Home Cars June 1998: Is the Jeep Wrangler a sports car?

June 1998: Is the Jeep Wrangler a sports car?

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There are more than a few conceptual parallels between off-roading and track driving; both are disciplines that reward those who take the time to learn them; both are vehicle-enabled pastimes that require somewhat specialized rides; in both cases, the majority of people who buy said specialized vehicles never really seem to use them to their full potential with any regularity.

How often does a typical Porsche 911 see the track? About as often as a loaded-up Jeep Wrangler Rubicon tastes the trail, probably.

In the June 15, 1998, issue of Autoweek, Pete Lyons took the comparison a step further and asked: Could the Jeep — specifically the Jeep Wrangler —  itself be considered a sports car? Is it satisfying to drive in the same way an old Triumph or MG would have been?

For his part, Enzo Ferrari seemed to think so; he famously (and allegedly — Ferrari quotes are tough to attribute conclusively) said that “the Jeep is America’s only real sports car.” If he did say it, it was almost certainly a dig at the Corvette, but maybe there was truth in his words anyway. Read on below for our verdict.

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Autoweek June 15, 1998 — Is the Jeep Wrangler any good as a sports car?(4.46 MB)Click here to download PDF

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