The Wrangler is arguably an indirect progression from the World War II Willys MB through the Willys civilian Jeeps ( Jeep CJ ) of the mid-1940s through 1980s that were produced by Kaiser-Jeep and by American Motors Corporation (AMC). Neither AMC nor Chrysler (after it purchased AMC in 1987) have claimed that the Wrangler was a direct descendant of the original military model.
Outwardly resembling the Jeep CJ-7 , the Wrangler, which was formally announced in February 1986 at the 1986 Chicago Auto Show , was based on a new set of design parameters. "The product philosophy behind the two vehicles" François Castaing (AMC VP of Product Engineering) explained, "is completely different". Just like the Willys MB and the Jeep CJ , Wranglers continue to use a separate body and frame, rigid solid axles both front and rear, a fold-flat windshield, and can be driven without doors. But its suspension, drivetrain, and interior were borrowed from the new Cherokee (XJ) model.
The Wrangler debuted in 1986 as a new model after discontinuance of the famous Jeep CJ series.  It was revised in 1996, and completely redesigned in 2006. In addition to the model name Wrangler , each model received a designation corresponding to its generation: YJ (1986–1995), TJ (1997–2006), TJU's (commonly known as LJs- 2004–2006 Unlimited models, or YJL, in the Egyptian owners manual.), JKU (2007–present Unlimited models) and JK (2007–present). Foreign military versions of the Wrangler have carried the J8 designation which was initially dubbed TJL when first produced at Arab American Vehicle's Egyptian plant. 
Jeep YJ models were manufactured between 1986 and 1995 at Brampton Assembly , and subsequently at the Toledo South Assembly plant. A major difference in the 1987–1995 models were the rectangular headlights, which reverted to rounded ones in the TJ and then JK versions. In 2006, Wrangler production was moved to Toledo Complex .  Post-2006 Wranglers were set apart from their predecessors by the angle of the grille. In all previous models, the grille was flat and even with the front fenders. The newer Wrangler was constructed with a grille which angled out from the top, and then continued in a straight line from the midway point, toward the bottom. This decreased the hood length, while increasing the length of the fenders. In more recent models, this angle has been lowered more toward the bottom of the grille.
In Egypt, the YJ was produced as well as a long wheel-base version, dubbed LJ (or labeled as YJL in Egypt's Owners Manual), and which has retained the 2-door design. The YJL is considered as the first predecessor of the JK's long wheel-base by continuing as TJL (aka J8) which has directly inspired the JK's 4-door.
There is a Jeep Wrangler Pickup coming into production in 2017. 
Development of a potential CJ7 replacement was green-lighted in 1982, with engineering and design work (under Chuck Mashigan) commencing. After approval earlier in 1983, a final design freeze occurred by the fall of 1983, with CJ7-based mules being built in late 1983 and the first production body test prototypes in the spring of 1984. By late 1985, development concluded, as the transition from pilot to series production began. In February 1986, the 1987 Jeep Wrangler was unveiled, entering production that March, and going on sale on May 13, 1986.
The Jeep YJ, sold as the Wrangler in the United States, replaced the Jeep CJ in 1986 and was built in Brampton, Ontario , Canada , until the plant closed on April 23, 1992. Production was then moved to Toledo, Ohio, using the same plant that produced the Willys Jeeps during World War II.
American Motors Corporation (AMC) had designed the new Jeep to be more comfortable on-road in an attempt to attract more daily drivers.  It was an entirely new design with a wider track, slightly less ground clearance , and more comfort. The YJ still had leaf spring suspension similar to that of the CJ – however the springs were wider, and the YJs sported trackbars and swaybars for improved handling. Despite the new grille, the body is very similar to that of the CJ7, and it is interchangeable with some major modifications. The YJ also was given a larger windshield over the CJ. The YJs are easily identifiable due to the rectangular headlights and the fact that the wiper blades rest on the windshield, giving this version a distinctive look. The blades rested on the windshield due to the now wider arc of the blades to clean the larger windshield. These two changes were later removed when the TJ was launched 1996. 632,231 YJs were built through model year 1995, although YJs were still sold into mid-1996, bringing the total production number to 685,071 units. Despite its similar look to the Jeep (CJ) its design was new from the ground up and had more in common with the newer downsized Cherokee (XJ) model.
