Of all the Rubicon’s features, the most unique and the most fun is the ability to transform the vehicle by removing body panels. With the twist of a few clips you can remove the roof above the driver and passenger. With the assistance of a tiny four-piece tool-kit, the rear main roof and doors can be removed in less than 30 mins. In effect, the Rubicon is a number of vehicles in one: a wagon, a targa, a roadster, a stripped-down Jeep like seen on the old TV show M.A.S.H. (albeit with roll bars, climate control, real seats and a pretty impressive Infotainment system).
There is also another variation that suits rural Australia - doors off, roof on. This allows easy access whilst keeping the sun at bay. You can even fold down the windscreen – but who wants bugs in their teeth?
The roof over the driver and passenger disengages in two pieces with the twist of a few clips by hand. Lift the panels off and store them in the provided padded bag that cleverly straps upright behind the rear seats. You can drop this part of the roof in any weather as it only takes a few minutes to remove or re-install.
The rear roof module needs at least two rugged, blokey types to lift it off, or 3-4 city folk, but apart from the muscle required a ‘mini’ tool kit about the size of a mobile phone is all that is needed to remove the 8 bolts that secure the roof. You'll find this in a compartment under the floor panel in the boot, however, we put it in the glove box as you can’t get to it if the boot is full. There's also a cable connector in the back corner that easily disengages to complete the removal.
No one has a car without doors, so it must be a nightmare to remove them…or so I assumed. A bolt under each hinge, a cable connector, and a woven safety strap is all that keeps them on – and only a couple of minutes is required to remove each door (after farting around with the first door to work out how easy it was). Putting it all back together was super quick, four people grabbed a door each, then the roof, they attached the wires and I walked around the car tightening the door and roof bolts.
After going through the process a few times, we found it to be simple and quick, it is definitely something that we would do regularly, it is like having a few different cars in the shed to choose from. Oh, and keep in mind that there may be different restrictions on removing the doors based on your state and whether you are on private or public property, we had all our fun on a massive farm.