This seems like a no-brainer to us.
Jeep is very much in full development mode for the next generation Wrangler, which should be good to go for model year 2018. What we do know as of now is that it’ll retain a six-speed manual while an eight-speed automatic will probably come as an option. Weight is a major factor and Jeep is strongly considering building the new Wrangler with lots of lightweight aluminum. OK, so far so good. What’s also a guarantee is a new four-door Wrangler Unlimited, but the one body style many were hoping for was left out: a pickup.
Previewed a decade ago with the Gladiator Concept, a Wrangler-based small pickup was always possible, mechanically speaking, but the business case didn’t add up. According to a new report, Jeep is once again trying to work out the numbers to make such a project feasible. Jeep CEO, Mike Manly, told CarAdvice at Detroit that although a Wrangler pickup would fit well into the lineup, the business case still isn’t solid. “You know I am a big advocate of a Wrangler pick-up, (but) as part of that, the decision will or will not be made regarding a pick-up (variant). From my perspective, it fits into the portfolio exactly.”
The biggest hurdle apparently is Ram. It’s officially Fiat Chrysler’s truck brand and a Jeep-branded pickup could create that dreaded internal competition every major automaker tries to avoid. So in order to make this totally kick ass Wrangler happen, Fiat Chrysler needs to know more than enough people will buy them who wouldn’t be shopping for a Ram truck to begin with.