(Image by the author with graphics via Jeep)

We know the 2018 Jeep Wrangler (JL) will be sleeker than the current (JK) vehicle to pick up some fuel economy, but a solid spy shot of the prototype in profile has helped us extrapolate just about how dramatic the change will be.

The new Jeep prototype as seen under heavy camouflage at off-road.com really looks a lot like the existing Wrangler we all know and love. That makes sense; Fiat Chrysler would be crazy to stir a recipe that’s such a spectacular sales success. Did you know they sell close to 20,000 of these things around America every single month?

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But times are changing, fuel economy demands are getting tighter, and the JK Jeep has been around for almost a decade. From what we can see in the images of the disguised prototype, the windshield rake appears to be the primary visual differentiation between the current Wrangler and the next one.

As for a more specific analysis, I offer this primitive comparative graphic:

(Image by the author with graphics via Jeep and a protractor from the Wikipedia Creative Commons)

Keep in mind that the prototype picture I’m pulling that rake angle from is not the final production design, and it’s wearing a lot of cover-up. And I’m not actual sure if this method of overlaying a protractor is “accurate,” but I do think this is the best conceptualization of the next Wrangler’s silhouette we have so far.

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It’s already been confirmed that the Wrangler will lose its ability to lower its windshield with the next bodystyle, which will be missed by nobody but me.

We’re still expecting the new design to bow next year as a 2018 model, though I’ve been betting the current car will overlap as a “heritage” model or something for at least a little while.

As for power, we’ve heard the new Wrangler will have at least one turbocharged four-cylinder engine option expected to make a little more juice than the outgoing 3.6 V6 which puts out 285 horsepower. A bigger gasoline and a diesel option is rumored as well.