The real issue for Jeep enthusiasts is how much Fiat will "dumb down" the next generation utility Jeep platform. If what they spit out for '17 is some Geo Tracker-esqe "cute ute" made up out of the Fiat parts bins then Jeep as we've known it will no longer exist. If, otoh, they really do understand the basic requirements of the utility Jeep and produce a capable, durable performance oriented platform it may be OK. Having retired from a Chrysler competitor, I know product development well and based upon stuff we've seen Fiat release and stick a "Jeep" badge on recently, I'm not optimisti. My money is on the JK replacement being a disaster as far as the enthusiast goes. Too many rumors of fully independent IFS/IRS suspension, etc. to ignore. If it's unibody, hey, so was the old XJ, not a show stopper. If it's a sidewinder car-based four banger with front wheel drive bias (as I suspect it will be) with un-alterable full independent, the game's over for Jeep as far as we're concerned.
Sad, but based upon the display at this year's EJS you could easily see the heart & soul we've come to admire about the Jeep factory team was no longer evident. Highlight was the Fiat 500-based "Renegade" which just made people mad, virtually no interest in it whatsoever from the Jeep community in Moab....that shuld give Jeep pause, but probably won't.
The good news is the huge number of TJs & JKs out there that for years will be mod-ready, particularly the last model year runs. If, as we suspect, Fiat butt-boys the JK replacement, your current JK will have the resale value equivalent of a Land Rover Defender. That is, little or no depreciation. Those units in operation will keep a certain number of the Jeep-centric aftermarket vendors in business, but they eventually will move on to other markets. So, if you're on the fence about getting a new JK, I'd advise geting one now and avoid the chance you'll be disappointed in two years.
'09 JKRU. 4" Teraflex long arm, Teraflex R44 housing, Teraflex / Fox Resis, Poly Performance skids, Nemesis Billy Rockers, Nemesis flares, 37" ATZ P3s on 17" 5x5.5" Trailready HDs, Spyntec hubs, Teraflex BBK, Mopar BBK master/booster, Superior front & Alloy USA rear axle shafts, CTMs, Reids, Synergy drag link & tie rod, WTOR hydro-boosted steering, 5.38s, TF Dual Rate front bar, TF bumpers, Warn Powerplant, Tom Woods shafts, AA xfer case cable, Kilby canister relo, RH4x4 cage.