By Aric Jenkins
November 29, 2017

The Jeep Wrangler, the descendent of the iconic vehicle used by American troops during World War II, has received a major update for the first time in years.

The changes, officially unveiled this week at the Los Angeles Auto Show, may look subtle to the casual observer, but will be clear to any committed fan of the historic Jeep model. The 2018 edition has swapped out some of its steel body panels for aluminum, making the car lighter and more fuel efficient, according to USA Today. Hood vents have created a noticeable bulge in the hood and the Wrangler’s taillights are different. The vehicle’s rear-mounted spare tire is still there, but now it features a backup camera in the middle.

The Wrangler has significant changes on the inside, too. The 2018 version will be available as a mild hybrid with a four-cylinder engine, CNN reports, which will allow batteries to give the gasoline-powered engine an additional boost. That engine is turned on using a new push-button starter, and the Jeep’s interior has an elegant redesign and is equipped with the latest in-car entertainment system.

“The all-new Wrangler is instantly recognizable as a Jeep, staying true to the original, yet it is better in every way,” Mike Manley, head of the Jeep division for parent company Fiat Chrysler, said in a statement reported by USA Today. It delivers “more rugged capability, more ride comfort [and] more fuel efficiency.”

The new Wrangler will be available at dealerships in January, the company said. There is still no word on pricing or fuel economy figures.

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