GM May Finally Be Going After The Jeep Wrangler

But General Motors Engineers Benchmark Test Just About Everything

Jeep Wrangler

Reports have recently surfaced that General Motors has acquired a small fleet of JL Jeep Wrangler SUVs, and have begun benchmark testing them. This, of course, raised speculation that GM might very well be going after the iconic sport utility vehicle, after perpetually sitting on the sidelines.

Even as GM has taken ownership of a new JL Jeep Wrangler Unlimited and immediately began probing it with sensor equipment in its Milford, Michigan laboratories, it doesn’t outright imply that we might soon see a Chevrolet (or GMC) answer to the iconic SUV. Or even the upcoming Ford Bronco, for that matter. Yet that won’t stop GM from testing certain attributes of the Wrangler, such as its various off-road hardware.

We need to consider that General Motors benchmark tests just about every competitive vehicle under the sun, including exotic vehicles from Porsche, Ferrari, and McLaren. Even back before the mid-engine C8 Corvette was a thing, GM testers were seen driving these vehicles alongside various C7 Corvette prototypes. Other times, GM buys cars to reverse engineer them, just to see how they work. This kind of R&D is commonplace across the entire auto industry.

The Colorado ZR2 elevates the off-road vehicle segment in terms of daily drivability and off-road capability.

Currently our sources are mum that GM is at work at offering an answer to the Jeep Wrangler. Though if it wanted to, the automaker could use its existing 31xx platform underpinning the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, which was developed largely by the off-road team behind the late Hummer brand. That would make things more in line with what we’ve come to learn about the Ford Bronco, or perhaps even the formidable Toyota 4Runner.

Maybe GM is trying see if it can get away with creating some kind of off-road oriented crossover with unibody design. But with its body-on-frame platforms equally at the ready, that decision would be wildly disappointing. More disappointing than a 320 horsepower Cadillac V-Series sedan.

It’s not beyond GM to make an SUV version of this.

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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