Will Jeep switch to IFS in the Wrangler?

centra28

Badlands
Well-Known Member
First Name
Dale
Joined
Jul 24, 2020
Messages
570
Reaction score
1,280
Location
Kansas City, MO
Vehicle(s)
2021 Jeep Gladiator Mojave
Bronco
Badlands
Clubs
 
I wouldn't be surprised if at some point they offered IFS by trim level. Rubicon and Willys trims come standard with SFA while Sahara and High Altitude come with a IFS, for example.

I don't see them going away from it completely, but there are a lot of people out there that want a Jeep Wrangler but want a higher quality daily drive as well. Sales and market will be the determining factor.
Advertisement

 

TeocaliMG

Badlands
Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2019
Messages
562
Reaction score
1,770
Location
Plymouth Michigan
Vehicle(s)
2021 Bronco Badlands non-sas 4 door manual
Bronco
Badlands
Clubs
 
I didn't watch much of KOH but to me it looks like those are rock bouncers. If I'm wrong go ahead and correct me. Most people don't offroad their Jeeps let alone drive them like rock bouncers offroad. I bought both my Jeeps just for the SFA I prefer to keep all 4 wheels on the ground when I rock crawl and that's much harder to achieve with IFS.
They may resemble Rock bouncers in that they are crazy expensive custom tube frame rigs but I would say that rock bouncers are far more specialized to do exactly what the name implies. and they often take a lot of artistic liberty in the tube frame design that is otherwise unnecessary.

Ultra 4 has several different classes and due to the legacy rigs that compete it is made up of a vast majority of SFA rigs. Particularly in the middle classes that are heavily built but not up to the level of trophy trucks, but certainly far from stock as well. Interestingly there are a healthy amount of IFS rigs in the stock class (old yotas and such), and these are rigs with IFS that was never at the level of even the base Bronco from the factory. When you get up to the 4400 class, the best class, that is where you are seeing a pretty significant bump up in the amount of IFS rigs that not only compete, but win.

(insert obligatory comment that these IFS rigs don't resemble production vehicles in cost or capability. and insert obligatory retort that not a single SFA rig does either barring the stock class, and not even entirely that. These are all hyper expensive top performing rigs far removed from stock hardpoints and hardware regardless of IFS/SFA)

My main point about the "week of KOH" is the very clear and obvious results of the ride along. IFS was a good choice for the Bronco and it was intentional. I still hear people say that the Bronco was given IFS for better road manners in suburbia. No (that may help, but no). It was given IFS (good IFS at that) so you could bomb through the desert in a stock rig at 70 mph and giggle like a school boy rather than smash your molars out. The choice was about making the best balanced all around off roader, not an intentionally "soft-roader"

As for the main point of this thread it is a very interesting problem Jeep is in. I strongly believe that time will tell that the Bronco is the more capable platform when weighted in all categories of off-roading, not simply rock crawling. Jeep will have to decide if they want to please their customer base directly by making a more generally capable vehicle and take on Bronco head to head, or please their customer base indirectly by continuing to build the rugged brand image associated with rock crawling. And though I am a staunch proponent of the ability for good IFS rigs to rock crawl, nobody can claim that they can do so as effectively as SFA on a lower cost basis, whether from the factory or aftermarket.

To give a slight rebuttal to myself though, the Bronco seems destined to prove that you can wheel 35's and even 37's on stock or near stock IFS and at least with the 33's and 35's get pretty darn competitive flex too (aftermarket may get the 37's in there with Jeep). Given that people are swapping all their axles and hardware and even hardpoints when wheeling bigger than 37s the argument for SFA from the factory is diminished. Perhaps Jeep or (even Bronco) may offer their own SFA swaps for that niche market of huge rubber and huge rocks? and leave IFS to do everything 37's on down, and do it pretty darn well?
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2021
Messages
18
Reaction score
19
Location
Texas
Vehicle(s)
2015 JKU Sport, 2021 JLU Sport
Bronco
Undecided
King of the Hammers is a week long event, with all kinds of vehicles and races.

The big show / main event is not what most people consider "rock bouncing," though there is a rock bouncing event. KOH is always interesting discussion, because it combines insane rock trails with desert running in the same race. You can try bouncing the rocks, but you risk breakage the harder you drive the rock sections.

Tube chassis off road vehicles have taken on all kinds of shapes and suspension designs, each with a varying degree of success, in different disciplines of off road racing. One could write a book on the subject.