The YJ used a 2.5 L AMC 150 I4 or optional 4.2 L AMC 258 I6 until 1990. Starting in 1991, a fuel-injected 180 hp (134 kW) 4.0 L AMC 242 variant replaced the 112 hp (84 kW) 4.2 L 258 CID straight-6 . The NP207 transfer case was used only for 1987 and replaced by the NP231.
The roll cage was extended in 1992 to allow for rear shoulder belts, and anti-lock brakes were added as an option the next year. An automatic transmission option for 4-cylinder Wranglers came in 1994, along with a center high-mounted brake light . Also, in 1992, the Sahara debuted.
In 1994, the slave cylinder on manual transmissions was moved outside of the transmission's bellhousing to allow for easier replacement, and in 1995 the Dana 30 larger U-joints were used [front axle U-joints (297x) and rear pinion U-joint (1330)]. For the 1992 model year, the YJ switched over to an electronic speedometer, outmoding the cable speedos on older YJs.
There were no 1996 model year Jeep Wranglers.  YJs produced in early 1996 were sold as 1995 model years, but featured a few new parts not seen on any earlier YJ. This included the new TJ bumpstops on the hood (rubber boots vs the traditional U-bars), reinforced tailgate hinges, and some even had rear TJ bumpers. Some also got the newly tuned I6 that was designed to run quieter in preparation for the TJ.
Top options for YJ were the same as those offered on TJ. A Soft top with "half doors", featuring soft plastic zipper windows came standard (windows could be removed completely from these doors). Full-frame doors with conventional glass windows were optional on soft-top models. Hard tops with rear wiper and defroster were optional, but came standard with full-framed doors. The YJ featured large mirrors with manually adjustable arms on half-door models, while full-framed doors received smaller adjustable mirrors with fixed arms (which were mounted further away from the door corner, compared to the larger-style mirrors). Depending on year and interior color, Jeeps could be had with the top colors in black, white, tan and gray. Roll-bar padding normally matched top color, with the exception of white tops.
|2.5 L AMC straight-4 engine||1994–1995||3-speed 30RH(A904) automatic|
|1987–1995||5-speed AX-5 manual|
|4.2 L AMC straight-6 engine||1986–1990||3-speed A999 automatic|
|1987–1989||5-speed BA-10 manual|
|1988–1990||5-speed AX-15 manual|
|4.0 L AMC straight-6 engine||1991||3-speed A999 automatic|
|1991–1995||3-speed 32RH(A999) automatic|
|1990–1995||5-speed AX-15 manual|
YJ Wrangler Islander
From 1988 to 1993 Jeep produced an options package known as the "Islander". Several colors were offered, such as Bright Red, Pacific Blue, Sunset Yellow, Teal, and White, and both engines were offered. Features of the package are as follows:
- Body-color wheel flares and side steps
- Sunset graphics on lower body and hood
- Islander logo on front fenders and spare tire cover
- Wrangler decals or embossments
- Optional 20 gallon fuel tank
- Gray interior and highback seats
- Optional 5-spoke Alloy Wheels
- Floor carpeting
- Center console with cupholders
- Full or half doors
YJ Wrangler Renegade
From October 1990 until 1994, Jeep produced an options package on the YJ Wrangler listed as the "Renegade Decor Group". Vehicles were shipped as optioned Wranglers to American Specialty Cars (ASC) in the Detroit area, where the Renegade Decor Package was installed, then shipped back to Jeep for delivery to dealers. Renegades all have a small sticker on the driver's side door, right above the latch denoting the visit to ASC. Initially, all Renegades were white, black, or red. Blue and bronze were added for the 1992 and 1993 model years, respectively. The Renegade Decor Group was a $4,266 option over a base Wrangler for 1991 and included special alloy wheels, exclusive body flares, along with many other features.
