Crossing the Rubicon: Iconic Vehicle takes on an Iconic Trail
What is the best way to test an off-roading machine? The Rubicon Trail located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California. This is where Motor Trend decided to test the 2012 Jeep Wrangler. Despite difficult terrain, steep upgrades, and deep water, the new Jeep was able to conquer the trail. Allyson Harwood reports from Motor Trend:
You can’t tell by looking at it, but the Jeep Wrangler has undergone a transformation. The iconic shape remains — seven-slot grille, round headlights, short wheelbase, soft or hard top — but Jeep has made huge improvements to the off-roader for 2012. Jeep invited us to drive the 2012 Wrangler on the Rubicon, one of the hardest 4×4 trails around, used almost exclusively by modified vehicles. We also got to drive on the two-lane asphalt roads that wind around Lake Tahoe.
Consider this the second part of a major overhaul to the Wrangler and four-door Wrangler Unlimited. Part one happened for the 2011 model year, when the JK (the current generation’s code name) received a new interior, plus, on the Sahara, a body-color hard top and fender flares. The hard top is of the same composite material as it was before, but what sounds like a minor change actually has a major effect on the Wrangler’s appearance. In addition, the rear windows are larger as of 2011, improving visibility. For 2012, the body-color hard top and fender flares are optional on the Rubicon, too.
Inside, welcome 2011 revisions include the use of higher-quality materials; the redesigned center stack; an all-new instrument panel; and strategically applied sound insulation that makes this the quietest Wrangler ever. Some creature comforts never seen here before — seat heaters, power heated mirrors, and redundant steering wheel controls — make this the most refined Wrangler cabin ever.