Anyway, back to the question, I think every time the Wrangler is up for a re-design, there is probably some discussion of IFS. I think one day, it will finally happen. I think the JL is a pretty decent vehicle. It it were to be the last solid axle Wrangler, I suspect they would continue making it along side an IFS successor for some time. It's possible that they could continue making the "old solid axle version" for a long time after the "new IFS version" is introduced.
They may resemble Rock bouncers in that they are crazy expensive custom tube frame rigs but I would say that rock bouncers are far more specialized to do exactly what the name implies. and they often take a lot of artistic liberty in the tube frame design that is otherwise unnecessary.

Ultra 4 has several different classes and due to the legacy rigs that compete it is made up of a vast majority of SFA rigs. Particularly in the middle classes that are heavily built but not up to the level of trophy trucks, but certainly far from stock as well. Interestingly there are a healthy amount of IFS rigs in the stock class (old yotas and such), and these are rigs with IFS that was never at the level of even the base Bronco from the factory. When you get up to the 4400 class, the best class, that is where you are seeing a pretty significant bump up in the amount of IFS rigs that not only compete, but win.

(insert obligatory comment that these IFS rigs don't resemble production vehicles in cost or capability. and insert obligatory retort that not a single SFA rig does either barring the stock class, and not even entirely that. These are all hyper expensive top performing rigs far removed from stock hardpoints and hardware regardless of IFS/SFA)

My main point about the "week of KOH" is the very clear and obvious results of the ride along. IFS was a good choice for the Bronco and it was intentional. I still hear people say that the Bronco was given IFS for better road manners in suburbia. No (that may help, but no). It was given IFS (good IFS at that) so you could bomb through the desert in a stock rig at 70 mph and giggle like a school boy rather than smash your molars out. The choice was about making the best balanced all around off roader, not an intentionally "soft-roader"

As for the main point of this thread it is a very interesting problem Jeep is in. I strongly believe that time will tell that the Bronco is the more capable platform when weighted in all categories of off-roading, not simply rock crawling. Jeep will have to decide if they want to please their customer base directly by making a more generally capable vehicle and take on Bronco head to head, or please their customer base indirectly by continuing to build the rugged brand image associated with rock crawling. And though I am a staunch proponent of the ability for good IFS rigs to rock crawl, nobody can claim that they can do so as effectively as SFA on a lower cost basis, whether from the factory or aftermarket.

To give a slight rebuttal to myself though, the Bronco seems destined to prove that you can wheel 35's and even 37's on stock or near stock IFS and at least with the 33's and 35's get pretty darn competitive flex too (aftermarket may get the 37's in there with Jeep). Given that people are swapping all their axles and hardware and even hardpoints when wheeling bigger than 37s the argument for SFA from the factory is diminished. Perhaps Jeep or (even Bronco) may offer their own SFA swaps for that niche market of huge rubber and huge rocks? and leave IFS to do everything 37's on down, and do it pretty darn well?
Thanks to both of you for educating me rather than roasting me. I don't follow alot of the more mainstream events that go on. I join these forums to learn and to talk with people not fight with people behind a screen on the internet and its a nice refresher to come here and be able to talk with people without it turning into a pissing match!
 

mjcutri

Badlands
Well-Known Member
First Name
M
Joined
Aug 21, 2020
Messages
213
Reaction score
538
Location
Upstate SC
Vehicle(s)
2019 WRX
Bronco
Badlands
Clubs
 
And FWIW open air didn’t save the Scout, the original 4Runner, H1, original Defender, Bronco, K5, original Ram Charger, I think Nissan had something in there, Samurai, Daihatsu Rocky, probably others.
IH, Suzuki, and Daihatsu all had plenty of other issues contributing to their demise. H1, FSB, K5, and Ram Charger were all full size+ and not exactly in the same category.

It would be one thing if Jeep was struggling to sell trucks. But if, as you claim, so few people understand the suspension design on their Jeep - why then would Jeep change the suspension to satisfy people that don’t care? The ones that do care clearly want the solid axle so it makes no sense to market to the consumers that don’t care.
They might not understand the suspension, but drive a bronco back to back with an wrangler and everyone will be able to tell the difference in the steering feel, and that would be the biggest reason for Stellantis to go IFS.

I’m sure Jeep has an IFS design in their back pocket. Where/when it gets deployed is unknown... as others have said I do not see a Rubicon coming with IFS for years, if not decades or ever. I could see an IFS Sahara/sport with the JM wrangler though.
I think this is probably the most likely scenario. IFS for 90% of the wranglers (especially the 4-doors) and a SFA for the hardcore enthusiasts on the rubicon.

