GRAHAM KOZAK

Jeep pickup to carry Scrambler badge, report says

Jeep's Wrangler-based pickup spotted in May. Photo credit: BRIAN WILLIAMS | SPIED BILDE
Graham Kozak is associate editor at Autoweek, an affiliate of Automotive News.

You didn’t think they were just going to go with “Jeep Wrangler Pickup,” did you?

OK, maybe you did. Maybe some of us did, too. But according to information obtained by the enthusiasts at the Jeep Scrambler Forum, Scrambler is exactly what this eagerly anticipated truck will be called. (Note that none of this is official, but also note that the Scrambler Forum’s sister site, the JL Wrangler Forums, has been spot-on with its predictions so far.)

The Wrangler-based pickup's name recalls the original CJ-8 Scrambler, a long-wheelbase variant of the C-7 built from 1981 to 1986 (though that final year may have been excess 1985 production). It wasn't meant to compete with the hard-wearing work-oriented pickups available at the time; it was a "lifestyle" truck for active individuals if there ever was one, and we don't expect the new one to be much different.

As with the CJ-7 it was based on, it featured a removable top; likewise, the new Scrambler gets two removable three-piece hardtop options -- one black, one body-color -- as well as a black Sunrider soft top.

 
A 1982 Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler. Photo credit: FCA

Interestingly, CAD files obtained by the forum show a frame with a length of 205 inches. That’s 33 inches longer than a current four-door JK Wrangler’s frame, which makes it a substantial truck, size-wise. Unlike the CJ-8, then, the upcoming Scrambler gets four doors, at least at the outset.

Complete powertrain details remain something of a mystery, but one engine has been confirmed so far: A 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 diesel. The transmission is not specified, but it’s connected to a Dana 12-bolt rear axle, an uprated upgrade over the eight-bolt Dana 44 found on current Jeeps. Based on the rendering of the differential cover, it looks suspiciously like the bigger Dana 60. What sort of towing and payload capacity this new hardware yields remains to be seen.

Reports of a Jeep Wrangler pickup have been floating around for years, but this thing -- the Scrambler -- seems like it's finally happening. We expect to see it before the end of the year, likely at the Los Angeles auto show.

 

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