Tuesday, Nov 13, 2018
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Automotive

New off-road axle arrives for Wrangler enthusiasts

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    A Jeep Wrangler with Mopar Jeep Performance Parts navigates the Rubicon Trail. The new Dana axle is for extreme off-roading.

    Barry Hathaway

  • axle09-2

    A Jeep Wrangler with Mopar Jeep Performance Parts navigates the Rubicon Trail. The new Dana axle is for extreme off-roading.

    Barry Hathaway

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    A Jeep Wrangler with Mopar Jeep Performance Parts on Rubicon Trail.

    Barry Hathaway

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    A Jeep Wrangler with Mopar Jeep Performance Parts on Rubicon Trail.

  • axle09-5

    A Jeep Wrangler with Mopar Jeep Performance Parts on Rubicon Trail.

    Barry Hathaway

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Wrangler enthusiasts have a new accessory to explore for their Christmas wish lists.

The Mopar brand recently unveiled a tough, new Wrangler front axle aimed at extreme off-roaders, said Manny Kapoor, accessory brand manager for Wrangler at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

The Jeep Performance Parts axles, which Maumee-based Dana co-developed with Jeep and will manufacture, were introduced at the giant Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas last week.

The axles will allow a Wrangler driver to traverse the roughest terrain without problems, Mr. Kapoor said. That means climbing over boulders and crashing onto rocks without fear of breaking an axle in the outback, he said.

It’s designed for the hot-selling all-new 2018 Wrangler that launched from the Toledo Assembly Complex in April. The axle is the JPP Ultimate Dana 44 AdvanTEK.

Less than 10 percent of Wrangler owners will need the full capability of the axle, but many will want it for appearance and just in case it’s ever needed, Mr. Kapoor said.

The axles are tougher, ride higher and offer an expanded range of gear ratios than the previous-generation performance axle. Buyers can order them through Jeep dealerships beginning later this month, Mr. Kapoor said. They retail for about $4,400.

“They can take a significant beating,” he said.

Dealers can install the axles, though many owners like to do it themselves, Mr. Kapoor said.

With its off-road renown, fold-down windshield and removable doors, Wrangler is among the world’s most accessorized vehicles.

A Fiat Chrysler spokesman said nearly 90 percent of Wranglers leave the factory with some kind of accessory, such as rock sliders, splash guards, decals, or other enhancement.

Mopar sells 200 accessories for Fiat Chrysler vehicles, with the Wrangler front-and-center for most of the offerings, the spokesman said. The previous-generation Wrangler that was discontinued in April carried about $800 worth of accessories on average.

A Dana spokesman said the axles will be produced at the driveline supplier’s axle plant in Lugoff, S.C.

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