The latest unplanned public appearance of the upcoming Jeep Wrangler pickup reveals new details about its design and interior.
Spy photographers recently spotted the Wrangler truck, possibly to be named Scrambler, on public roads undergoing testing by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles engineers.
The new Wrangler midsize pickup is expected to reach U.S. dealerships in early 2019 to compete against the Toyota Tacoma, Chevrolet Colorado and upcoming Ford Ranger.
It will likely borrow heavily from the recently-launched 2018 Wrangler JL in terms of design, performance and capability. Since its arrival early this year, the new JL version has helped Wrangler sales surge to more than 55,000 units through the first quarter. That’s a 34 percent improvement over the same period in 2017, according to research firm Autodata Corp.
Through heavy camouflage, the Wrangler-based pickup sports front styling features similar to the Wrangler JL. It has the same circular headlights, familiar vertical grille slats, fog lights in the bumper and LED turn signals mounted in the fenders. The rear, rectangular taillights also resemble those on the SUV version.
However there could be differences. The pickup appears to have a slightly altered housing for the fog lights, and the fenders extend all the way down to the bumper, as opposed to the Wrangler JL where there is space separating them.
Inside, FCA attempted to thwart photographers by installing the dashboard and entertainment console from the previous generation Wrangler JK. The steering wheel sports a Chrysler brand logo. Contrary to its appearance, the Wrangler pickup will likely feature an interior similar to the Wrangler JL including its standard Uconnect infotainment system.
The roof also reveals a hint about the Wrangler pickup. The vehicle being tested features a fixed hardtop. However inside it is constructed with the same middle structure bar used on Wrangler JL models with a retractable soft top or power sliding top. Since FCA is testing the Wrangler pickup with this roof it could mean that a retractable soft top will be available on the production model.
The Wrangler pickup is expected to use the same 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine as the SUV version.
A turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder is also available in the Wrangler JL, while a 3.0-liter turbodiesel is coming in 2019 with a plug-in hybrid version to follow in 2020. There is no word yet whether the Wrangler pickup will include those options.