In case you missed it, the first North American auto show since the pandemic began just took place. As it happens, the Chicago auto show never actually missed an edition. Because it was traditionally held in February, the 2020 edition went head just under the pandemic wire, and this year, it was delayed for a few months but it has now happened.
As part of the festivities, Jeep’s North American boss Jim Morrison announced that the division will be offering more possibilities for optioning in 35-inch tires. These have already been announced and will be introduced with the new Xtreme Recon package. In fact, Rubicon Unlimited versions equipped with this package will leave the factory with these oversized tires.
Jeep is going further, however.
"We’ll have more 35-inch tire news later this year," Morrison said, though he declined to specify exactly which models would benefit. “It could be an expansion of the 35-inch factory options on the Wrangler, or perhaps the introduction of a package similar to Xtreme Recon for the Gladiator pickup, which borrows many of the Wrangler's off-road features.”
That said, let’s agree it won’t make it to models like the Compass.
Jeep has already announced that the 2021 model of the Wrangler Rubicon will have an optional 4.88:1 axle ratio later this year, which will give it a 100:1 ratio for very low-speed, low-RPM travel. That ratio is possible when the vehicle has 6-speed manual transmission.
All of these announcements are no accident, and they were predictable. The Sasquatch version of the new Ford Bronco will wear 35-inch tires, while the low-range axle ratio for the SUV is 94.71:1, also with the manual gearbox (a 7-speed unit, including one specific to the low range).
Jeep did not say when these elements would be integrated into the lineup, but since we're talking about additions to the 2021 models, it should happen quickly, because pretty soon the Jeeps being assembled will be 2022 models.