Next Wrangler will embrace aluminum, but not unibody, sources claim

Latest report contradicts recent comments by FCA chief Sergio Marchionne.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is reportedly planning to embrace aluminum for the next-generation Jeep Wrangler, but without transitioning to unibody construction.

The company plans to use the lightweight material for the next-generation Wrangler's body panels -- following in the footsteps of Ford's new F-150 -- with traditional body-on-frame construction, unnamed sources have told Automotive News.

The latest report contradicts recent statements from FCA chief Sergio Marchionne, who ignited a mild controversy when he hinted that the next Wrangler could switch to an aluminum unibody build. Citing the lack of proper tooling at the model's current assembly plant in Toledo, he further warned that the iconic off-roader would be built elsewhere.

If the fresh information is correct, the Wrangler will likely stay in Toledo even if it adopts an aluminum body.

The company appears to be still finalizing details surrounding the upcoming Wrangler. A focus on better fuel economy is viewed as a certainty, likely requiring a significant weight savings and a switch to fuel-sipping engines on the lower trim levels.

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