by Matthew Scott

I love the Jeep Wrangler, let’s make that perfectly clear. Few vehicles can match its mix of technical capability and drivability. But let’s make another thing even clearer: I loathe special edition Wranglers. I stood by nearly silently watching Jeep produce special editions such as The Islander, and the strangely sought-after Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 edition. I even wrote about the Dragon edition which was initially launched in 2012 for the Chinese market—where the dragon symbolizes strength and power. I’ve had enough, Jeep. With the launch of the Dragon edition in the United States—you’ve officially ruined the Jeep Wrangler. 

 

“Our loyal Jeep enthusiasts asked us to build this unique Wrangler, and we are delivering exactly what they’ve asked for. – Mike Manley, President and CEO of Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group 

I’d consider myself a Jeep enthusiast, and being a veteran of a few 4WD campfire discussions, I’d even go as far to say I know what fellow enthusiasts have been asking for. While we’ve certainly been asking for a diesel Wrangler (which they already produce in the United States and ship overseas) I’m confused, no, perplexed, on how that somehow translated to a dragon edition. Perhaps someone from the Motor City can fill me in on this—is “dragon” slang for “diesel” on the streets of Detroit?

Does this mean I can ask for a butterfly edition as long as it doesn’t involve a diesel engine? 

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This vehicle was initially destined for China, where the dragon symbolizes something other than cheap Chinese food and polyester shirts at a gaming convention, and it should have stayed there. I’d rather see a Bald Eagle edition, at least that would make a small bit of sense for America.

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Have no fear ‘Merica, while you won’t be seeing 20+ miles per gallon and 400 ft/lbs of torque from a clean-diesel engine, there’s plenty you will be seeing. Like bronze-satin accents, and dragon-graphic floor mats—did I mention the dragon decal spare tire cover and the Mopar fuel-filler door? I’m so excited I literally cannot wait! 

Personally, I think Jeep should focus more of their energy on improving fuel economy and off-road capability rather than adding dragon tattoos to a vehicle that has no business bearing them. But with Wrangler sales up another 13% in 2013, you have to admit, they’re doing something right. 

If “dragon-skin” leather is your kind of thing, the Dragon Edition will be in showrooms this fall with a starting price of $36,095. 

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Opinion: The Jeep with the Dragon Tattoo

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About the Author: Matthew Scott

Matthew Scott is a dedicated photographer, vintage car enthusiast, and regular contributor to Overland Journal. Growing up in Chicago in a family that valued “all things automotive” as much as exploring the region’s back roads, provided a solid platform for a career as an automotive journalist. He departed the Windy City in lieu of Prescott, Arizona, and the great open spaces and adventure opportunities of America’s Southwest. @matthewexplore