Jeep plans for hardcore Wrangler dual-cab ute
COMBINING work and play, Jeep's Australia has plans to import a Wrangler-based ute.
The dual-cab hardcore off-roader is expected to be based on the 2017 long wheel-base Wrangler which will put Jeep in the commercial mix against the Nissan Navara, Mitsubishi Triton, VW Amarok, Ford Ranger, and genre-leading Toyota HiLux.
There are no plans for a cab-chassis or single cab offerings. No commitment on timing has been finalised.
Over the past two years Jeep has produced two ute concepts. Last March the Red Rock Responder was revealed, packed with premium off-road equipment including monster 37-inch BF Goodrich tyres, four inches of JPP lift, Fox shocks, and front and rear Dana 60 axles with 5.38 gearing from Jeep Performance Parts.
That concept was powered by a 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 engine mated to an automatic transmission.
This year we saw the Jeep Trailcat which featured a supercharged 6.2-litre HEMI Hellcat V8 engine, and mated to a six-speed manual transmission.
Designers stretched the wheelbase an additional 12 inches while chopping the windshield two inches for a sleeker look. Mopar exterior enhancements include a power-dome vented hood, Satin Black grille, LED headlamps and fog lamps and rock rails.
The robust off-road look is further aided by steel front and rear bumpers, 17-inch beadlock wheels and 39.5-inch BF-Goodrich Krawler T/A KX tires, front and rear Dana 60 axles and Fox shocks.
Meanwhile, FCA is also looking at bringing in factory-produced Ram trucks.
While Ram pick-ups are currently being converted from left-hand drive by Melbourne-based Walkinshaw Automotive Group and importers Ateco Automotive, factory-produced right-hook options could soon be on the agenda.
FCA is interested in bringing the Ram 1500 to Australia. Overseas they are available in both side and double cab formats, with base two-wheel drive variants fitted with the V6 petrol powerplant and towing capacity of 2240kg.
The Ram 1500 dual-cabs are about 5.8 metres long. A Toyota HiLux Double-Cab is 5.3m.
Two Ram variants starting from about $140,000 are currently available here, the Laramie 2500 and Laramie 3500 4x4 Crew Cab heavy-duty pick-ups powered by 6.7-litre in-line six-cylinder Cummins turbo diesels.