Contents of the Renegade Decor Package
- 4.0 Liter (242 CID) I-6 Engine
- 30x9.5R15 LT OWL Wrangler A/T Tires
- Exclusive 5-hole aluminum wheels, 8 inches wide
- Full size spare tire
- Highback seats with Trailcloth Fabric
- Off-road gas shock absorbers
- Power steering
- Fog lamps (integrated into the front fenders)
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel
- Renegade striping (door letters)
- Floor carpeting (full width, and on insides of body tub)
- Floor mats, front
- Extra capacity fuel tank (20 US gal.)
- Color keyed fender flares with integrated bodyside steps
- Front and rear bumperettes (plastic)
- Center console with cup holders
- Courtesy and engine compartment lights
- Interval wipers
- Glove box lock
A hardtop was a $923.00 option and came with a mandatory rear window defroster at $164.00. Although soft-top models came standard with "half doors", full framed doors with glass windows were an option, and as on all 6-cylinder Wranglers, air-conditioning was also an option. Renegades typically had the tilt steering wheel ($130.00) and an AM/FM/cassette stereo radio ($264.00). A column shift automatic was also an available option, but it was not popular.
North American YJ/Wranglers were available in the following standard trims.
- Base: also referred to as "S" & "SE" at different points in the model run; first few years the back seat and rear bumperettes were optional, some years the 6cyl engine was an option, other years only the 4cyl was available in the "Base" model. An A/M radio (later AM/FM stereo) with two speakers came standard, as did high-back vinyl bucket seats and a heater and blower. An AM/FM stereo, cassette player, and air conditioning were optional. In 1986, a basic Wrangler Base cost $8,995 MSRP.
- Laredo: Chrome grille, bumpers, and trim, hard top and hard full doors, tinted windows, faux leather interior, body color fender flares and alloy wheels. An AM/FM stereo with cassette player, rear speaker sound bar, air conditioning, rear removable bench seat, and high-back cloth bucket seats all came standard.'LAREDO' decals adorned the hood on both sides or on the lower front fenders as part of the side stripes.
- Islander: See Islander
- Sport: which featured "sport" graphics and, beginning in 1991, a 4.0 L 242 CID inline-6-cylinder engine. An AM/FM stereo with two speakers and a rear removable bench seat came standard. A cassette player, rear speaker sound bar, cloth high-back bucket seats, and air conditioning were optional.
- Sahara: which came standard with most available options, including body color fender flares and steel wheels, also included with the Sahara edition are special green trail-cloth seats with storage pockets, interior door panels with pockets, front bumper mounted fog lamps, and plastic ends on the front bumper). An AM/FM stereo with cassette player, rear speaker sound bar, unique cloth-and-vinyl high-back bucket seats, rear removable bench seat, exterior color steel wheels, and air conditioning were all standard on this model.
- Renegade: See Renegade . 'Sahara Edition' decals adorned both front fenders.
- Rio Grande: Available in champagne gold, moss green, white, along with the rare colors aqua pearl metallic, and Bright Mango; with a Pueblo themed interior trim package. This trim was only available in 1995, and was added to spice up the base 4-cylinder Wrangler 'S' models
In 1990, development of a successor to the YJ began in Chrysler's "Jeep-Truck Engineering Pre-Program" department under Bob Sheaves and TJ program director, Craig Winn. Mules based on the YJ were built from 1990 to 1993, when formal approval was given for the TJ development program at a $260 million budget. From 1991 to 1992 designers worked at the new Chrysler Technical Center , building on various design proposals. In late 1992, Michael Santoro's TJ proposal was chosen by Tom Gale, Lee Iacocca, and executive management. In May 1993, now with engineering and supplier input, Santoro's final Wrangler production design was frozen at 32 months ahead of initial assembly. Verification prototypes using production bodies were built from early 1994 and tested through late 1995. As YJ production ceased in December 1995, the last pre-production TJ examples were assembled, with start of series of production in January 1996.
Unveiled on January 2, 1996, at the 1996 Detroit Auto Show as an early 1997 model year introduction (1996 model year skipped), the TJ was an evolutionary update. It later arrived in Jeep showrooms in April 1996, after 6 years of overall investment and 36 month production development phase.
