Back in 2005, Jeep created the Gladiator concept (pictured above), that gave enthusiasts hope that a ute variant of its popular Wrangler model could be in the works.
Instead, Mopar offered a conversion kit called the JK8, which converted a standard Wrangler into a little pickup, somewhat appeasing the hope for an actual Wrangler ute production model. It appears that the wait might be closing in on an end, as Jeep president Mike Manley recently mentioned that the next-generation Wrangler could get a pick-up variant.
The redesigned Wrangler is due in either 2015 or 2016, which means the American automaker should be making a decision on a Wrangler ute in the near future. The major question is whether or not it’ll be a two-door ute or a four-door ute, since they are “very different cars,” according to Manley.
“One of the issues is that when you go four door with a bed is that your break-over angle gets destroyed. We can still maintain approach and departure angles, but when we get to a certain length, the break-over becomes an issue. Then is it really a Wrangler?”
The other possibility for the brand is to create a new ‘ute’ model, which would separate it from its popular Wrangler model. Either way, Manley is very optimistic about its relationship with Fiat saying that the platforms are very versatile to work with.