Jeep Wrangler Pickup Truck Caught Testing For The First Time
It exists! Jeep is testing the Wrangler pickup at last!by Mark McNabb, on
After years – no, decades – of waiting, it seems Jeep is finally going to build a pickup version of the Wrangler. Rumors have held true and speculation regarding Jeep CEO Mike Manley’s many hints are seemingly coming to fruition. It’s been 30 years since Jeep last made a pickup version of its Wrangler, then called the CJ, but it seems the wait is coming to an end.
These detailed spy shots show a four-door Wrangler with a pickup bed. The camouflage is extremely thick, but the squared-off doors, flat windshield, seven-slot grille, and removable hard top are all clearly discernable. It seems this test mule is borrowing a Ram 1500 cargo bed, but expect a more unique, Jeep-only bed for production.
It’s clear this test mule is in the early stages of development. Inside the bed appear to be weights, tied down with ratchet straps. This indicates engineers are testing chassis, suspension, and powertrain tuning. Prevalent rumors suggest the Wrangler will have three choices in engines: a turbocharged four-cylinder making roughly 300 horsepower, a revised version of the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6, and the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6. The ZF eight-speed automatic will be optional each of the engines, with unknown manual transmission likely coming as standard.
The Wrangler pickup will be based on the conventional Wrangler, codenamed the JL. Expect the pickup version to come with an extended frame and wheelbase. We’d bet the Wrangler’s multi-link rear suspension with coil springs is present. After all, Ram has done will with a similar suspension setup. More to the fact, no leaf springs can be seen in these spy shots, despite the massive rear fender opening.
The Wrangler pickup will likely debut after the standard two-door and four-door Wrangler SUV. How much later is still unknown. We’d bed the Wrangler SUV will arrive for the 2018 model year, with the pickup following in 2019.
There’s tons more to discern from these spy shots, so keep reading for more information.
Continue reading for the full scoop.
Why it matters
Much hubbub has been made about the Wrangler’s top and whether it will remain completely removable. From what we’ve heard, the Wrangler will adopt a sort of permanent roof structure supplemented with removable soft or hard panels, depending on which option is chosen. This not only adds stiffness to the structure, but also greatly improves rollover protection – something the Wrangler has always had issues with.
From the spy shots, we can see this test mule has a version of the three-piece Freedom Hard Top. However, looking closely at the roof joints, it seems the panels don’t extend fully to the doors, leaving a roof beam. The truck’s C-pillar also seems rather large to be removable, lending credibility to the roof rumors. Jeep is hiding that C-pillar pretty well with camo, however.
Interestingly, there also seems to be a hood scoop on this model. A bulge can be seen under the camo, just after a mesh opening in the thick fabric. Could this be an air intake for an intercooler? Then again, from what we know about Wrangler JL’s engine options, none of them have top-mounted intercoolers.
Lastly, the cargo bed seems rather narrow in relation to the rear axle’s width. We’re betting Jeep will include large fender flairs here that match the front. This will give the Wrangler pickup that unmistakable “Wranglerness.”
Stay tuned for any more updates that come our way.
Read our full review on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler Pickup here.