- The Washington Times - Friday, October 25, 2002

The Jeep Wrangler has a long and illustrious history of fulfilling the needs of its drivers. From its roots in 1941 serving our GIs in World War II, through working on the family farm, to today where the Jeep serves as a versatile and rugged utility commuter vehicle.
Hundreds of Jeep owners have added, fortified and personalized their Jeeps to the point where they are capable of conquering the most rough and challenging trails in the country.
One of the most challenging of those trails is the Rubicon, a 22-mile stretch of boulders, canyons and washes that run across the Sierra Nevada Mountains just outside Lake Tahoe, Calif. The Rubicon Trail is known for breaking both vehicle and driver, mentally and physically.
It is also the trail that every Jeep model must conquer before it gets its stamp of approval from the manufacturer. Plenty of stock production Jeep vehicles have traveled the trail successfully.
But, the Rubicon, a trail that is rated as a most difficult, class 10, has left its mark on many body panels and chassis components, so it isn't the place for just any ill-prepared vehicle.
With so many owners adding additional components to help their Jeeps, the engineers who have spent days upon days on the trail decided they would build a Jeep that could take on the trails with few additional components.
And what better name for such a rugged vehicle than the Wrangler Rubicon.
The job of making the Rubicon a Rubicon is more than just plastering a few decals on the body and calling it a special model. No, these folks took their appointment seriously and gave the Rubicon the heart and soul of a real trail buster.
To begin putting the Wrangler Rubicon together, Jeep started by adding large, brawny off-road tires. At 31 inches tall, not only do they add traction-grabbing grip of the trail, they also help lift the Rubicon over those large boulders.
Just in case the Jeep slams one of those boulders, diamond plate sill protectors protect the Rubicon's body from dents.
One of largest advantages, and certainly one that is considered the coolest, are the locking differentials. That is right, plural; there is one at the rear axle and one at the front. Both are controlled from the driver's seat through a switch on the dash.
Through electronic switches, the driver can, when needed, lock the rear differential separately or in tandem with the front.
For those not familiar with extreme four wheeling, the ability to lock both axles gives you true four-wheel drive. That is, all four wheels drive the vehicle, so if three wheels are off the ground or lose traction, the sole wheel can continue to drive the vehicle.
Along with this ability, the Rubicon is also equipped with a transfer case that gives this Jeep the capability to crawl slowly through the toughest of conditions.
With a 66-to-1 crawl ratio, the Rubicon takes on the character of a John Deere tractor.
You get the feeling you could plow a field with the power of the Rubicon. Come to think about it, I remember my dad doing that with his 1946 CJ2A.
You probably won't be plowing any fields with your Wrangler Rubicon, but it is nice to know you could if you felt the urge.
The thing you will not hesitate to do is take an adventure into the deep forest, or a craggy desert canyon, or perhaps the Rubicon trail.
Whatever your preferred adventure, you'll know you will arrive in comfort, complete your drive, and return home in one of the most competent Jeeps offered in recent memory.

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