By on January 11, 2018

There’s never been a vehicle more difficult to camouflage than the upcoming Jeep Scrambler, the pickup version of the new-for-2018 JL Wrangler. Unlike the anonymous rolling blobs we call crossovers, Jeep’s insistence on a traditional, square-rigged design makes for easy spotting.

As we can see in these spy photos, the #PolarVortex didn’t stop Fiat Chrysler engineers from wheeling around in a prototype JT Scrambler. Production begins in 10 months, meaning off-road fans will have to warm themselves with photos of the conventional Wrangler until the wraps comes off later this year.

We’ve shown you Scrambler shots before, but these ones were too clear to pass up. JL Wrangler cues abound, such as the horizontal, fender-mounted turn signals and what looks to be a carryover grille. Beneath the vehicle, we see a modified Wrangler Unlimited frame and solid front and rear axles. The front bumper looks a little narrower than the one found on the Scrambler’s bedless brethren, but this is a pre-production model. Camo-clad side-view mirrors appear larger (and as square as the vehicle itself).

We don’t know for sure what powertrains will be on offer in this model, but the conventional Wrangler see three engines — a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, 3.6-liter V6, and diesel 3.0-liter V6 (coming for the 2019 model year) — coupled with a six-speed manual and eight-speed automatic transmission. It’s highly doubtful Jeep plans to sell a four-cylinder Wrangler pickup with a 48-volt mild hybrid system. That particular powertrain seems like oil to the pickup’s vinegar.

In the JL Wrangler, the 3.0-liter diesel makes 260 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque — plenty of grunt to challenge rivals in the midsize pickup segment. Granted, with a vehicle this unique (and no doubt carrying a premium), there probably won’t be all that many would-be buyers cross-shopping a Colorado and a Scrambler. Design and need-to-have plays an outsized role here.

Increasing the pickup’s appeal is an optional soft top that allows for al fresco driving. If you’ve got the cash, surely a convertible four-door pickup with serious off-road prowess would be difficult to pass up.

FCA kicks off Scrambler production at Toledo Assembly in November 2018, once the remaining JK Wranglers vacate the assembly line this spring and the automaker spends the summer retooling. Availability begins in 2019.

If you’re expecting to see a sneak peak at next week’s North American International Auto Show, don’t hold your breath. After the 2018 Wrangler’s recent debut in L.A., the Detroit show looks to be reserved for the refreshed 2019 Cherokee and little else.

[Images: Brian Williams/SpiedBilde]

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31 Comments on “Spied: Jeep Scrambler Pickup, Still a Year Away...”


  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    Handsome rig, from what can be seen here. Hope it does well for them.

    “these ones”
    C’mon guys.

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      Agree, this looks like a corporate nice return on a pretty minimal investment. I’ve never really liked the 4-door version of the Wrangler, but that seems to be what people want for pickups these days.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        Its quite amazing how that for decades, having four doors meant you were driving your grandmother’s ride. Now, its perfectly acceptable so long as there is an open bed attached.

        I get 4 door trucks, I really do. They make a great case for a practical all-arounder. I especially like the first Frontier crew cab we got, neat truck I’d love to have.

        That said, I’d prefer my (non-pickup) Wrangler with two doors.

        • 0 avatar
          bullnuke

          The comment reminds me of my dear departed Mother who hated four-door vehicles and always insisted that Dad buy two-door cars only – even our ’59 Chevy Brookwood wagon was a two-door. She was afraid that one of us would fall out in the streets and highways while Dad was driving around. She was remembering the horror stories of her childhood in the ’20s and ’30s when kids falling out was a horrific issue that happened relatively often, usually with fatal results. She didn’t relent until kiddie locks finally became available for the rear set of doors but, by that time, all her spawn had flown the nest.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          Yeah 2drs were for families with young children for many families because of that fear. Plus there was a time when you just tilted the seat forward and the kids piled in the back once they were 2 or 3 w/o any car seat.

          Then once the kids got to be 10, 12 or so then you’d go for the 4dr.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            “Yeah 2drs were for families with young children for many families because of that fear.”

            Exactly. My folks bought a 1968 Galaxie 500 two door for that exact reason. We were stuck in the back because the front seats had to fold forward to get out. The back window side glass was small too. One could open the window but couldn’t easily climb out.
            Vehicles now have “lockouts” on the back doors so kids can’t open them.