This updated Wrangler featured a coil-spring suspension (based on that of the Jeep Grand Cherokee ) for better ride and handling, and a return to the classic CJ's round headlamps. The engine is the same 4.0 L AMC 242 Straight-6 used in the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee . A 2.5 L AMC 150 Inline-4 engine was available on entry-level models until 2002. The 2.4 L DOHC 4-cylinder engine previously used on the Chrysler PT Cruiser replaced it for 2003.
A right hand drive version of the TJ was available for export markets, and was also offered for sale to U.S. rural route postal carriers. The version offered to U.S. postal carriers was only available with an automatic transmission.
In 1998 (MY1999), the fuel tank became standard at 19 U.S. gallons (72 L; 16 imp gal) capacity. There were some changes between the 2002 and 2003 years. From 1996 to 2002, the side door mirrors were black metal framed mirrors; and from 2003 to 2006 they were plastic molded mirrors. The fit of hard and soft tops is slightly different, and the fabric and colors available changed from 2001 to 2003. In 2002 (MY2003), the 3-speed automatic transmission was replaced with a 4-speed automatic with overdrive. The overdrive can be turned off with a dash switch. The radio bezels went from a rectangle in 2002 to a rounded-edged rectangle for 2003. The sound bar inside was changed to sound pods. The interior seats also changed design, going from a rounder model to one with a distinct separation between back and headrest areas. The standard skid plate was also revised for 2003 to make room for the Rubicon's bigger NV241OR transfer case. The change from the 30/32RH to the 42RLE also gained an additional skid plate.
This version of the Wrangler is also notable for being the last production vehicle to use AMC -related parts. The AMC Straight-4 engine was retired after the 2006 model year, and both the AMC Straight-6 engine and the door handles (the latter of which first appeared on AMC vehicles in the 1968 model year) were retired along with this generation in 2006. Like the YJ Wrangler, the TJ Wrangler used both the AMC passenger car door handles as well as the larger door handles off the AMC-built Jeep CJ for higher-end models.
North American TJ/Wranglers were available in the following standard trims.
- SE: 1997–2006 models came standard with the 2.5 L from 1996–2002 production, and the 2.4 L from 2002–2006 production. The 4.0 L optional for 2005–2006. Standard features included an AM/FM stereo with two speakers (later, an AM/FM stereo with cassette player or single-disc CD player and four speakers), vinyl seats, and rear removable bench seat. This model was also available as a right-hand-drive (RHD) rural mail carrier model, which included right-hand-drive (RHD) and a flip-out front window for easy mail delivery.
- X: 2002–2006 models came standard with 4.0 L but with no Dana 44 rear axle option. Standard features included an AM/FM stereo with cassette player and four speakers (later, a CD player replaced the cassette player) but air conditioning was optional.
- Sport: 1997–2006 models came standard with 4.0 L and the Dana 35 rear axle. The Dana 44 rear axle, 3.73 axle ratio, and 30" wheel and tire group are optional. The Dana 44 could also be upgraded with a Trac-Lok limited slip differential case. Standard features were an AM/FM stereo with cassette player and four speakers and cloth seats.
- Sahara: 1997–2004 models came standard with 4.0 L, wider body colored fender flares, body colored rocker sills, optional 30-inch wheel and tire group and full steel doors. The Sahara also features exclusive decals, seats and trim. The Dana 44 rear axle and 3.73 axle ratio were optional. Standard features included an AM/FM stereo with cassette player and four speakers (later, a CD player replaced the cassette player, and seven premium speakers with center console-mounted subwoofer became standard), premium cloth seats, and alloy wheels. From 1996–2002 production, the seats were finished in a unique Camel/Forest Green color scheme.
- 60th Anniversary Edition: 2001 model year came standard with all the features of a Sahara except for the seats, decals and trim. It also came with the fog lamp and tow hook group, CD player with five-speaker sound system, air conditioning and unique 60th Anniversary Edition decals and floor mats. The only two options were speed control and dual tops. Only two colors were available, black or silverstone metallic. Only 4,067 were produced; 1,862 in black, 2,205 in silverstone. 
