Jeep's Manley Says Wrangler Pickup Could Be Coming 'Soon'
Pickup Version of Brand Icon Could Come in 2015
In an interview with Australian automotive news site CarAdvice, Jeep brand president Mike Manley said a decision on whether or not to build a full production version of a Wrangler pickup could come 'pretty soon.'
The idea of a Wrangler-based pickup has obviously been on the mind of Jeep designers and product planners over the past few years, with the 2005 Jeep Gladiator concept being nearly a dead-ringer for the 2007 JK Wrangler from the B-pillar forward, and the recent introduction of the Mopar JK8 conversion kit conversion kit to turn the Unlimited model into a pickup.
However, in the article, Manley hedged slightly on whether the 'Wrangler' pickup would be a literal variant of the traditional icon, or based on another chassis. Manley said a two-door pickup could be easily done on the Wrangler chassis without sacrificing the model's renowned off-road performance. However, making a crew cab or four-door pickup variant could hamper the breakover angle and other off-road performance criteria that are synonymous with the Wrangler name.
If a four-door model is pursued, it could be based on one of several platforms being developed in conjunction with Fiat, and could be split off as a distinct model. The CJ-8 'Scrambler' model was sold by Jeep from 1981 to 1984, and the name could potentially be revived for a future successor.
Aftermarket converter American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) offers a Brute pickup conversion for both the current-generation JK Wrangler as well as the previous-generation TJ Wrangler.