2005 Jeep Gladiator conceptEnlarge Photo
In the pickup market, toughness matters. So does rugged, iconic, like-no-other styling...such as that of the Jeep Wrangler.
Well, then; what about a pickup truck based on the Jeep Wrangler?
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has been considering it for some time—actually for many years, if you consider the 2005 Jeep Gladiator Concept. And now, based on recent reports, citing Jeep global chief Mike Manley and FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne, it’s a go.
You’ll have to wait a while. No exact name has yet been announced for this 2019 Jeep Wrangler pickup—Scrambler would be the natual, of course, but a few more details, including the potential name of the model, are expected to be revealed later this month as part of a new product plan.
The Jeep Wrangler pickup will be built in Toledo, Ohio, alongside the next-generation version of the Jeep Wrangler.
It’s hard to imagine a more rugged take on a compact pickup, and it’s an idea that could go over well as a niche truck in overseas markets.
2015 Jeep WranglerEnlarge Photo
While most other SUVs are built on platforms that are shared across several models, the Wrangler is one-of-a-kind, and it’s built essentially on a standalone platform—one that’s become increasingly expensive to keep modern and updated to tightening safety and fuel economy requirements. So a wider range of Wrangler variants should help assure more return on investment.
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The next-generation Wrangler will be built on a reengineered steel body but incorporate various weight-saving measures, such as aluminum for door panels and/or hoods.
The market for compact pickups will be a lot more interesting by the time such a model goes on sale, likely in 2018 or 2019. The Wrangler pickup would join the recently revealed 2017 Honda Ridgeline, as well as a renewed version of the much-loved Ford Ranger and, possibly, a Hyundai pickup based on the Santa Cruz concept.
Even then, a 2019 Jeep Wrangler pickup could carve out quite a niche for itself as the smallest and toughest of the compact trucks. Check back here for more details as they're announced.