    • 0 avatar
      200k-min

      Must be a “Jeep” thing to like the styling. I find it particularly hideous looking. Would rather have me a Tacoma…or the global Ford Ranger over a boxy Jeep truck.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        I’m not into Jeeps that hard, but boxy works on truck and SUVs.

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        From an aero point of view I totally agree. Not a Jeep fan either but oil burner + 4 doors + midsize / small bed + towing is what I need. The GM twins seem oversized (midsize plus?) compared to my perfectly (mid-sized) Dodge Dakota Quad Cab. Not sure size where this Jeep slots in, but it doesn’t appear to have the too tall hood and bed height these other trucks have. I’m holding out hope for the Ranger (Ecoboost? Diesel?), I owned before and I liked its style but the 4.0l V6 didn’t have grunt I required in a towing rig. My 4.7l V8 Dakota fixed that but the MPG are depressing.

    • 0 avatar

      This baby will be a license for FCA to print money. But seriously, WHY the camouflage? I think we KNOW what it it’s going to look like.

    • 0 avatar
      Dy-no-mite Jay

      “These ones”

      I’ll glad someone brought it up. As a speech therapist, I call people out on this all the time.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        Yeah. Perhaps acceptable for a 4th grader, even then I’d be tempted to correct it.

        Far be it from me to claim perfection, but some things like that bother me. As does “anyways”, the wrong two/to/too, they’re/there/their, and your/you’re.

        “Your stupid dude.”

        My stupid dude? How dare you disrespect my boyfriend like that. (Lol)

        Another one? “I would of bought the Jeep.” smh

  • avatar
    Polishdon

    ” the Detroit show looks to be reserved for the refreshed 2019 Cherokee and little else.”

    Wrong…

    The 2019 Dodge Ram is shown on 1/15/18:

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Man, that windshield is really raked, just like the new Wrangler’s. I’ll take tradition over aerodynamics.

  • avatar
    redapple

    RE Jeep Wrangler + small pick up bed…????

    What took so long?

  • avatar
    Null Set

    I just can’t get past the name. It sounds like a liquid egg substitute. Marketing fail.

    • 0 avatar
      LectroByte

      That’s the name they used on their Jeep CJ-based pickup. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeep_CJ#CJ-8_(Scrambler) so a nod to the legacy etc.

      I think’d like this better in a two-door form, it looks like the wheelbase is even longer than the 4 door Wrangler.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        Reminds me of having to explain to a 12 year old recently why “Oldsmobile” was an acceptable name for a car, one that was successful for decades on end.

        “Did you say Olds? Must be for old people!”
        Some, not all, were, young grasshoppa

        • 0 avatar
          Null Set

          I didn’t realize Scrambler was the name of someone who founded an auto company…

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            No, just when its taken out of context, it sounds a bit silly. Kinda like naming a car starting with with the word Old. I seriously doubt anyone considered it an egg product when the original Scrambler was on the market.

            Not calling you a 12 year old, dude, put the gun down.

          • 0 avatar
            Flipper35

            You probably didn’t realize there were races called hair scrambles either.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        And that name had AMC history before it was used on the Jeep line with their muscle car attempt the S/C Rambler which many people read as or said as Scrambler.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        You’re right about the longer wheelbase. Personally, I prefer 2-½ doors with an uncluttered floor in the second row with about the same wheelbase as the old JKU. I don’t need nor want a full second row with “permanent” seats. The ’05 Gladiator concept was almost exactly what I’ve been looking for.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Hopefully it doesn’t ride rough or “Scrambler” will be an internet meme.

  • avatar

    This baby will be a license for FCA to print money. But seriously, WHY the camouflage? I think we KNOW what it it’s going to look like.

  • avatar
    Loser

    Was hoping there would be a 2 door version but I’d be one of the few to actually buy it. The 4 door just looks too long and kind of odd to me. Back when the original Scrambler (CJ-8) was new I wanted one bad but couldn’t afford it. Nice used ones go for crazy money now.

  • avatar
    whynotaztec

    Seeing this just reinforces the point that GM really really blew it with Hummer. I have to wonder why that brand has not been resurrected.

    Got a good look at the new Wrangler at the Boston auto show today. Suddenly my 2015 seems so old. I have been a 2 door loyalist all along, but something about the new one makes me want a 4 door now. And the new roofs are amazing, seems like they will be much easier to deal with.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      GM could easily do something along these lines (as well as something along the lines of the Wrangler) with GMC.

      So the Scrambler is already undergoing late-stage testing and the Santa Cruz is where?


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