- 65th Anniversary Edition: 2006 model year came standard with all the options of a Sahara but without the rocker sills, seats, decals and trim. It also came with fog lamps, CD player with 7 speaker sound system and Sirius Satellite Radio , SunRider soft top, 30" wheels with 15" Alcoa aluminum wheels, high pressure gas charged shocks, Dana 44 rear axle and exclusive 65th Anniversary Edition seats, trim, floor mats and decals. The available colors were light khaki, dark khaki, bright silver, black and Jeep Green.  Only about 1600 were made. 
- Apex Edition: 2002–2003 model years came standard with the 4.0 L, CD player with 7 speaker sound system, and exclusive hood decal and seats. It only came in three colors silver, blue, or black. It also included standard features such as chrome-plated styled steel wheels and cognac-finished "Ultra-Hide" seats.
- Columbia Edition: 2004 model year came standard with the 4.0 L, fog lamps, and graphite fender flares, 15-inch graphite painted aluminum wheels, two-tone seats with Columbia logo, unique trim and Columbia decals. It only came in five colors black, bright silver, flame red, solar yellow or partiot blue. Each of the unique jeeps came with a Columbia Bugaboo parka. 
- Freedom Edition: 2003 model years came standard with the 4.0 L, full metal doors, fog lamp and tow hook group, body colored fender flares, exclusive decals, chrome wheels air conditioning, anti-theft system, and fold and tumble rear seat. It only came in four colors red, silver, blue or black with either vinyl or cloth slate gray seats. 
- Golden Eagle: 2006 model years came standard with the 4.0 L, 30" Wheel and tire group, Dana 44 rear axle, exclusive hood, interior trim, seats, fender and spare tire decals.
- Rocky Mountain Edition: 2003–2005 model years came standard with the 4.0 L, Dana 44 rear axle, 30" Wheel and tire group (with 15" Alcoa aluminum wheels), fog lamp and tow hook group, exclusive decals, fender flares, seats and interior trim and Diamond plate rocker guards. It only came in five colors black, silver, red, yellow and blue. It also included seven premium speakers with subwoofer, and unique cloth seats.
- Sahara Edition Unlimited Rubicon: 2005 model year, Paramount released the movie Sahara which featured a Jeep Wrangler. As a way to build on the success of the movie, Jeep released a limited production "Sahara Edition" Unlimited Rubicon.  Only 1000 were produced and each one is numbered. All of them are visually identical, but some were offered in a manual and others an automatic. They are all Light Khaki Unlimiteds. Trim differences over the standard Rubicon include chrome grille, color matched flares, khaki hard top or soft top, as well as optional dual khaki tops, Graphite Moab wheels, a Sahara spare tire cover, upgraded two-tone premium seats, Sahara decals, taillight guards, and a numbered dash badge.
- Tomb Raider Edition: 2003 model year was a limited run of 1,001 (perhaps as many as 1,050) Wrangler Rubicon " Tomb Raider " models produced promote the Tomb Raider sequel, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – The Cradle of Life . Along with the standard Rubicon fare, it also included exterior features such as 16-inch Alcoa forged aluminum wheels, Tomb Raider badging, and Mopar accessories including a light bar, riveted fender flares, tubular grille guard, diamond-plated bumper guard, etc. Interior features included Dark Slate fabric seats with red accent stitching down the center, silver surround instrument panel bezel, red seat belts, and a Tomb Raider badge with serial number. To match the vehicle in the film, it was offered in Bright Silver.  Due to its classic styling, combined with numerous unique accessories, the 2003 " Tomb Raider " Limited Edition Wrangler Rubicon has become one of the most highly collectible jeeps of all-time.
- Willys Edition: 2004–2005 model years came standard with the 4.0 L, fog lamp and tow hook group, exclusive "WILLYS" decals, CD player with 7 speaker sound system, body-color fender flares, green diamond plate rocker guards, camouflage seats, dark green soft top and full-size spare tire with matching wheel. It was only available in moss green.  Only about 1000 were produced in 2004.  A variation of the edition known as the 35X package, included everything except the military logos and optional moss green fog light covers and tail light guards.
