As other manufacturers are eliminating SUV-truck hybrids (See: Chevy Avalanche and Ford Explorer Sport Trac ) Chrysler is just now debating officially releasing one in Jeep Wrangler garb. In 2005, Jeep teased us with the idea of this monstrosity with the Gladiator Concept , which we didn’t care for then and really dislike now, as that fad has run its course.
In an interview with CarAdvice, Jeep president, Mike Manley, let them in on the secret that Jeep will be making a decision “pretty soon” on whether the Jeep Wrangler-based pickup will head into production or not.
In the interview, Manley was asked when he thought the Wrangler truck may be an option, Manley responded by saying “Probably the next generation.” This means that the Jeep Wrangler truck could be in Jeep’s lineup as early as 2015. The biggest debate, aside from whether there is a market for it or not, is whether it will come as a 2- or 4-door.
The 2-door model eliminates lots of passenger room, but in return, you get the Wrangler’s impressive break-over angle – the ability to avoid dragging its back end when climbing a steep grade. In a 4-door model, you get the added passenger room, but Jeep would then have to make the bed longer and that would cause a smaller break-over angle, resulting in you dragging the tail when starting up a steep grade. The only other option there would be to lengthen the wheelbase, which can result in your New Wrangler pickup turning into a large teeter-totter when climbing over rocky terrain.
We have a quick solution to this whole problem... Just scrap the plan altogether, Jeep. There is already an aftermarket kit to turn the Wrangler into a truck. If customers want one that bad, they can have it custom fabricated.
We could be wrong and the Wrangler-based truck could be a hit, but we just don’t see that kind of response coming from Wrangler fans.
gallery: Jeep Gladiator concept