This Jeep Wrangler arrived in Jeep showrooms in April 1996, after six years of overall investment and a 36 month production development phase.
...From the Wrangler TJ onwards, all Wranglers were fitted with coil-spring instead of leaf-spring suspension.
...Reintroduced the round headlamps from the classic Jeep models.
...Late in its life-cycle, a long-wheelbase Unlimited model was introduced.
A right hand drive version of the TJ was available for export markets, and offered for sale to U.S. rural postal carriers only. This package featured the Dana 44 rear axle and hardtop with the 4.0 and the automatic transmission.
- The fuel tank became standard at 19 U.S. gallons capacity.
- The side door mirrors were black metal framed.
- The 3-speed automatic transmission was replaced with a 4-speed automatic with overdrive.
- The overdrive had a turn off switch on the dash.
- The sound bar inside was changed to sound pods.
- The interior seats went from a rounder model to a distinct separation between back and headrest areas.
- The side door mirrors were plastic molded mirrors.
- The radio bezels went from a rectangle to a rounded-edged rectangle.
- The standard skid plate was revised to make room for the Rubicon's bigger NV241OR transfer case.
- The 4.0 L optional for 2005–2006.
- Vinyl seats.
- Rear removable bench seat.
- Some Sport models featured 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.
Some Sahara models came with a 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.
Stock Jeep Wrangler 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.
In the 2005 model year, Paramount released the movie Sahara which featured a Jeep Wrangler. Jeep released a limited production "Sahara Edition" Unlimited Rubicon. Only 1000 were produced and each one is numbered. They are all visually identical, Light Khaki, but some were offered in a manual and others an automatic. They also included a 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.
2003 Tomb Raider Edition:
This Jeep Wrangler Rubicon model was produced, about 1K, to promote the Tomb Raider sequel, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – The Cradle of Life.
Along with the standard Rubicon fare, it also included 6-inch Alcoa forged aluminum wheels, Tomb Raider badging, and a Mopar 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. The 2003 "Tomb Raider" Limited Edition Wrangler Rubicon has become one of the most highly collectible jeeps of all-time.
Other Trim Models
60th Anniversary Edition
65th Anniversary Edition
2006 Golden Eagle Edition
Golden Eagle Edition
Rocky Mountain Edition