Jeep’s Plans for Wrangler Pickup Truck
A few decades ago, your choice for an American-built pickup truck meant one of three selections: a vehicle from General Motors (a Chevy truck), a Ford pickup truck and from Chrysler, a RAM truck. However, for quite a while, there was a fourth choice – a Jeep.
From 1947 until 1992, Jeep was a major manufacturer of pickup trucks and many people have fond memories of these vehicles. In fact, knowing that the demand is still there, Jeep has been teasing us for quite a while that another Jeep pickup truck is in the works. Let’s take a look at some of the previous Jeep truck concepts and the real exciting news; a Wrangler-based truck in the works for 2017.
Jeep Announces the Jeep Gladiator Pickup Truck Concept
Back in 2005, Jeep presented their concept truck, the Gladiator “life-style pickup truck”. Bringing up memories of the Jeep Scrambler and Comanche of the past, the 2005 Gladiator was a Wrangler-based pickup truck that featured a side-mounted spare, a canvas top and an expandable truck bed.The engine was a torque-heavy VM Motori 2.8 liter which was perfect for on and off-roading. This diesel engine offered 295 foot-pounds of torque and 163 horsepower. The 2005 Gladiator had a solid front axle, and in the rear, a solid axle with trailing arm system. On the front was a power winch and underneath were front and rear locking differentials and thick, rugged skidplates. The transmission was a six-speed manual and the drive was switchable, part-time four wheel drive. Eighteen inch wheels were used all around. The weight was a bit heavy for the size, as was the case for the Wrangler (about 4,150 pounds) but it was all Jeep, staying true to their brand.
Jeep Teases Pickup Truck with J-12 Concept in 2012
Then in 2012, Jeep sprang the J-12 concept truck on the Jeep faithful. The J-12 is an amazing vehicle and looks like it was time-warped straight from the 1960s. In fact, during its construction, the engineers referred to it as the “OMT” or Old Man Truck because it looks like it was just driven out of Grampa’s barn. Outside, the J-12 is all retro looking even with 900-16 super lug bias ply tires and real “1960s” chrome bumpers. Inside there’s a split bench seat with white Katzkin leather and plaid trim that takes you back to the Mopar interiors of yesteryear. Even though the interior had some modern touches, like a navigation system and a custom center, the retro interior trim seemed to fit in perfectly well. Everything else inside the cabin was familiar to anyone who has ever spent time in a Wrangler. For example, three switches to the left of the steering wheel control the air compressor as well as the front and rear ARB air lockers. The J-12 concept truck was a major hit but was never produced.
The Jeep Wrangler Pickup is Promised to Jeep Truck Fans
Today, we have an official announcement from Jeep that there is another Wrangler-based pickup truck in the works…but this one isn’t a concept car – it’s really going into production. That’s the word from the Detroit News, as per a conversation with Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne and Jeep global chief Mike Manley. Both Manley and Marchionne stated that the new Wrangler pickup will arrive in late 2017. “Sergio and I work very, very closely on the Jeep product portfolio, and both of us have been a fan of a potential Wrangler pickup,” he said. “For me, there is a historical place in our lineup for it.” While Jeep seriously considered launching the truck as a standalone model (in other words, not Wrangler-based), the decision was made to take the long-wheelbase version of the Wrangler, fit it with a pickup bed add other additional features. Jeep enthusiasts will note that it bears a passing resemblance to the old CJ-8 Scrambler that was built during the 1980s.
Marchionne and Manley state that Jeep’s upcoming pickup will be built alongside the next-generation Wrangler in Toledo, Ohio. The Wrangler is expected to bow in late 2017, and the pickup is tentatively scheduled to arrive before the end of 2018. More concrete details will be announced later this month when Jeep parent company Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles publishes an updated five-year plan for all of its models.
Hints of a Jeep Grand Wagoneer’s Return
In associated Fiat Chrysler news, Jeep has also said that it is bringing out a three-row full-size SUV that will most likely wear the Grand Wagoneer name. The Grand Wagoneer is another famous vehicle that Jeep manufactured for several decades and has a solid following. It isn’t surprising that Jeep would resurrect the Grand Wagoneer as it should play well in the premium SUV segment. Jeep CEO Mike Manley also announced that the Patriot and the Compass will be replaced by a single model that will make its public debut in April at the 2016 New York Auto Show. The off-roader will retain one of the two nameplates, but Manley stopped short of confirming which one will be retained after the 2016 model year.