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September 22, 2014
Monday, January 20, 2014

A Jeep with a modern, powerful spirit

By Carlos A. Pefaur
Herald Staff
Pairing the word Rubicon with the Jeep Wrangler implies discussing some of the most powerful editions of the legendary all-terrain vehicle. The name Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon makes you think of endless adventures, and makes reference to a 35-kilometre trail in the United States’ Wild West, some 130km north-west of Sacramento on the beautiful mountains of Sierra Nevada, California.

I tested the high-end version of the Rubicon, which like all Jeep vehicles stands out with its incredible off-road and comfort features.

As often happens with iconic vehicles, the Jeep Wrangler has passionate fans, who would give anything to be at the wheel on one in difficult muddy terrains and enjoy its spectacular response in the face of any obstacle.

These fans are absolutely right, because driving the Wrangler gives you the sensation that any problem can be easily overcome.

The Wrangler comes with a manual gearbox for off-road driving, sticking with the brand’s traditional style. In low gears, getting stuck is virtually impossible.

Furthermore, the Wrangler Rubicon includes a mechanical differential locking system, called Rock-Trac 4WD, so its wheels can push with the same strength in extreme conditions.

Among the novelties in this Rubicon version is the incorporation of a V6 3.6 litre Pentastar engine that develops 285 HP with a torque of 347 Nm at 4,000rpm. It’s paired with an automatic five-speed transmission capable of smooth shifts, although a sixth speed would have been welcome.

Previously high consumption rates have been lowered with this engine. The car consumes 11 litres every 100km on the highway, rising to 14 litres in the city, with an 85 litre tank allowing for greater cruising range. The top speed is electronically limited at 180kmph.

The Wrangler Rubicon has a towing capacity of up to 1,587kg, and loyal to its legacy of freedom and adventure, has incorporated design features that symbolize its all-terrain character. These include removable doors, a folding windshield, flexible roof options, wide wheel arches, simple rounded headlights and a seven-grooved grill. These elements pay homage to the Jeep Wrangler and the brand’s 4WD tradition.

Among the most special qualities of the Jeep Wrangler is its fibreglass roof, which unfolds in little time both in the front and rear. Moreover, a soft top is stored in the trunk for when the other one is folded down. Across the range, the vehicle includes a robust anti-tip bar that is hidden underneath a cushioned exterior. Among all the options on how to “build” your Jeep, we can also highlight removing the doors and lowering the windshield.

The Rubicon incorporates 17x7.5 aluminium Satin Carbon tyres that accentuate its solid presence, as well as 245/75R17 OWL wheels.

In the interior, its elegant cloth seats resist wear and tear, providing the comfort available in any SUV.

The Rubicon also offers multiple personalized seat configurations, with foldable rear seats that allow for a total loading space of 2,321 litres. Whether you are tall or short, you’ll feel comfortable at the wheel. All you need to do is grab the lever to adjust the seat’s height almost five centimetres according to your needs.

To facilitate cleaning and interior drainage, the car has drain plugs in the floor. It also has a secret compartment for storage, which is hidden under the floor. You can only access this ingenious compartment with the rear door open.

The leather-lined steering wheel is paired with a large instrument panel that includes a premium “Alpine” audio system with a 6.5 inch-touch screen. It plays CD, MP3, DVDs and has a 28GB hard drive. Its ABS brakes bring a traction control system, applicable at any speed, which uses sensors that monitor wheel slippage, automatically reducing engine speed by applying the brakes to the wheels, which then apply torque after skidding is detected.

In terms of safety features, the Wrangler includes advanced multi-phase airbags for the driver and front passenger. An integral system includes three-point seatbelts on all seats, as well as an alarm for the front two.

Improving in comfort with a new engine and unmatched off-road capability, the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is an excellent choice for lovers of mud crossings and rough terrains.

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