...It it were to be the last solid axle Wrangler, I suspect they would continue making it along side an IFS successor for some time. It's possible that they could continue making the "old solid axle version" for a long time after the "new IFS version" is introduced.
I could definitely see Stellantis doing this. They did it with the RAM 1500 and the Caravan with "Classic" versions.
 

JaxGtc

Outer Banks
Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
1,703
Reaction score
3,627
Location
Florida
Vehicle(s)
1975 EB Sport; 2021 Outer Banks
Bronco
Outer Banks
I don’t see any reason why they would stop, it’s the main draw to the Wrangler. People buy it specifically because it has the solid front.
I think there is a small percentage who probably do factor that, but 90% of wrangler buyers likely don't have a clue. Based on overall success and market share though I would agree - if it ain't broke....
 

Panaran

Outer Banks
Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2021
Messages
141
Reaction score
319
Location
US
Vehicle(s)
CX5
Bronco
Outer Banks
I can see Jeep MAYBE putting IFS in the Sahara which is geared more toward an on road crowd, but I can't see them putting an IFS into the Rubicon. Solid front axles may not be the best for every day on road travel, but they still have significant advantages for offroad capabilities.
 

rkj__

Well-Known Member
First Name
Ryan
Joined
Nov 5, 2019
Messages
415
Reaction score
808
Location
Ontario, Canada
Vehicle(s)
Sierra, Countryman, RZR
Bronco
Undecided
I can see Jeep MAYBE putting IFS in the Sahara which is geared more toward an on road crowd, but I can't see them putting an IFS into the Rubicon. Solid front axles may not be the best for every day on road travel, but they still have significant advantages for offroad capabilities.
The trouble there is, with such a major change, the Rubicon becomes essentially its own vehicle. With less parts sharing, and no shared EPA / crash testing, I don't know that Rubicon only sales numbers would justify the financials of continuing inovations on the solid axle Jeep. That's why I think the Rubicon could only continue on its own as a legacy model, without major redesigns, if the other trims went IFS.
 

wjfawb0

Well-Known Member
First Name
Jason
Joined
Feb 21, 2019
Messages
250
Reaction score
342
Location
Tennessee
Vehicle(s)
2015 Jeep Wrangler JKR
Bronco
Undecided
If Ford can make an electric SUV and call it a mustang, Jeep can probably make an IFS SUV and call it a wrangler. Who knows. The solid axles on wranglers make lifting, articulation, and fitting bigger tires relatively cheap and easy. I know most buyers of wranglers today don't care much about the SFA as they do the removeable top and would like a better steering response. I have a car and pickup with IFS if I want to make a road trip. I pretty much exclusively use the jeep for snow and drives that require fording water or lots of offroad. SFA is cheap, easy, and strong.

If any of you spent time on mustang forums during the 2015 IRS conversion, there was a lot of the same talk. Most people don't drag race or road race their mustangs, and ford made the IRS strong enough that it wasn't much of an issue. The car did get heavy, though. 3800+ lbs.
 

wny pat

Member
First Name
Pat
Joined
Oct 13, 2020
Messages
9
Reaction score
10
Location
WNY
Vehicle(s)
1985 Jeep CJ; 2014 JK; 2020 JL Rubicon
Bronco
Undecided
I truly hope Ford sees the light and offers a SFA. The Wrangler is what the Wrangler is... the good and the bad of the SFA is embraced by Jeep loyalists like me.

That said, I see the Bronco Sport launch as a huge whiff for Ford. I understand the IFS in the bigger Bronco aimed at the mass market. Ford had the global Ranger parts bins to make it happen with just a little more in the way of R and D to bolt up the Bronco body. But I personally think Ford should have made a Heritage Edition with solid axles, smaller footprint and the hard core off road chops to really go head to head with the Rubicon in the rocks. That would have gotten me excited.... I’d have been waved to a Bronco like that....
 

Rivers90

Base
Well-Known Member
First Name
Ben
Joined
Jul 4, 2020
Messages
686
Reaction score
1,041
Location
california
Vehicle(s)
xterra mx5
Bronco
Base
Jeep makes lots of IFS vehicles, the wrangler and the gladiator are the last of the solid axle ones.

They will not change the wrangler. At least not any time soon. Solid axles still have their place in off-roading and Jeep has the market cornered for solid axles.
 

Used2jeep

Black Diamond
Banned
Banned
First Name
Dave
Joined
Jul 16, 2020
Messages
6,207
Reaction score
12,793
Location
Massachuvian
Vehicle(s)
2007 Crown Vic P71
Bronco
Black Diamond
Clubs
 
 
Advertisement

 
Middleton Motorsports
Advertisement
Top