The 2012 Beijing Auto Show will be remembered not just as the “Year of the Dragon”, but as the year of the Limited Edition/Special Edition car. Following the lead of Rolls-Royce with their “Year of the Dragon” Special Edition Phantom, the Victoria Beckham Special Edition Range Rover Evoque was also introduced at the show. Next to join the party was Aston Martin who unveiled its own China-focused Dragon 88 Limited Edition model at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show.
Not to be left out, Jeep has come up with their own Dragon theme and just unveiled the Jeep Wrangler Dragon concept in China. With more Jeeps being sold in China than in any other country besides the U.S. and Canada, the brand has targeted this important market for future expansion. To cater to the Chinese, Jeep has rolled into Beijing with the off-road icon of the Jeep brand, and integrated it with the honored Chinese icon, the dragon.
“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 Asia and 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, but what sets this apart from any other Wrangler Unlimited is the dragon motif both on the outside and inside. Everything on the Rubicon Unlimited Rubicon is blacked out from the fenders and bumpers to the 18-inch wheels and roof.
And then bronze-gold dragon decals were applied to the hood and left flank, the spare tire cover, and the unique carbon-fiber engine cover. The gold-bronze touches continue on the bolts for the fuel-filter door and taillamp assembly. On the inside, gold and black leather fills the cabin with black and Bronze-gold (a color associated with the dragon) trim continues throughout. An additional laser-etched dragon pattern is on the face of the head restraints and gold snakeskin bolsters complete the dragon treatment.
While debuting as a design concept at the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition, Jeep might even put the Wrangler Dragon design into production if demand is great enough. Just don't count on it showing up on this side of the Pacific.