What makes the thought of a diesel Jeep Wrangler so attractive to all of the faithful off-roaders and Jeep fanatics out there?
The most obvious benefit of such a vehicle is the power and torque a diesel Wrangler would produce. The CRD 3.0L diesel featured in the Jeep Liberty and Cherokee produces 215hp at 3800rpm, and 376lb.-ft between 1600-2800rpm. Those stats alone have been enough to keep the Jeep community clamoring for a diesel Jeep Wrangler. A diesel Wrangler would provide tons of horse power and torque through the entire power band. That kind of power is ideal for many functions like off-roading, rock crawling, and towing. A diesel Jeep Wrangler would get power sooner and wouldn’t stress the engine like a traditional gas model.
Secondly, fuel efficiency as a daily driver would be greatly increased. A diesel Wrangler could be expected to drastically improve fuel efficiency while providing more torque to the wheels. Diesel packs a greater punch with nearly 18% more energy than conventional gasoline. This fact alone would allow the diesel Wrangler to be operated at an overall reduced cost per mile. More importantly, a diesel Wrangler could utilize bio-diesel directly, (which has been known to provide 50% more energy than ethanol or other alternative fuels) and could be viable as industry standards and practices change.
Here is a short list of additional features that a diesel Jeep Wrangler would provide.
Without traditional spark plugs (a diesel glow plug substitutes) the diesel Wrangler can run with a snorkel under complete engine submersion.
Diesel engines run on compression and the fuel burns completely unlike gasoline engines where unburned fuel can be wasted.
A diesel Jeep Wrangler could be expected to run for 300,000 mile and beyond without significant problems unlike a gasoline version which will start to falter around 100,000.
With all of the benefits listed it may seem silly that a diesel Wrangler isn’t available at your Jeep dealer yet, but a few significant problems have stalled its arrival. Emission standards top the list of setbacks for the diesel Jeep Wrangler and as they continue to increase the investment on the part of Jeep will continue to skyrocket in order to get the vehicle on the road. The second major fault with the implementation of a diesel in the Wrangler is the amount of space required to provide a safety approved front crumple zone. By adding too much extra length the diesel Jeep Wrangler would lose the compact appeal that has made the Wrangler one of the most popular 4×4s ever.
So where do consumers seeking a diesel Wrangler turn?
For now the best option is Jeep aftermarket suppliers like American Expedition Vehicles(AEV). Aftermarket companies have been pushing the limits further and further to provide Wrangler owners with the diesel options they desire. Montana and Michigan-based AEV has already performed hundreds of diesel conversions on Jeep Wrangler models and diesel enthusiasts are calling for more. With enough interest Jeep might eventually turn a production diesel Wrangler into a reality.