We’ve been hearing it ever since the first Jeep Wrangler JL models began rolling off the line in Toledo in late 2017: When will we see the new JL accessories from AEV?
Our answer? Soon! But not until they are perfect!
At AEV, patience is not just a virtue—it’s a necessity. Sure, it’s frustrating to see that many competitors have already rushed to market with accessory parts for the JL. But AEV did not make its name as the world’s premier Wrangler accessory manufacturer by rushing things. Our approach to developing JL parts will be the same that made our JK products so successful. We will be methodical, detailed, and patient. Because we want to get things exactly right again.
AEV purchased several JL Wranglers as soon as they became available, and our design team and engineering staff immediately began dismantling and modeling every inch of the vehicle. Virtually the entire vehicle has been mapped and converted to data for our state-of-the-art Computer Aided Design (CAD) system.
In CAD our designers are free to bring full creative license to the new JL bumpers, hoods, skid plates (and other undercarriage protection), wheels, and more that we will ultimately build. Engineers can test feasibility before money is invested in expensive tooling, and before a part is ever stamped and placed on a Jeep. And while this OE approach to manufacturing slows development time at the start, it definitely means we will have ingeniously designed, longer lasting, and more durable parts when they do come to market.
So AEV asks its loyal customers for a bit more patience. Quality takes time, and AEV never sacrifices quality. But what we can tell you now is that we are revamping every product in our JK line for the new JL Wrangler, and we are developing several new products that we’ve never done before. The look will be all new, and the quality, fit, performance, and durability will be even better.
At first glance, the JL Wrangler does not appear to be much of a departure from the JK. But upon closer inspection we can see significant differences and/or improvement. For one, the JL has a wider variety of trim levels and available configurations with different flares, grilles, and hoods. This will challenge us a manufacturer to develop bumpers for all of these permutations.
Additionally, the tailgate and tire carrier on JL are significantly different, and while the suspension system looks similar it is actually totally different. For one, the handling is tremendous, with a super tight steering radius on the four-door JL that turns like a much shorter wheelbase two-door Jeep. AEV has already spent months developing our trademark custom-tuned springs and shocks and, as of mid-2018, is just beginning to build suspension prototypes for extensive testing.
And on the subject of testing—AEV insists on exhaustive testing on all products—another necessity that slows the path to market. AEV performs OE-level stability control testing and corrosion testing. There is even thermal testing to see how temperature expands and contracts plastic and metal parts. The average test takes 16 weeks, and if results are not optimal the product goes back to the drawing board.
So, will AEV ever be first to market? No. Not if we’re doing it right. In mid-2018 there are already companies selling JK bumpers to JL owners, or marketing roughed-out suspensions. AEV believes that patience in the short-term results in the ultimate long-term goal—extremely well-conceived JL components made in the USA using world-class automotive technology, manufacturing, and materials.
So we ask you to hold on a little longer. AEV is coming very soon with all the goods for JL Wrangler! Expect to see our first JL Wrangler parts at SEMA 2018!