New Wrangler Willys Wheeler Edition Pays Homage to Early Civilian Jeep Vehicles

Special edition models keep pouring in for Jeep, with the automaker announcing its latest addition with the retro-themed Wrangler Willys Wheeler Edition.

Taking styling cues from the first civilian Jeep (CJ) vehicles of the 1940s, the 1945 Willys-Overland CJ-2A and its successor, the CJ-3A, the special edition model will debut at the LA Auto Show.

Based on the Wrangler Sport model, the special edition features a gloss black grille with black Jeep badge, gloss black front and rear bumper appliques, historic satin black “4 Wheel Drive” rear tailgate decal and “Willys” hood decals, as well as unique high-gloss black 17-inch aluminum wheels.

There’s also a standard Sunrider soft top, plus deep-tint sunscreen rear windows, while a premium Sunrider soft top and black-splatter Freedom Top are available. The Wrangler’s iconic half-doors are an option.

The 2014 Wrangler Willys Wheeler Edition’s upgraded off-road hardware includes a Dana 44 rear axle with Trac-Lok limited-slip rear differential and 3.73 gears, BF Goodrich KM Mud Terrain LT255/75R17 tires, rock rails and a new Jeep Trail Rated Kit that includes a D-Ring, tow strap and gloves in a Jeep-branded bag. Off-road capabilities are further enhanced by the Jeep Command-Trac 4×4 part-time, two-speed transfer case with a 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio.

Under the hood, Jeep offers the familiar 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine that produces 285 hp and 260 lb-ft (352 Nm) of torque. Mated to a standard six-speed manual or an available five-speed automatic, the engine delivers up to 21 mpg (11.2 l/100 km) highway.

The Willys Wheeler Edition is available in any Jeep Wrangler color and carries an MSRP of $25,795 (€19,080) for two-door models and $29,595 (€21,890) for Unlimited (four-door) models. Sales start early next year.

By Dan Mihalascu

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