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by Jay Traugott
After years of waiting, a proper Wrangler pickup has reportedly been given the production greenlight.
We've been told many times in the past about Jeep's so-called plan to build a pickup variant of their wildly popular Wrangler. Ever since the automaker revealed the Gladiator concept back in 2005, Jeep fans everywhere have literally been begging for it to reach production. Jeep management has been interested in doing it, but parent company Chrysler's financial issues prevented its development. Instead they made the wise decision to build the Compass and Patriot (note the sarcasm).
In order to keep people satisfied, however, Jeep enlisted the help of Mopar
to build an aftermarket conversion kit called JK8 which converted a standard Wrangler into the closest thing to a pickup. But now that Chrysler's books have been sorted out, it appears that the Jeep pickup is back on track. According to a report from Car Advice, Jeep president Mike Manley told them that a Wrangler pickup will be coming “pretty soon....probably the next generation.” Expected sometime around 2015 or 2016, the next-gen Wrangler is still in the development phase and a number of issues are still being sorted out.
Aside from the conventional two- and four-door bodystyles, Jeep is still determining whether a pickup version will have two or four doors (or both). They're being cautious at this point because, according to Manley, "You would have to be very, very careful that the pickup is a true Wrangler." One requirement is to guarantee the pickup has excellent off-road capabilities. Furthermore, Jeep is also not ruling out building a stand-alone Jeep pickup separate from the Wrangler. Regardless of what they opt for, we feel pretty confident that Jeep will get this one right. If not, they'll have too many disappointed fans than they can handle.