Jeep Pickup Truck May Come, But Not Anytime Soon
CEO Manley Says “I Have Higher Priorities”
“I remain a big fan of a Jeep pickup.”
That’s what company CEO and President Mike Manley said to the Detroit News. However, due to other priorities within the company, don’t expect a seven-slat truck any time soon.
The Jeep Gladiator concept of 2005 kicked off the company’s sick habit of teasing its loyal fans with a pickup. That model previewed the styling of the 2007 Jeep Wrangler, but little else made it to production, least of all the truck’s bed. Since then, the company has shown the J-12 concept (below, in red), the NuKizer 715 concept (in olive drab), and the fantastic Mighty FC concept, which was inspired by the vintage cab-over Forward Control pickup. Each one proved that a Jeep truck would be very, very cool, but none of them made it to production either.
Hope isn’t lost for the brand’s pickup future, however, as rumors are flying that the next Jeep Wrangler (itself steeped in quite a bit of controversy) may spawn a pickup variant. That makes a lot of sense, as the Wrangler is Jeep’s only body-on-frame vehicle at the moment, so designing a bed and bodywork to fit on the Wrangler frame would be relatively simple.
Another option would be repurposing one of Jeep sibling Fiat’s pickups for U.S. duty. That’s already been done with the car-based Fiat Strada, which will become the Ram 700 for certain Latin American markets. Obviously, a subcompact El Camino wannabe wouldn’t fit with Jeep’s brand ethos, but the upcoming Fiat midsize truck (itself based on the Mitsubishi L200) might be a perfect fit for off-road enthusiasts who occasionally haul cargo.
Jeep is showing off yet another pickup at this year’s Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah. The Wrangler-based Red Rock Responder is a concept for now, but if you can’t wait for it to come to fruition, you have a few choices. Mopar offers a JK-8 conversion kit for the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited that turns your four-door SUV into a two-door pickup, all for just under $6,000, plus installation. Looking to the aftermarket, Montana-based American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) offers the Brute Double Cab, also based on the Unlimited, but with an extended wheelbase to make room for a 5-foot-long bed behind the rear doors. That choice comes with a steep price tag; at $39,999, plus the price of the donor vehicle, it’s very easy to run up an $80,000-plus bill when all is said and done.
You can bet we’ll be keeping our finger on this pulse, and we’ll share full details on Jeep’s newest concept cars (including the Red Rock Responder) later this week when the company makes them available.
Source: The Detroit News, Jeep