Bespoke, gussied-up luxury versions of boxy off-roaders coming out of Great Britain? That’s nothing new. Companies have been adding high-end interiors and appointments to Land Rovers for years now; the most notable, obviously, being Land Rover itself, which kicked off the trend with the Range Rover, but other companies have since turned their upfitting attention to the likes of the boxy Defender to broaden its appeal amongst the well-to-do who buy them for urban cruising instead of off-roading.
That sort of luxury treatment on a Jeep Wrangler, however…that’s something new.
Still, maybe folks in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales feel the same sort of novel tingle when they see a gussied-up Wrangler as we in America do when we spy the likes of a Himalaya Defender. If that’s the case, Sterling Automotive Design’s Launch Edition Jeep Wrangler seems poised to spark envy among gearheads — sorry, petrolheads — wherever it roams.
Sterling Automotive Design widened the wheel arches to give this Jeep a more aggressive stance, while a new, body color front bumper and grille make the face a little more restrained, if also more generic. (Heretically, the new grille does away with the iconic seven-bar treatment.) A new rear bumper, custom spare tire and badass black wheels round out the exterior treatment.
Inside, the SAD Wrangler boasts front and rear seats reupholstered in the company’s perforated leather, with the front thrones scoring heaters and coolers alike. The arm rests, gear shift knob and a few other trim bits are also redone in leather, while Alcantara coats many of the othere places where your hand is likely to rest.
Beneath the hood lies a diesel engine — not the 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 we get here, but the 2.2-liter turbodiesel inline-four that comes as standard issue in UK Wranglers. That’s tied to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic, as in most Wranglers. Sterling quotes a top speed of 112 mph, but attempting that seems like something best left to us in America where we have access to large, flat expanses like California’s El Mirage dry lake bed.
Of course, luxury doesn’t come cheap. This Wrangler is currently listed on sale for £52,995 — more than $68,000 at current exchange rates, and $25,000 more than the base price of the most expensive two-door Wrangler on offer Stateside. Then again, the Wrangler Overland that it’s based on starts at £46,720 over in Jolly Ol’ England, so maybe this isn’t quite as extravagant a purchase as it seems.
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