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New Jeep Wrangler Xtreme Recon Package Ups the Off-Road Ante

New Jeep Wrangler Xtreme Recon Package Ups the Off-Road Ante

  • Jeep is introducing an all-new Wrangler Xtreme Recon package for the Chicago Auto Show
  • 35-inch tires and an optional 100:1 crawl ratio improve your chances of driving over anything
  • Even bigger approach and departure angles than the standard Rubicon

The Jeep Wrangler has always enticed its owners to seek even more capability. Bigger tires, bigger lift kits, even bigger engines — all of the above and more are on the table. So what's the latest update to this rock-crushing, belovedly boxy SUV? Well, it's called the Xtreme Recon package, and it adds some serious mods to Jeep's most capable Rubicon trim levels.

What's so extreme about the Xtreme Recon package?

Available on four-door Rubicon and Rubicon 392 models, the Xtreme Recon package adds some, well, extreme off-road equipment. For starters, you get massive 35-inch BF Goodrich KO2 All-Terrain tires — a tire size that many Wrangler owners often upgrade to, but Jeep has never offered from the factory. Next, you get 17-inch beadlock capable wheels, a 1.5-inch factory lift with unique suspension tuning, and a 4.56:1 axle ratio.

The added tire height plus the factory lift means you can ford deeper streams and surmount larger obstacles. Ground clearance and the approach and departure angles are all increased, as is water-fording height. For a bit of perspective, the standard Rubicon Unlimited (four-door) has 10.8 inches of ground clearance, while the Xtreme Recon package has 12.9 inches of clearance. Approach and departure angles go from 43.9 and 37 degrees to 47.4 and 40.4 degrees, respectively.

What about those sweet ratios?

While we'd love to go into "Xtreme" detail about axle ratios and crawl ratios, it's easier to say simply that a higher axle ratio will provide a more capable crawl ratio and make for easier off-roading. In other words, you get a smoother application of torque when going through really tough terrain or over boulder-sized obstacles. With that said, standard Wranglers get a 3.45 axle ratio, while Rubicon models get an upgraded 4.10 axle ratio. The Xtreme Recon package? It gets a 4.56 axle ratio to start, and later in the year, a 4.88 axle ratio will be available that translates to a massive 100:1 crawl ratio with the six-speed manual transmission. Compare that with an 84.2:1 crawl ratio on the standard Rubicon and you can see it's a pretty significant step up.

Edmunds says

Equip a new Ford Bronco with the seven-speed manual transmission and a few other off-road goodies and it's got a crawl ratio of 94.75:1. Oh, and wouldn't you know it? Scroll down to the section of Ford's spec sheet that covers tires and you'll notice that they're offering 35-inch tires on the Bronco, too! What a coincidence. Opt for the 35-inch tires on the aforementioned Ford and what do you get? A whopping 11.6 inches of ground clearance.

Does that have anything to do with Jeep's addition of an Xtreme Recon package? Who's to say? But it certainly seems like the off-road war is heating up between these two and the numbers only seem to keep climbing. Now all that's left to do is find a rock the size of the Titanic and see which one can crawl over it quicker.