To really live you must almost die! That is the ultimate truth. When did you feel most alive? Yes, that is right – when you had that near-death experience and your entire life passed in front of your eyes in 3.2 seconds. And believe it or not, off-roading can get you in situations where you’ll feel so alive you may just well be dead. This is the newest Jeep – the 2016 Jeep Wrangler Black Bear Edition – and it is not that different from any other “usual” Jeep you see. However, it carries the livery and the hardware enhancements that pay tribute to one of the best off-road tracks in the US – the Black Bear trail leading from Ouray to Telluride. People who created the trail back in the 1800s were only looking for gold and Black Bear is actually a gold mine which was prosperous a long time ago.
Check out the Black Bear Trail
Now, Telluride is just another rural small town with the ski resort in the vicinity and Black Bear trail being their best-known tourist attractions. And yes, Jeep drivers are very persistent in coming there to test out their vehicles on the traitorous terrain. Actually, Jeep calls this track “notorious” and their newest Wrangler Black Bear Edition is perfectly suited to tackle it (just as the Rubicon is geared out for tackling Rubicon trail).
Apart from receiving a few new color options (Billet Silver, Black, Bright White, Firecracker Red, Granite Crystal, Hydro Blue, Hypergreen, Rhino, and Tank), this Jeep now features a bonnet with a very cool topographic map of the Black Bear Trail showcased on it. Neat stuff, isn’t it? However, we are quite sure that this feature isn’t there to make it easier to navigate around the trail, but to really make the Jeep Wrangler a part of the Black Bear trail.
Instead of giving it some more serious off-road suspension setup, the 2016 Wrangler comes equipped with rock rails, tail light guards and a black fuel filler door. It’s not a lot, but it seems that the added stuff made the thing look ever so slightly more rugged and prepared for the “notorious” terrain it has to tackle. Why exactly does it HAVE to, you ask? Well, according to some sources, at the start of the Black Bear trail there is a sign and the following words are written on it: “Telluride -> City Of Gold. You don’t have to be crazy to drive this road, but it helps. Jeeps only.”
As to be expected, Jeep takes pride in this distinction and felt it was necessary to craft an official version in the form of the Black Bear Jeep Wrangler to take things that much further.
Obviously, Jeep culture is strong here. It is so strong that the Black Bear Road is listed sixth on the top ten Jeep trail destinations. So, the Black Bear Jeep, although not crazy different from the others, is quite a special machine indeed. Even though it didn’t receive anything out of the ordinary, Jeep equipped it with a nice set of off-road gear you can spec out yourself. The Command-Trac transfer case with a 2.72:1 ratio, Dana 30 front, and Heavy Duty 44 rear axles with a 3.21:1 axle ratio (with a 3.73:1 option) all supposedly found their way to the Jeep Black Bear.
While the exterior features aren’t exciting, interior adjustments are a bit more comprehensive. The novelties include black cloth seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and Iron Gray trim, new floor mats, air con, and the Connectivity and Power Convenience packages.
Nevertheless, the Jeep Black Bear Edition is a capable machine ready to tackle some of the most demanding trails in the US. We’re sure it’ll sell well too seeing as every other Wrangler already does just fine.
Check out this video of the Jeep Wrangler Black Bear Edition in action!