The Jeep Wrangler is getting the pickup treatment.
We’ve actually known that Fiat Chrysler was in the process of making a reborn Jeep Pickup for a little while now. Camouflaged versions of the new small truck have been puttering around on public roads for the past few months, with a complete coating of vinyl preventing us from seeing much of the goods.
The last Jeep pickup truck was the CJ-8 “Scrambler” built way back in 1981. At the time, they were simple CJ-7s with a longer wheelbase to make room for the short bed placed on the back. They sold only modestly well upon release, and sales tanked by 1985 to the point where the discontinued the pickup.
The new Jeep pickup seems to be following in the footsteps of the old Scrambler, taking a Wrangler JL and just extending the wheelbase to make room for a bed. Thus far, the only Jeep pickups we’ve seen are four-door models with a short bed, and not a single two-door with an extended bed has been spotted.
Of course, one might be hiding under all that vinyl. You never know with those crafty Fiat Chrysler engineers.
We also don’t know what’s under the hood, but it’d make sense for it to contain any of the Wrangler JL’s three power plants. First is the 2.0-L turbocharged inline 4-cylinder Chrysler Hurricane engine with its 270-horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. Next could be the classic 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine with 285-hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. Or we could even see the European 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 with its 260 hp and impressive 442 lb-ft of torque.
There’s also whispers of a plug-in electric hybrid powertrain in the works, but that’s supposedly not coming out until 2020.
Speaking to Automotive News at a Fiat dealers meeting, Fiat Chrysler CEO said the new pickup should hit showrooms by April 2019. By then it might even have a name. We’re hoping Scrambler, what with Jeep’s penchant for the historic.