Jeep has promised its fans a new pickup truck after almost two decades of not offering one to consumers. Given Jeep's heritage and it now being under the same ownership as the Ram truck brand, it will be very interesting to see exactly what Jeep puts in its showrooms.
Recently Jeep teased a stylized concept
that will likely be a pickup powered by the Hellcat engine. That concept model will debut at the annual Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah
. Aside from that teaser, the best clues we have as to what to expect from Jeep's future pickup is looking at its past ones.
Jeep Comanche (1985-1992)
The Jeep Comanche was styled similar to the iconic Jeep Cherokee that was built from 1984 to 2001. Despite having similar styling, the Comanche was very different underneath. The Cherokee used a complicated unibody construction, but the Comanche had to use a separate frame that could support its truck bed because it was more work-oriented.
The Comanche stood out from its contemporaries as a more compact and nimble truck. Today the contrast would only be more distinct since modern trucks have grown in size considerably. The next Jeep pickup could very well differentiate itself from other trucks, including those of the Ram brand, by offering a more compact pickup option.
Jeepster Commando (1966-1973)
The Jeepster Commando was a pickup truck that was far more focused on style than it was on capability. One can think of it as half convertible, and half pickup truck.
It debuted in 1966 in a variety of different styles including: a unique Hurst Jeepster with rally stripes, a Hurst shifter, a Continental tire kit, and an 8,000-rpm tachometer. Near the end of the model's life cycle it was renamed the Jeep Commando and adopted a more conventional styling.
Since the Ram brand is more focused on utility, Jeep could go with a more lifestyle-focused design in order to provide something distinct from its sister-brand Ram.
Jeep JK-8 Kit
The JK-8 conversion kit is offered by FCA's Mopar division and allows buyers to convert their Jeep Wrangler into a pickup.
The thing about this Jeep pickup is that you are left to apply the kit to the Wrangler yourself (or you can pay someone else to do it). In addition to that it costs $6,000, plus the cost of the Wrangler, and you'll have to buy the appropriate paint color as well.
Mopar has sold 1,000 examples of the kit so far, so there is demand. That shows that Jeep could very well just take the Wrangler, put a pickup bed on the back and have confidence that it will sell. Not only that, it will not be a risk in terms of design and also will be fairly cheap for the brand to execute.