On a normal day, the experience of working side-by-side with a Jeep enthusiast is a unique experience, all its own. But this is multiplied exponentially at times like this, where current auto news seems obsessed with the released of the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL.
The only comparison I can offer is that it’s like being the elder sibling on Christmas, fully aware that Mom and Dad are the ones leaving the gifts, while your younger sibling, hopped up on sugar and eggnog, jumps around excitedly screaming about Santa. (Oh, and the younger sibling may, or may not, have a huge cocaine problem).
I jest, but the addictive nature of Jeep Life reigns strong. Perhaps that’s why FCA and Jeep’s marketing feels a bit like a hospital ‘I.V.’ feeding us images and specifications in small, well-paced drips. Catering to the proverbial junkie, it only prompts Jeep enthusiasts to want more, more, more.
Case in point: In the months leading up to the exterior reveal, Jeepers became half-ninja half-paparazzi, stalking and documenting any vehicle they had suspected to be the highly-anticipated JL. https://youtu.be/yeW-meNDlcM
If you ask me, it’s the epic blockbuster soundtrack that really seals the deal.
Even licensed MOPAR accessories were given their own spotlight by Car and Driver in late October, knowing damn well it would generate legitimate excitement leading up to the SEMA show.
And speaking of SEMA, the release of a few overly edited photos launched endless speculation, following laborious close-up examinations of each image.
Upon leaking one composed image of the interior, dozens of rambling YouTube reaction videos were filmed, edited and uploaded within minutes. Like this one…
By mid-November, Wrangler forums were posting off-road footage of the JL in New Zealand.
While thrilling to loyalists, it felt as anticlimactic as watching someone else’s home videos, to the rest of us. “Look! Here’s where Brittany did climbed the rock wall!” https://youtu.be/QB2EcJA7w8Y
If there is such a thing as ‘automotive crack’ the JL Wrangler just might be device upon which the junkies are smoking it. I try not to focus on it, but I’m pretty sure my office-mate (let’s call him ‘Brandon’) is going through some sort of detox tremors every time there’s a lapse in newsfeed activity. Then again, maybe he’s just a bit ‘twitchy’ and likes the feel of formica office furniture on his teeth. (Is there such a thing as Jeep Anonymous meetings?)