t reveal anything else about the model, but the hood-release catches seem to be a familiar design.
If these are the real deal, they’ll make the Wrangler more appealing to buyers who want a bit of practicality without giving up the vehicle’s off-road prowess. That’s important, because the Wrangler is already a popular choice among buyers cross-shopping between it and rivals like the Range Rover Velar.
Other changes will include a new Freedom Top hardtop that no longer uses zippers, a Sunrider soft top with rollback capability, and the Sky One-Touch power top with panoramic roof. All of these will be offered in black or tan. The interior will receive a full redesign with improved sightlines and more attention to comfort. Jeep is aiming to give the cabin a premium feel, and it appears that they’ve succeeded. The switchgear and seat materials look good, and they have a satisfying tactile quality. It looks like Jeep has finally got its act together with the Wrangler, which is great news for fans of the iconic off-roader.