File this one under, “Didn’t see that coming!”
Jeep announced it would resurrect one of its most charming models, the Jeepster. Built under the Willys name from 1948 to 1950, the Jeepster was an on-road cruiser, offered only with rear-wheel drive and the choice of an I-4 or I-6. Equipped with an overdrive transmission and a variety of interior niceties, the Jeepster was a luxurious fun-machine, rather than a rugged off-roader.
Jeep’s 2019 redux of the Jeepster will adopt the same philosophy, based on the Chrysler LA platform that currently underpins the Dodge Challenger coupe. Like the original Jeepster and many of Jeep’s current models, the 2019 will have a few different roof options, including a fully retractable fabric top, a removable hardtop, and a fixed roof with removable panels. Unlike the original, the new Jeepster will eschew rear seats, opting instead for a rugged, open bed with optional tonneau, à la Chevrolet SSR.
Powertrain options should include the 3.6L Pentastar V-6 and at least one Hemi V-8, both mated to eight-speed automatic transmissions. We doubt Jeep will fit its rear-drive, lightweight neo-pickup with the 6.2L supercharged V-8 found in the upcoming Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, but you never know—we didn’t think Jeep would ever build a rear-drive–exclusive vehicle again.
With an on-road bias, a retro flavor, and funky roof options, you can also file the 2019 Jeepster under, “April Fool’s.”