Jeep India recently introduced the more hardcore Rubicon version of the already capable Wrangler at Rs 68.94 lakh (ex-showroom, pan-India). Within two weeks of the price reveal, Jeep has announced that the first batch of Rubicons that were imported – consisting of 20 units – have already been spoken for. While deliveries of the first batch of Wrangler Rubicons had commenced on March 15, deliveries of the second batch – also consisting of about 20 units – will begin in May 2020.
Sources tell us about half of the second batch of Rubicons have already been booked, which means that just about 10 units are up for grabs. For FCA, the Wrangler is proving to be more popular than expected, with 67 percent of CBU sales attributed to the off-roader. Jeep India has retailed 220 units of the Wrangler (including the third-gen and fourth-gen models) since it first arrived in 2016.
Unlike the Wrangler Sahara, which was brought in as a BS4 model back in August 2019, the Rubicon has been BS6-compliant from day 1. Both have a 268hp/400Nm, 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine and 8-speed automatic though the Rubicon gets an upgraded version of the standard Rubicon’s off-road running gear – the 4x4 system is Jeep’s more advanced RockTrac 4x4 all-wheel-drive (AWD) unit.
The more off-road capable version wears the Trail-Rated badge with pride – it gets a two-speed transfer case with a 4:1 '4LO' low-range gear ratio, full-time torque management, electronic locking differentials at the front and rear axles and an electronically operated sway bar that enhances articulation and travel. Compared to the standard Wrangler, the Rubicon’s ground clearance is up by 2mm to 217mm, and the approach, breakover and departure angles of 43.9 degrees, 22.6 degrees, and 37 degrees, respectively, are a 2.1-degree, 1.6-degree and 0.9-degree improvement.
All of this comes at about a Rs 5 lakh premium over the standard Wrangler Sahara.
Jeep has just introduced the BS6-complaint versions of its only made-in-India model, the Compass, and is working on a number of new models for our market. The first is expected to be the seven-seat version of the midsize SUV – previously codenamed Low-D but now called the Jeep D-SUV – which will be followed by the mid-life update for the Compass. Both these are expected to arrive in Jeep India showrooms by next year. A Jeep compact SUV (Jeep 526) is also in the works but is only expected to launch in India by 2022.
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