Jeep is teasing the all-new 2018 Wrangler in conjunction with the massive Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) convention in Las Vegas for aftermarket parts. Three images and a few sparse details have been released, revealing a next-generation Wrangler whose styling deviates little from the current model.

The two generations will be produced concurrently for a period, Jeep says. The outgoing model has been renamed the Wrangler JK, adapting its internal designation; the new Wrangler carries the new JL name. The simultaneous sales are to ensure that dealerships can meet demand, but it's guaranteed to create some marketplace confusion.

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The supply concern is genuine, because the Wrangler has historically been a very popular and profitable model for its parent automaker, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

In fact, September 2017 sales were up by 10 percent compared with the same month last year, despite a redesigned model being just around the corner.

Jeep is withholding details about the new Wrangler until the LA Auto Show at the end of November, but here's what we do know:

2018 Jeep Wrangler JL

The essential Wrangler hallmarks remain, with its distinctive silhouette (that traces back to World War II), seven-slot grille, round headlamps, square tail lamps, and removable top and doors. The Wrangler will again be offered in either two-door or extended-length four-door configurations, plus there will be a pickup truck version. Based on spy photos, the pickup seems to be based on the four-door (aka JLU, for JL Unlimited). The longer cargo section effectively transforms the JLU into a crew-cab pickup truck, making it decidedly different from the much smaller Jeep Comanche and Scrambler of yesteryear.

A key objective with the new Wrangler was improving fuel economy. The last four-door we tested, with a 3.6-liter V6, returned just 17 mpg overall. In the city, that heavy machine got just 12 mpg.  

The new Wrangler Unlimited with automatic transmission is officially rated at 18 mpg city, 23 mpg highway, and 20 mpg overall—two mpg better than the outgoing version. The manual gets 19 mpg overall. Other configurations have not received ratings, yet. 

2018 Jeep Wrangler JL interior

Jeep honed the Wrangler's aerodynamics to bolster fuel economy while retaining its essential styling elements. It reportedly drops a few hundred pounds from the previous generation. Powertrains will also play an important role in efficiency. The Jeep is expected to offer both a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a 3.6-liter V6, teamed with a start/stop system and choice of eight-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed manual transmission. Exact specs and availability haven't been announced.

Jeep promises improvements in the safety and technology arena. Buyers should expect blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, parking sensors, and push-button start.

The interior is evolutionary, and Jeep has confirmed that there will be both Uconnect 7- and 8.4-inch-screen infotainment systems available.  

2018 Jeep Wrangler JL

Jeep says there will be dozens of door, top, and windshield combinations, including a windshield that can be folded down. In the past, top removal has been challenging; let's hope this has been improved. Being able to open up panels without removing the entire top has been a welcomed compromise with the current Wrangler. Word is that the next model will include a version where this trick will be powered, much like a moonroof panel, and  removable rear quarter windows will be offered.

The Wrangler was developed with the robust enthusiast market in mind, and that hasn’t changed. In fact, the brand is showcasing more than 200 accessories this week at the SEMA show, demonstrating the customization potential available through dealers when the SUVs go on sale this winter.

There's a huge business in Wrangler aftermarket parts, with a wide range of components available to personalize its appearance and improve its off-road prowess. Jeep aims to satisfy that hunger with a wide range of parts that include lift kits, bumpers, LED lights, rock rails, fender flares, and much more. For lighter fare, there are graphics, fuel doors, tire covers, roof racks, cargo mats, and tailgate tables. A new auxiliary switch center should make it easier to install and control electric accessories. Shopping the aftermarket can be fun and lead to a one-of-a-kind Wrangler. But there's an appeal in buying accessories engineered by the factory and backed by a warranty that can be installed by the dealer and whose costs can be rolled into the vehicle financing.

The outgoing Wrangler JK has been a clear hit among off-road enthusiasts, though as a pure commuter vehicle it doesn’t measure up against more refined, car-based models. In CR road tests, it scored just 26 points (out of 100), making it our lowest-rated SUV. Its unsettled ride, clumsy handling, pervasive wind noise, awkward access, and lackluster fuel economy hurt its score. However, owner satisfaction remains high. For those craving the vehicle’s unique, iconic image and capabilities, the Wrangler has been a hit.

We hope with the redesign it has gained some civility while remaining true to its heritage.

Read our Jeep Wrangler JK road test

2018 Jeep Wrangler JL
Parts display at the SEMA Show.