As a Jeep dealer from 2003 to 2015, the whispers about a Wrangler pickup were always wafting around the halls of power in Australia.
A few years ago I sat with Mike Manley in Florida and discussed the lack of a pickup single cab or dual cab with him. I could see the frustration on his face when he said that it just didn’t make business sense for the US market where they had Ram.
Fast forward 10 years and Jeep released an aftermarket product entitle JK8 where dealers converted a 4 door Wrangler into a 2 door ute. Huge cost and low take-up made it a bad investment and I know that my business tore up $15k when we eventually sold ours.
So I’ve mixed feelings to see that the factory has finally bitten the bullet and there appears to be a factory version heading into production soon. So my message to Mike Manley is plain and simply. Get the quality right, make sure the technology is pure and finally get the price on the button. Anything with a 5 as the first number won’t work against the incumbents. A 4 will work and it needs to be less than $50k drive away for the base model.
2019 Jeep Wrangler pickup is spotted for the first time, undergoing testing. Yes, that looks like a Ram pickup bed.
PHOTO BY CHRIS DOANE AUTOMOTIVE
After years of hints, winks, vaguely vague promises, sighs and eye-wateringly expensive aftermarket versions, theJeep Wrangler pickup is finally happening. For proof, look no further than these photos, courtesy ofJLWranglerForums.com, showing the four-door off-road truck undergoing testing under heavy camo.
Don’t get too used to the look of that pickup bed and taillights — that’s just a placeholder borrowed from a Ram model for testing purposes — and the rear wheel arches will not look like that once the truck heads to dealerships.
The long-wheelbase Wrangler was reported to be under consideration 10 months ago, though the model was likely not greenlit until late fall of 2015. The pickup, which may yet be offered in two-door and four-door form, will be based on the next-generation Wrangler due in late 2017 as a 2018 model.
This prototype sports a Ram pickup bed, but don’t expect them to roll into dealerships like this .PHOTO BY CHRIS DOANE AUTOMOTIVE
Don’t expect the familiar face of the Wrangler to change much with the 2018 redesign: The Jeep will stay true to its roots as far as looks are concerned, though the windshield will adopt a steeper rake to improve aerodynamics. The 2018 base model will make use of aluminum to save some weight where it counts, mostly in exterior body panels, but it’ll keep its body-on-frame construction and solid front and rear axles; Jeep isn’t messing with these classic elements. Expect more efficient engines and an eight-speed automatic transmission.
It remains to be seen whether Jeep will offer a two-door version of the truck and just how many variants of the bed length buyers will be able to choose from. There’s also the question of whether the Wrangler pickup will be given a distinctive name, or whether it will simply be offered as The Wrangler Pickup.
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Above anything else, Car Business is a company that provides automotive advice for car owners who don’t have access to experts. Am I an expert? I’ve been in the car business for over 38 years, and while there are areas where I’ll reach out to friends and acquaintances for advice, I’ve got a pretty good grasp of most aspects of the business. I’ve been called a lot of things in my time – Car Doctor, Car Professor or The Car Guy, but whenever someone wants some sensible advice, they call me.
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www.genuinespares.com.au. This is an online spare parts store for Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Volkswagen and Isuzu Ute. I’ve got thousands of mechanical and panel parts plus Mopar (Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Alfa) T-Shirts, tyres, and alloy wheels as well. If you’re looking for a hard to get replacement part for any of these brands, or you just want to get a better price than retail on any car brand, let me know. And you won’t pay inflated replacement parts prices either. I’ve priced my stock at a discounted value to compete with the USA and Europe spare parts prices but with local delivery charges
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