- Rubicon: The Wrangler Rubicon (named for the famed Rubicon Trail in the Sierra Nevada Mountains) was introduced in the summer of 2002. It featured front and rear air actuated locking Dana 44 axles with the Rock-Trac NV241 4:1 ratio transfer case, diamond plate rocker panels, 16-inch alloy wheels, and Goodyear MTR P245/75-R16 tires. From 2003 and 2004 featured a standard New Venture Gear NV3550 five-speed manual transmission , which changed in 2004 (2005 model) to the NSG370, a Mercedes -sourced six-speed. The optional 42RLE four-speed automatic transmission was available from 2003 to 2006.
TJ Wrangler Unlimited
In April 2004, Jeep introduced the 2004 1/2 Wrangler Unlimited LJ with a 10-inch (250 mm) longer wheelbase (LWB), a Dana 44 rear axle with a 3.73 gear ratio and the Command-Trac NV231 transfer case. In late 2004, Jeep released the Rubicon Unlimited, which has the wheelbase of the Unlimited and the off-road features of the Rubicon such as front and rear Dana 44 axles with the Rock-Trac NV241 four-wheel-drive system, diamond plate rocker guards, 245/75R16 Goodyear MT/R tires, a six-speed manual transmission and other comfort and convenience options not offered on other Wranglers. This model of the Jeep Wrangler has nearly double the towing capacity of its shorter wheelbase sibling, partly due to the increased wheelbase. (3500 lbs LJ vs 2000 lbs TJ)
|2.5 L AMC Straight-4 engine||1996–2002||3-speed 30RH automatic|
|5-speed AX-5 manual|
|2.4 L PowerTech||2003–2006||4-speed 42RLE automatic|
|2003–2004||5-speed NV1500 manual|
|2005–2006||6-speed NSG370 manual|
|4.0 L AMC Straight-6 engine||1996–2002||3-speed 32RH automatic|
|2003–2006||4-speed 42RLE automatic|
|1996–1999||5-speed AX-15 manual|
|2000–2004||5-speed NV3550 manual|
|2005–2006||6-speed NSG370 manual|
The third-generation Wrangler was released for the 2007 model year. Along with the traditional 2-door model, a 4-door Unlimited model was released.
JL (2018 –)
The fourth-generation Wrangler was unveiled in late 2017 as a 2018 model.
The Jeep Wrangler received the 2009 Best Resale Value Award from Kelley Blue Book (KBB) in the sport utility vehicle category. In 2012 and for 2013, it was also awarded the Best Resale Value Award from Kelly Blue Book in the compact sport utility vehicle category.   The Wrangler also holds the Models to Best Hold Its Value recognition from Kelley Blue Book for 1998, 1999, 2003, 2011, and 2012.   
In 2007, The Jeep Wrangler had set the for highest altitude attained by a four-wheeled vehicle after ferrying Matthias Jeschke and his Extrem Events adventure team up Chile's Ojos del Salado, the highest volcano on Earth (record beaten the same year by a Suzuki Samurai  ). The trek from base camp to the world record height ran from March 7 to March 13, when the team's pair of Wrangler Rubicon Unlimiteds checked in at 6,646 metres (21,804 ft).
In 2007 and for 2013, the magazine Four Wheeler awarded the Jeep Wrangler with its Four-Wheeler of the Year Award   and in January 2010, they awarded the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon its title of 4x4 of the Decade.  
In 1997, 2007, and 2012, the magazine Petersen's 4-Wheel & Off-Road awarded the Jeep Wrangler with its 4x4 of the Year award.
In September 2008, Chrysler Vice Chairman Tom LaSorda unveiled a range-extended electric 4-door Wrangler along with similarly engineered Town and Country minivan and a purely electric sports car. The Wrangler would have a 40-mile (64 km) range before a gas engine starts and begins supplying additional electricity.  However, in November 2009 Fiat SpA disbanded Chrysler's ENVI electric car division and dropped these models from future product plans. 
|Calendar Year||United States||Canada||Outside North America||Total|
|2007 ||119,243||9,834 ||129,077|
|2008 ||84,615||12,137 ||96,752|
|2009 ||82,044||7,271 ||89,315|