Once again we are seeing the Jeep Wrangler JL pickup, and it’s the first time we’ve seen it running around on public roads. Well cladded with yards of vinyl wrapping, there’s no hiding the distinct and iconic shape. There’s no question what we’re taking a look at here. This is a setup Wrangler fans have been advocating and expecting for decades, and by the appearances of things, it’s not far away. The pickup version of the JL Wrangler is anticipated to follow the core 2 and four-door SUV designs by roughly a year, making the chances are that this will be a 2019 design.
The photos do not reveal any major modifications or surprises of the anticipated setup of a four-door crew cab and a reasonably short bed. As cool and desirable as a Wrangler pickup will be to many, there are some unavoidable tradeoffs for the pickup setup. The longer wheelbase will indicate a less-favorable breakover angle, and the bed overhang over the rear wheels will lead to a less-optimal departure angle. However, it seems the rear bumper and bed height are still sufficient to provide a lot of off-road agility and capability.
The JL pickup comes at an intriguing time, just as Chevrolet has presented the remarkably capable Colorado ZR2 and an all-new Ford Ranger is being readied for the U.S. market. We would love absolutely nothing more than a three or four-truck shootout in between the JL pickup, the ZR2, the Tacoma TRD Pro, and the new Ranger, perhaps with a Raptor-like off-road plan.