SEMA 2011: AEV to Debut Brute Double Cab Jeep Pickup Conversion in Las Vegas
Though Fiat-Chrysler may be dragging its feet with delivering a Jeep-based pickup, the automotive aftermarket has offered Wrangler truck conversions for years. One such company, American Expedition Vehicles (AEV), brought us a turn-key Jeep pickup conversion ten years ago known as the Brute. Now, AEV plans to show off its latest Jeep/truck hybrid creation, the Brute Double Cab, at this year's SEMA show -- the same event where the original Brute debuted one decade ago.
The Brute Double Cab follows the same design strategy as the original, but starts with a four-door JK-platform Wrangler instead of a two-door TJ. From there, the chassis is stretched 23 inches for a new wheelbase of 139 inches. A frame extension is added in the rear to accommodate the truck bed, and overall length is increased by 30 inches, to 216 inches total. The interior dimensions of the Brute Double Cab's bed stand at 61 inches long by 60 inches wide, with 44 inches between the wheel houses.
"When we originally created the Brute, it appealed to off-road enthusiasts looking for something different," said AEV founder and President Dave Harriton in a release. "Now with the debut of the Brute Double Cab, we're expanding the Brute series to a four-door platform that has everything people have come to expect from an AEV Brute, but with more interior room and the improved capabilities of the JK platform."
Harriton also says the Brute Double Cab draws inspiration from the Land Rover Defender 130, and that the vehicle is not meant as an alternative to a traditional pickup, but rather as a vehicle that provides the best of both worlds for shoppers in the overland market looking for a combination of off-road capability and cargo- and passenger-hauling aptitude.
The Brute Double Cab will be offered as a turn-key vehicle, and will be built in AEV's Wixom, Mich. factory starting sometime in mid-2012. First dibs will go to current owners of AEV vehicles, then after the initial batch is called for, authorized dealers will begin opening up the ordering process to the public. Until Jeep can give us the genuine article, the Brute Double Cab may be the closest thing to a production Wrangler pickup you can get.