Today, the Jeep® brand introduced the Jeep Wrangler "Dragon" design concept at the 2012 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition. The concept integrates two icons together in one: the Wrangler, as the off-road icon of the Jeep brand, and the honored Chinese dragon. Belief holds that both possess incredible capabilities, making them a perfect combination.
According to the Chinese Zodiac, this is the Year of the Dragon, which is held with high regard in Chinese culture. The dragon symbolizes strength and power and is an aspirational character normally associated with royalty and good fortune. It was these characteristics that inspired the upscale design of the Jeep Wrangler Dragon concept.
"The Jeep brand is committed to China and therefore we must design and tailor our vehicles to the specific tastes and preferences of Chinese consumers," said Mike Manley, Chief Operating Officer for Asiaand President and CEO – Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. "The Wrangler Dragon design concept is the first Jeep vehicle designed specifically with Chinese elements in mind and showcases the opportunity for special editions that might be available for China in the near future."
The Jeep Wrangler Dragon design concept is based on a China-market Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon painted black with a black body-color three-piece hard top. From there, the designers incorporated numerous bronze-gold details – a color associated with the dragon. These bronze-gold details can be found inside the front grille slats, headlamp surrounds and Jeep badging front and rear.
The unique 18-inch five-spoke alloy wheels are matte black with a bronze-gold high-gloss outer edge and feature 35-inch off-road tires. Other bronze-gold touches include a pad-printed engine cover, bolts for the fuel-filler door and the taillamp assembly, a Chinese dragon character side badge and wheel center caps.
The exterior also has black highlights such as painted fenders, a gloss-black applique on the front bumper, and a tone-on-tone dragon decal that starts on the hood and runs down the driver's side of the vehicle. There is also a dragon motif on a unique carbon-fiber insulator mounted under the hood and on the gloss-black spare tire cover. Final exterior touches include a Mopar® fuel-filler door and a black-finish LED exterior lighting package that features aftermarket projector headlamps, fog lamps, turn lamps and taillamps.
Moving to the interior, the black and bronze-gold theme continues with black leather seating surfaces with bronze-gold accent piping and stitching. Magic Wand metallic leather is on the side bolsters and the sides of the head restraints, while a laser-etched dragon pattern is on the face of the head restraints. Dragon-scale patterned bronze-gold leather covers the outside edges of the seats and front center arm rest.
Other interior touches include high-gloss piano black instrument panel bezels, bronze-gold accent trim on the steering wheel spokes, instrument cluster, passenger-side dashboard grab handle and door handles,and gold accent stitching on the leather-wrapped door bolsters. Finishing the interior modifications are dragon tags on the front and rear floor mats.
Chinese dragons symbolize potent and auspicious powers, particularly control over water, rain and winds and their more severe weather phenomena. Dragons are symbols of the natural world, adaptability and transformation – divine creatures capable of doing anything.
While debuting as a design concept at the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition, the Jeep Wrangler Dragon could become a production model if demand is great enough.